Twenty Tons Of TNT: Michael Flanders and Donald Swann

I have seen it estimated:
Somewhere between death and birth
There are now three thousand million
People living on this earth
And the stock-piled mass destruction
Of the Nuclear Powers-That-Be
Equals–for each man or woman–
Twenty tons of TNT.

Every man of every nation
(Twenty tons of TNT)
Shall receive this allocation
Twenty tons of TNT.
Texan, Bantu, Slav or Maori,
Argentine or Singhalee,
Every maiden brings this dowry
Twenty tons of TNT.

Not for thirty silver shilling
Twenty tons of TNT
Twenty thousand pounds a killing–
Twenty tons of TNT.
Twenty hundred years of teaching,
Give to each his legacy,
Plato, Buddha, Christ or Lenin,
Twenty tons of TNT

Father, Mother, Son and Daughter,
Twenty tons of TNT
Give us land and seed and water,
Twenty tons of TNT.
Children have no need of sharing;
At each new nativity
Come the ghostly Magi bearing
Twenty tons of TNT

Ends the tale that has no sequel
Twenty tons of TNT.
Now in death are all men equal
Twenty tons of TNT.
Teach me how to love my neighbour,
Do to him as he to me;
Share the fruits of all our labour
Twenty tons of TNT.

This was uploaded to YouTube in 2008 by sziyyet2, to whom I am indebted for the following:
A powerful 1960s antiwar song from an unlikely source. Michael Flanders and Donald Swann were best known for their witty, urbane and sometimes sharply ironic songs commenting on modern life. ‘At the Drop of a Hat’ was their first hugely successful review on the London stage. This song was considered, by theatrical producers, to be too much out of character for live performance and survives only as a studio recording. For clarification, the rather considerable explosive power of one ton of the conventional chemical explosive trinitrotoluene (TNT) is used as a unit of this power.

About layanglicana

Author of books on Calcutta, Delhi and Dar es Salaam, I am now blogging as a lay person about the Church of England and the Anglican Communion. I am also blogging about the effects of World War One on the village of St Mary Bourne, Hampshire.
This entry was posted in Songs and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s