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Cold War Music from the Golden Age of Homeland Security

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They Locked God Outside The Iron Curtain: Jim Eanes [1952]

Jim Eanes, a veteran singer of at least two other interesting early '50s Cold War tunes (The Korean War-themed Missing In Action and its sequel song, Returned From Missing In Action), imbues this track with a calm voice of indignation over Communist enforced atheism. This song (and others like it) is emblematic of one how the West would use religion, quite successfully, as a moral DMZ between the superior, God-fearing capitalists and, on the other side, the Communist savages. Of course, this tune takes the extra step of actually aligning Communists with the devil ("On old Satan, they have placed a kingly crown").

(Smilin') Jim Eanes was born in 1923 near Martinsville, Virginia and learned how to play country music from his family and before long he was playing in a band with his father. By the late '40s Eanes was playing in a band known as The Blue Mountain Boys in Knoxville, Tennessee. Eanes also played in the bands of The Foggy Mountain Boys and Bill Monroe's Blue Grass Boys.

In 1950 Eanes formed his own band, The Shenandoah Valley Boys, and cut records on the regional Blue Ridge label. Eanes' release, Missing In Action (a Korean War tear jerker about a soldier whose wife re-marries when she incorrectly comes to believe that her husband is dead), proved to be successful enough to get Eanes signed with Decca where he recorded a total of 31 country and bluegrass sides that were released (and some, like his version of Scotty Wiseman's I'm No Communist, were not released for whatever reason). I Cried Again was probably Eanes' most popular release from his tenure at Decca. He and his band left the label in 1955 when their contract expired and began recording for Starday where he recorded one of his repertoire staples, Your Old Standby, in 1956. It was also during this period that Eanes cut his own
I Wouldn't Change You If I Could which would eventually become a number one hit when it was covered by Ricky Skaggs in 1982.

Eanes spent most of the '60s deejaying at various Virginia radio stations while performing in and around the state. With the exception of 1979, the year he had a heart attack, Eanes was extremely active throughout the '70s and '80s and released a number of mostly bluegrass records on labels such as Jessup/Michigan Bluegrass, Leather, Webco and Rebel. Eanes also emceed quite a few country and bluegrass festivals. Jim Eanes died in 1995.

LYRICS/TRANSCRIPTION:
They Locked God Outside The Iron Curtain: Jim Eanes [1952]

There's a land where little children cannot play
And the people have forgotten how to pray
It's a land where peace and friendship should be tried
But an iron curtain keeps the Lord outside

Refrain: They locked God outside the iron curtain
On old Satan, they have placed a kingly crown
But this evil nation will never find salvation
Till the Lord tears the iron curtain down

It's a nation full of hate and full of fear
Where a man must whisper so no one can hear
And all those who dare object have quickly died
While an iron curtain keeps the Lord outside

Refrain

They have tried to chop away the rugged cross
But someday the Lord the will show them who is boss
He will count the faithful standing at his side
And in judgment He will lock the rest outside

They locked the God outside the iron curtain
On old Satan, they have placed a kingly crown
But Heaven's great power will name that fatal hour
When the Lord tears the iron curtain down

Jim Eanes [1952]
They Locked God Outside The Iron Curtain
(B. Crandall-E. Ellis)
Decca 9-46 403

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