Four-Minute Warning

Peggy Seeger
Language: English

Related Songs

Lullabies for Strangers
(Peggy Seeger)
We Remember (Naming of Names)
(Peggy Seeger)
Four Minutes to Midnight
(Greenham Common Women's Peace Camp Songbook)

Parole e musica di Peggy Seeger
Nel disco del 1980 intitolato “Kilroy Was Here”, con Ewan MacColl

Kilroy Was HereKilroy Was Here

Four-Minute Warning” è il nome del sistema pubblico di allarme attivo in Gran Bretagna tra il 1953 ed il 1992 per allertare – inutilmente – la popolazione in caso di attacco nucleare sovietico.

Cold War

La Guerra Fredda ed il terrore nucleare (!) sono rimasti impressi nella cultura popolare inglese fino ai giorni nostri e ai “4 minuti” hanno fatto riferimento molti artisti nelle loro canzoni, dai Chaos UK a Roger Waters, da Brian Eno ai Radiohead.
Si veda anche, già presente sul sito, Four Minutes to Midnight.
Estimation of distance and effect were taken from a small report in The Guardian. The places are in and around London.

Imagine a city, imagine a tower
Whose crown turns around fully once every hour

North, south, east and west: see the heath and the river,
with Chelsea on one side, Mile End on the other.

Imagine that city - imagine that morning
In summer, imagine the four-minute warning.

Panic, then wait: or kneel and start praying,
Four minutes to make your god hear what you're saying.

Look towards home, no time for leave-taking.
The sound that you hear is twelve-million hearts breaking.

There’s a circle around you, six miles to the rim,
From Acton to Poplar, from Finchley to Balham.

Dulwich to Hendon, it's the heart of the nation,
Not a blade of grass standing, complete devastation.

There's a circle beyond where firestorms roar,
From Redhill to Hornchurch, tron Hemel to Slough.

Weybridge to Harlow, too wounded for crying,
Half the folk dead and the other half dying.

Two minutes are gone - the fallout drifts over
To Banbury, Winchester, way beyond Dover.

Ipswich to Brighton, radiation is high;
The ones who are left may take ten years to die.

The rulers are sheltered, but God has gone under,
Victim at last of a technical blunder.

The vermin survive disease and starvation
To witness the end of a civilisation.

No air safe to breathe, no land remains fertile,
While our bombs home in on some other circle.

There's no-one to help you, there's no medication.
This bomb was one part of proposed saturation.

A half-minute to go - you won't see another,
Twelve-million children are crying for mother.

Open your eyes - tomorrow comes morning;
You have been hearing a four-minute warning.

Contributed by Bernart Bartleby - 2015/7/31 - 10:34

Main Page

Please report any error in lyrics or commentaries to

Note for non-Italian users: Sorry, though the interface of this website is translated into English, most commentaries and biographies are in Italian and/or in other languages like French, German, Spanish, Russian etc.

hosted by