Songs About the Cold War From the 80s
This page is for songs that dealt with the paranoia surrounding the Cold War which ended in the 80s. Songs that are geared more towards nuclear war have their own page.
"1999," by Prince
The sky was all purple, "There were people runnin everywhere Tryin 2 run from the destruction, U know I didnt even care" and "Yeah, everybodys got a bomb, We could all die any day"
"2 Minutes To Midnight," by Iron Maiden
This song has to do a lot with the fact that no country is better then the other becuase their intentions are the same, with the "2 minutes" representing America and Russia. Some of the lyrics goes as follows: "We are the chore of the war machine..." "Blood is freedom stained..."
"99 Luftballons," by Nena
From CNN: "In the lyrics, a boy and girl innocently release a batch of balloons into the air; confused by these flying objects, international governments panic, triggering a nuclear holocaust. "It's all over and I'm standing pretty/In this dust that was a city," lamented the band's lead singer, Gabriele Kerner."
"A.F.R.I.C.A.," by Stetsasonic
"I know this girl her name is Lola / She lives in a country called Angola / Her president's name is Dos Santos / and a man named Savimbi playin' him too close / She says hey brother, our country's in a war, we are / fighting rebels backed by Pretoria..." The lyrics refer to South Africa's war of "debstabilization" against its neighbors, primarily Angola, Mozambique, and Zimbabwe, plus the SWAPO insurgency in South West Africa (later Namibia). This war had a heavy Cold War angle, as these black-ruled "frontline" states were supported to varying degrees by the Soviets, the Cubans, and the Chinese; the western powers attempted to counter communist influence while holding the pariah apartheid regime at arms' length. ("Savimbi" refers to Jonas Savimbi, leader of the Angolan UNITA rebel group that portrayed itself as anti-communist and allied with South Africa).
"American/Soviets," by C.C.C.P.
Features the almost famous intro in which Reagan and Gorbatchev are playing chess in an attempt to solve the problems in a more peaceful way. The lyrics itself were featuring the common statements why nuclear weapons (it's not entirely a nuclear war song!) are not such a good idea etc. Notable is also the attempt to create a hype around this single, as the backcover stated that this track was written by an underground band (namely C.C.C.P.) in Russia and was smuggled then to Germany where it was performed by a project named BEAT-A-MAX who had a few minor club hits itself. The attempt failed in a commercial sense, but 'American/Soviets' became a middle-sized club hit and a sought-after classic.
"Armageddon," by Planet P
Pretty much everything from Planet P was along this theme. Additionally, the concept album "Pink World" dealt with pre and post apocalyptic society.(mostly famous for the 1983 single "Why Me?" which was in heavy rotation on MTV. See http://everything2.com/index.pl?node_id=924640
"Ask," by The Smiths
Because if itTMs not love Then itTMs the bomb, the bomb, the bomb, the bomb, the bomb, the bomb, the bomb That will bring us together
"Ataque Preventivo de la URSS," by Polanski y el Ardor
The quintessential 1980s, after-punk, Cold-War, *Spanish* song: "USSR Pre-emptive Strike". NATO, the Warsaw Pact, Yaklovev 8s and the Orinoco River all senselessly mixed up as only lyrics in the Chrome Decade were able to do.
"Back to the U.S.S.R," by The Beatles
Early song, which accentuates on the contrast between The United States and the Soviet Union, depicting that "bipolar world"
"Balls to the Wall," by Accept
It may be cheezeball metal, but it's definitly an Anti Cold War/ Berlin Wall song.
"Berlin (watching the wall)," by Berlin
Sitting in Berlin ,Watching the wall, doin it all in my head. Thinking of everything for maybe the last time Cigarettes one by one...... Great song-great lyrics-Berlin -Young Warrior Album Freedom Records
"Between the War," by Billy Bragg
A song about a miner complaining about the arms industry and a government that supports it.
"Blackened," by Metallica
It is a thrash metal anti-war song from the 1988 ... And Justice For All album, which is basically a more intelligent update of their older track from the 1984 Ride the Lightning album, "Fight Fire with Fire". Both songs refer to the threat of nuclear annihilation from the Soviet Union. "Fire, to begin whipping dance of the dead. Blackened is the end. To begin whipping dance of the dead. Color our world Blackened."
"Bonzo Goes to Bitburg," by The Ramones
Recorded by The Ramones in protest of Ronald Reagan's visit to a soldier's cemetery in Bitburg, West Germany in May 1985. The visit had been criticised in Europe as well as in the United States because 49 members of the SS, the Nazi paramilitary organization that helped run the extermination camps during World War II, were buried there. Some of SS members buried at Bitburg came from units that committed atrocities, including the murder of American POWs. Joey Ramone, who was Jewish, had started on the song lyrics after being almost physically sickened by the Reagan visit, feeling that the President had disrespected the six million victims of the Holocaust by visiting Bitburg.
"Breathing," by Kate Bush
A song about nuclear holocaust and fallout in particular: "Last night, in the sky, Such a bright light. My radar send me danger But my instincts tell me to Keep Breathing" and later in the song "We've lost our chance, we're the first and last, After the blast, Chips of Plutonium are twinkling in every lung. I love my beloved. All and everywhere, Only the fools blew it, You and me knew life itself is breathing."
"Bullet the Blue Sky," by U2
The song was originally written about the United States' military intervention during the 1980s in the El Salvador Civil War. Bono was thinking of American President Ronald Reagan as he sang "This guy comes up to me / His face red like a rose on a thorn bush / Like all the colors of a royal flush / And he's peeling off those dollar bills / Slapping them down."
"Burning Hearts," by Survivor
Two worlds collide Rival nations It's a primitive clash Venting years of frustrations Bravely we hope Against all hope There is so much at stake Seems our freedom's up Against the ropes Does the crowd understand? Is it East versus West Or man against man Can any nation stand alone CHORUS In the burning Heart Just about to burst There's a quest for answers An unquenchable thirst In the darkest night Rising like a spire In the burning heart The unmistakable fire In the burning heart In the warriors code There's no surrender Though his body says stop His spirit cries - never! Deep in our soul A quiet ember Know it's you against you It's the paradox That drives us on It's a battle of wills In the heat of attack It's the passion that kills The victory is yours alone CHORUS (sing chorus 3 times) In the burning heart
"A Call To Arms," by Mike and the Mechanics
Not sure but I think this is a cold war song also. Believe it goes "...crystalys the pain behind your eyes are you ready to fight....run for your life. In other words I hope and pray that time and tide was the hate away. A simple man with the same simple voice who well turn to force as a last resort.
"China White," by Scorpions
"How long will it take to make the world a flaming star? How long will it take till they will stop their senseless wars? How long will it take till everybody will understand That we need, that we need to fill our hearts with love again?
"Christmas at Ground Zero," by Weird Al Yankovic
A Weird Al song about the possibility of nuclear war at Christmas time
"City Of Night (Berlin)," by Peter Schilling
This song seems to sound like he is singing about the cold war ("tell me, what will be your final row"?). This song was on a 1985 album by Schilling called "Things To Come", it then reappeared on a compliation of his songs called "The Different Story" that was released in 1989.
"Cold War Love," by unknown
In a cold war love theres no winners, or losers, only cheaters and users... A light rock - pop song, I do not think it was the Devo one above.
"Cold War," by DeVo
Much just the name and the vibe of the song. I mean c'mon listen to it and try to shoot somone. "a boy and girl two seperate worlds, the endless tug-of-war"-- everyone knows that the cold war was started over sexist parties!
"Cold War," by Styx
Album: Kilroy was Here ITMm tired of your psychology To bring me to my bended knees And if I could only talk to you I'm sure that I could make you see 'cause time has a way Of bringing even mountains down, down, down Storm clouds are coming I suggest you head for higher ground I say you're a thing of the past And you ain't gonna last No matter what you say or do It's all caught up to you You're duty-free, you're tax-exempt You party with the president And you dance the dance so naturally Why not believe you're heaven-sent But time has a way of bringing Even mountains down, down, down ThereTMs a storm cloud a-cominTM I insist you head for higher ground You talk talk and you get so intense That you almost make sense And that's what scares me the most You as the host of celebrity lies It's prime time, baby CanTMt you see in my eyes, it's a Cold war-runnin' in the streets Everybody you meet knows ItTMs going down, don't you know Cold war-blowing in the air Everyone everywhere says it's time To get ready for a cold war DonTMt you look now But the skinny boy's becoming a man You say it's the luck of the draw And you can't have it all And I'll die young trying to make it Into something that ain't gonna last You ought to reconsider 'cause I'm coming fast with a Cold war-running in the streets Everybody you meet Know's it's going down, don't you know Cold war-blood is in the air Everyone everywhere says it's time To get ready for a cold war-looking at me From behind every tree ThereTMs a scared man running from a Cold war-don't you look now But the skinny boy's a streetfighting man
"Common Ground," by Goanna
"When mushroom clouds hang overhead, we tuck our children into bed, saying 'this is what we've all been waiting for.'" & "when nations battles rise and fall, love walks slowly by the Berlin Wall". A brilliantly emotive and moving song, by one of the very best ballad / political message bands in Australia in the early - mid 80's. Shane Howard was lead singer of Goanna
"Crazy Train," by Ozzy Osbourne
"Crazy! But that's how it goes! Millions of people living as foes!" or "Heir of the Cold War, that what we've become!"
"Crossfire," by Scorpions
This is a blatant cry for the superpowers to listen to their own people who don't want to fight a war and who live in the crossfire - not only would all people be affected by WWIII, but even a conventional war would have been devestating to Germany, where the Scorpions hailed from.
"Cult Of Personality," by Living Colour
I think this song may be covered under Cold War songs, but it makes reference to Communism more than anything.
"Dancing on the Berlin Wall," by Rational Youth
It's also from the Cold War Night Life album, in which Montreal-based syth poppers mined their Kraftwerk collection for some cool basslines and dark themes.
"Dancing With Tears In My Eyes," by Ultravox
"The man on the wireless cries again It's over, it's over" "We drink to forget the coming storm"
"Dancing With Tears In My Eyes," by Ultravox
Dancing with tears in my eyes Weeping for the memory of a life gone by It's five, and I'm driving home again It's hard to believe that it's my last time The man on the wireless cries again It's over, it's over (chorus) It's late, and I'm with my love alone We drink to forget the coming storm We love to the sound of our favorite song It's over, it's over..... You just have to see the video!
"De Bom [= Dutch; the bomb]," by Doe Maar
Why bother making a career, working at your future, running to buy a pocket diary - before the bomb falls? id' rather get to know you, before it's too late.
"Der Kommissar," by After The Fire
This song was actually originally written by Falco,in German, and reportedly had more of a story to it than the After the Fire version. The Kommissar was a censor type person in communist East Germany.
"Der Kommissar," by Falco / After The Fire
" This song was actually originally written by Falco,in German, and reportedly had more of a story to it than the After the Fire version. The Kommissar was a censor type person in communist East Germany. " Nonsense. Falco had originally written this song for an Austrian crime comedy series of ORF (Austrian radio and television station), "Kottan ermittelt". The mentioned Kommissar was a kind of choleric loser who didn't even managed to get a cup of coffee from the vending machine (it was a kind of running gag through the series...the coffee machine acted like a gambling machine for example), not even to fire the main person Kottan (Austrian cop) who made 'the Kommissar' flying from one choleric rage into the next. After this episode featuring this song was broadcasted in Austria (Germany followed later), it soon became what it was...a #1-hit. The lyrics itself dealed with drugs (no pun intended).
"Der Kommissar," by Falco
One little comment, a Kommissar was not a censorship-type person in communist East Germany, but a police detective. The term "Kommissar" basically describes a police detective in German.
"Dominion/Mother Russia," by Sister Of Mercy
Album Floodland
"Double Life," by Styx
Quoting song: "The other side of the Berlin Wall is Not far enough to avoid the call Somebody knows, somebody's seen Somebody knows right where you've been And that you're just Leading a double life Friends in the daytime, strangers at night Leading a double life Can it be wrong when you know that it's right?" This at least mentions spies and the Berlin Wall - just in this passage. Do I really need to say more? (But also, think of the time frame. It's from the early 80s!)
"The Earth Dies Screaming," by UB40
The lyrics of this song says it all
"Eastern Bloc (from Astronauts and Heretics)," by Thomas Dolby
This is a "whatever happened to...years later" type of sequel to "Europa and the Pirate Twins".
"Everybody Wants to Rule the World," by Tears for Fears
Welcome to your life Theres no turning back Even while we sleep We will find you Acting on your best behaviour Turn your back on mother nature Everybody wants to rule the world Its my own design Its my own remorse Help me to decide Help me make the most Of freedom and of pleasure Nothing ever lasts forever Everybody wants to rule the world Theres a room where the light wont find you Holding hands while the walls come tumbling down When they do Ill be right behind you So glad weve almost made it So sad they had to fade it Everybody wants to rule the world I cant stand this indecision Married with a lack of vision Everybody wants to rule the world Say that youll never never never never need it One headline why believe it ? Everybody wants to rule the world All for freedom and for pleasure Nothing ever lasts forever Everybody wants to rule the world
"Every Breath You Take," by Police
The song IS a reference to the Cold War. I would agree with the comment on it being "WRONG" except that Sting himself said it in a recent interview.
"Every Breath You Take," by The Police
At first I thought this was a love song, but I heard on the radio one day that it was actually about cold war spies... "Every breath you take, every move you make, I'll be watching you"

WRONG! This is a song Sting wrote after his first wife left him. Why else would he be talking about his "poor heart breaks"
"Everyday is Like Sunday," by Morrissey
Trudging slowly over wet sand Back to the bench where your clothes were stolen This is the coastal town That they forgot to close down Armageddon - come Armageddon! Come, Armageddon! Come! Everyday is like Sunday Everyday is silent and grey Hide on the promenade Etch a postcard : "How I Dearly Wish I Was Not Here" In the seaside town ...that they forgot to bomb Come, Come, Come - nuclear bomb Everyday is like Sunday Everyday is silent and grey Trudging back over pebbles and sand And a strange dust lands on your hands (And on your face...) (On your face ...) (On your face ...) (On your face ...) Everyday is like Sunday "Win Yourself A Cheap Tray" Share some greased tea with me Everyday is silent and grey
"Fight Fire With Fire," by Metallica
Do unto others as they've done to you But what the hell is this world coming to? Blow the universe into nothingness Nuclear warfare shall lay us to rest Fight fire with fire Ending is near Fight fire with fire Bursting with fear We all shall die Time is like a fuse, short and burning fast Armageddon is here, like said in the past Fight fire with fire Ending is near Fight fire with fire Bursting with fear Soon to fill our lungs the hot winds of death The gods are laughing, so take your last breath Fight fire with fire Ending is near Fight fire with fire Bursting with fear Fight fire with fire x8 Fight!
"Fight Fire With Fire," by Metallica
Do unto others, as they have done to you, but what the hell is this world coming to? Blow the universe into nothingness, nuclear warfare shall lay us to rest. Fight fire with fire, ending is near. Fight fire with fire, bursting with fear. We all shall die!
"Fighting for the Earth," by Warrior
Noir metal, with a positive message. Virgin/MCA Records release, 1985.
"Final Countdown," by Europe
You have this song under "Cold War". This song is not about the Cold War, it was a tribute song to the Challenger Disaster.
"Final Countdown," by Europe
"Forever Young," by Alphaville
No other song will ever match the message of the Cold war as this one, further their "Summer In Berlin" wrote about the then split germany. Forever young was #1 all over Europe from Portugal in the West, England in the North to Russia in the East.
"Forty Years," by Joe Jackson
The lyrics talk about how the Allies stuck together during World War II -- the title refers to the fortieth anniversary of the end of the war -- and contrast that camaraderie with the tensions between the former Allies in the 1980s.
"Games Without Frontiers," by Peter Gabriel
About the balance of power, mainly in Europe. "If looks could kill, they probably will. In games without frontiers, war without tears."
"Generals And Majors," by XTC
Calling generals and majors,generals and majors everywhere,your world war three is drawing near.
"Glad Its All Over," by Captain Sensible
submarines in the harbour, in cognito, submarines of your dreams, not mine,
"Gods of War," by Def Leppard
Anti-nuclear war/Cold War song found on Leppard's "Hysteria" album. Ironically, this song follows "Armageddon It" on that album, a song that actually has nothing to do with nuclear war at all but sounds like it does!
"Gods of War," by Def Leppard
Has voice-overs of Reagan and Thatcher. Lyrics include: When we all fall down When we walk into silence When we shadow the sun When we surrender to violence Oh! Then the damage is done Put away that gun! I don't wanna be there I don't wanna be anywhere Oh! We're fightin' for the gods of war but what the hell we fightin' for? We're fightin' with the gods of war but I'm a rebel And I ain't gonna fight no more
"Going Under," by Devo
I'm going under, down under where the lights are low, to a place where all the mutants grow. Voluntary experimentation, Going through soft-core mutation. (In an interview they stated it was about the Cold War.)
"A Great Day Of Freedom," by Pink Floyd
About the Wall falling down.
"Guerilla Soldier," by Gowan
With it's focus on jungle fighting, this is a Vietnam song on the face of it, but the references to the "Big Red Machine" and "would be a shame to see, should one of them lose" show that it is also about the larger Cold War rivalries fuelling what otherwise would have been a minor Asian civil war.
"Hammer to Fall," by Queen
"For we who grew up tall and proud, in the shadow of the mushroom cloud..."
"A Hard Rain's A Gonna Fall," by Bob Dylan
Another song about nuclear holocaust: "I saw a newborn baby with wild wolves all around it I saw a highway of diamonds with nobody on it, I saw a black branch with blood that kept drippin', I saw a room full of men with their hammers a-bleedin', I saw a white ladder all covered with water, I saw ten thousand talkers whose tongues were all broken, I saw guns and sharp swords in the hands of young children, And it's a hard, and it's a hard, it's a hard, it's a hard, And it's a hard rain's a-gonna fall."
"Heresy," by Rush
"All across that dull gray world from Moscow to Berlin"... "walls go tumbling in"... "the counter-revolution people smiling through their tears, who will gaive them back their life and all those wasted years -who will pay" (Just some lines from this lyrically charged song written by Neil Peart reflecting on the collapse of Communism in Eastern Europe.)
"Heroes," by David Bowie
I heard that this song is about two lovers from opposing sides of Berlin. Someone who knows more about it, please comment.
"Holiday in the sun," by Sex Pistols
"I'm looking over the wall and theyre looking at me" At the end of the song, J. Rotten says "I wanna go under the berlin wall, please dont be waiting for me"
"I Don't Wanna Be a Hero," by Johnny Hates Jazz
"Oh send off to war with a gun in my hand / but I wont pull the trigger / our destiny is here / with the red, white, and blue / so lead me to the slaughter / I..dont wanna be a hero, I dont wanna die for you /and what if I fail? / will you put me in jail? / for a muder I will not commit?"
"If I Had A Rocket Launcher," by Bruce Cockburn
If I had a rocket launcher, I'd make some son of a b***** pay.
"If I Had A Rocket Launcher," by Bruce Cockburn
If I had a rocket launcher, I'd make some son of a b***** pay.
"If I Had A Rocket Launcher," by Bruce Cockburn
If I had a rocket launcher, I'd make some son of a b***** pay.
"In the Burning Heart," by Survivor
From Rocky IV, Involved Rocky versus a Russian with the lyrics "Is it East Versus West, or Man against Man"...
""It's a Mistake"," by Men at work
"Don't try to say you're sorry, "Don't say he drew his gun, "They've gone and grabbed old Ronnie," "He's not the only one saying..."
"Ivan Meets G.I. Joe," by The Clash
""I was only 19"," by Redgum
A huge hit in Australia. Recorded in 1983. Based around the experiences of an Australian Vietnam vet who stepped on a landmine and lost a leg in 1969 - "Frankie kicked a mine the day that mankind kicked the moon". An amazing song - worth researching and listening to - especially if you want to see the war from a perspective other than an American viewpoint. A massive hit in Australia. Very powerful.
"Khe Sahn," by Cold Chisel
"I left my heart to the sappers round Khe Sanh And my soul was sold with my cigarettes to the blackmarket man I've had the Vietnam cold turkey From the ocean to the Silver City And it's only other vets could understand" An Australian classic. The title is a Vietnam 1968 battlefield - where no Australians fought... it was an American firebase! Seems to have captured a feeling for the times of the late 1970s and early 1980s, especially as a growing acceptance of Vietnam veterans took hold in Australia. Written by Don Walker, released in 1978. Technically not a song of the '80s but became a "pub rock" standard of the 1980s in Australia - sung loudly and often drunkenly across Australia throughout the 1980s! A Cold war ballad deserving recognition in this list.
"Killer Of Giants," by Ozzy Osbourne
If None Of Us Believe In War Then Can You Tell Me What The Weapon's For? Listen To Me Everyone If The Button Is Pushed There'll Be Nowhere To Run Giants, Sleeping Giants Winning Wars Within Their Dreams 'till They Wake When It's Too Late And In God's Name Blaspheme Killer Of Giants Threatens Us All Mountains Of Madness Standing So Tall Marches Of Protest Not Stopping The War Or The Killer Of Giants The Killer Of Giants Mother Nature, People State Your Case Without Its Worth Your Seas Run Dry, Your Sleepless Eyes Are Turning Red Alert Killer Of Giants Threatens Us All Mountains Of Madness Standing So Tall Rising So Proudly, It Has Nowhere To Fall This Killer Of Giants This Killer Of Giants, Yeah Killer Of Giants Threatens Us All Mountains Of Madness Standing So Tall Marches Of Protest Not Stopping The War Or The Killer Of Giants Oh, The Killer Of Giants Killer Of Giants Killer Of Giants
"Komrade Kiev," by Corey Hart
Depicts the life of a soviet citizen under communist rule in the 1980's
"Land of Confusion," by Phil Collins
The song is about Ronald Reagan and his role in the world. Reagan harkned us back to a time we had forgotton, a peacful time and hence, today (the 80's) we live in a land of confusion due to the changes in the world.
"Lawyers in Love," by Jackson Browne
I'm thinking this song was also sort of about the end of the world. The line is "The Russians esacaped while we weren't watching them, like Russians do."
"Lay Your Weapons Down," by RKL
"Can't you learn from history? / Aint no reason to resort to WWIII"
"leningrad," by billy joel
"Lenningrad," by Billy Joel
"I was born in 49, a cold war kid in Mcarthy time, stop em at the 38th parallel blast those yellow reds to hell, cold war kids were hard to kill under their desks in an air raid drill." Another phrase says "Hid in the shelters underground 'til the soviets turned their ships around and tore the cuban missiles down and in that bright October sun we knew our childhood days were done." Also 'We didn't start the fire' by Billy Joel has little bits here and there.
"Lets Go All The Way," by Slyfox
The song was about going all the way with war, check out the video!
"Let's Talk About It," by Dweezil Zappa (Moon Unit Zappa vocals)
We're still making weapons to protect us from you-know-who/ One guy throws a switch/ We all die, nothin' you can do/ Capitalism, Communism, Freedom, they're all words, do we know what they mean? It just depends how you use them/ If there's a right way it remains to be seen...etc.
"Let Them Come to Berlin," by The Weatherman
80s Techno song that uses exerpts of JFK's "Ich Ben Ein Berliner" speech
"Let The Music Lift You Up," by Reba McEntire
This was a country song that had a hint of Cold War protest in the lyrics "We don't have a curtain made of iron or stone and we are not divided by a wall..."
"Listen," by Tears for Fears
Mother russia badly burned...children lick your wounds
"Living Through Another Cuba," by XTC
"London Calling," by The Clash
London calling to the faraway towns Now that war is declared-and battle come down.... The ice age is coming, the sun is zooming in Engines stop running and the wheat is growing thin A nuclear error, but I have no fear....
"Looking for Freedom," by David Hasselhoff
He sang this song in Berlin as the wall fell.
"Madame Medusa," by UB40
Scathing lyrics about the "Iron Lady" Margaret Thatcher, included as a 12" with the first album.
"Miss Gradenko," by Police
From Synchronicity, about repression in the Soviet Union (Don't tell the Director I said so/but are you safe, Miss Gradenko?")
"Modern Day Cowboy," by Tesla
This is a song that is about nothing but the cold war and Ronald Regan as the "Modern Day Cowboy" So here we are and we've come this far, but it's only getting worse Foreign lands with their terrorist demands, only cost a good heart The U.S.A., the U.S.S.R., with their six-guns to their side I see the message written on the wall, to my chain-gun deep insideBang bang, shoot 'em all, bang bang, blow you away It's a showdown in the no man's land, for the cowboy of the modern day Come a sundown, don't be hangin' round, 'cos the cowboy'll blow you away
"Moonlight and Vodka," by Chris DeBurgh
A vignette of a disillusioned spy in Moscow.
"Mother Russia," by Iron Maiden
About the oppression of the citizenry there; made in 1990 just before the collapse of the Soviet Union, from the No Prayer For The Dying album, and lyric-wise almost equal to the Sting song Russians.
"Mother's Pride," by George Michael
"Mother's Talk," by Tears for Fears
"When the wind blows and the Mother's Talk/When the wind blows/We can work it out." Check the video
"New Frontier," by Donald Fagen (formerly with Steely Dan)
Heck, the whole darn song... and the video as well. Classic 1950's take on the Cold War... (but the song came out in the 80's).
"New Year's Day," by U2
"Under a blood red sky A crowd has gathered in black and white Arms entwined, the chosen few The newspapers says, says Say it's true it's true... And we can break through Though torn in two We can be one" and "And so we're told this is the golden age And gold is the reason for the wars we wage" Another great example of Cold War themed video.
"Nikita," by Elton John
The singer is in love with a Russian border guard (at least in the video!)
"Nikita," by Elton John
This one's about the barrier that existed between the two parts of Europe during the cold war. Nice video!
"Nineteen," by Paul Hardcastle
Don't know lyrics or artist but the video had a caption at beginning that nineteen was the average age of a soldier This song was a hit on MTV.
"Nineteen," by Paul Hardcastle
This song is about Vietnam, as I recall. The average age of American soliders was 19, a point the song repeatedly made.
"Nineteen," by Paul Hardcastle
While undoubtedly the song is Cold War oriented, the basic premise is inaccurate. The average age of an American soldier in Vietnam was in fact 22! (This clearly doesn't fit the tempo of the song... "Twe-twe-twe-twe - twenty-two twenty-two" doesn't quite cut it!)This is still pretty young - by comparison, the song correctly points out, in WW2 the average age of American soldiers was 26. Just thought you'd like to know... The song also argues that the arrest rate of Vietnam Vets is twice as high as thos who didnt serve in Vietnam. Other studies contend it is actually lower for vets than for non-vets. Paul Hardcastle seems to have played hard and fast with the facts here...
"No More Tears," by Ozzy Osbourne
No More Tears is one of the best songs that Ozzy sung in the 80's
"No More War," by Bronski Beat
"Nuclear War," by Sun Ra
""One Night in Bangkok"," by Murray Head
Released in 1984. Part of the concept album and show "Chess" which centred around a semi-fictional chess tournament between an American and a Soviet champion (consider these to be thinly veiled references to Garry Kasparov - Soviet - and Bobby Fischer - American). The song is sung from the persepctive of the "Fischer" character. The game of Chess was considered a metaphor for the Cold War and was in actual fact a point of Cold War rivalry between the superpowers. The song itself is more about comparisons between chess games and more sensual pleasures of the flesh in Bangkok however.
"One of Our Submarines," by Thomas Dolby
Wonderful paranoid feeling
"One Thing Leads to Another," by The Fixx
The deception with tact, just what are you trying to say? You've got a blank face, which irritates Communicate, pull out your party piece You see dimensions in two State your case with black or white But when one little cross leads to shots, grit your teeth You run for cover so discreet, why don't they: Do what they say, say what you mean One thing leads to another You told me something wrong, I know I listen too long But then one thing leads to another. The impression that you sell Passes in and out like a scent But the long face that you see comes from living close To your fears If this is up then I'm up but you're running out of sight You've seen your name on the walls And when one little bump leads to shock miss a beat You run for cover and there's heat, why don't they: Do what they say, say what they mean One thing leads to another You told me something wrong, I know I listen too long But then one thing leads to another One thing leads to another Then it's easy to believe Somebody's been lying to me But when the wrong word goes in the right ear I know you've been lying to me It's getting rough, off the cuff I've got to say enough's enough Bigger the harder he falls But when the wrong antidote is like a bulge on the throat You runs for cover in the heat why don't they Do what they say, say what they mean One thing leads to another You tell me something wrong, I know I listen too long But then one thing leads to another One thing leads to another (Repeat)
"Operation: Mindcrime ," by Queensryche
The whole album deals with the cold war!

Album: Operation Mindcrime

"Ordinary People," by The Box
"Over de Muur," by Klein Orkest
This song is about the Berlin Wall and divided Berlin. It describes both sides of Berlin after 40 years of divided Berlin. "Only birds are flying from East to West Berlin" "because sometimes the want to be in West and sometimes in East" "because there's bread sometimes at the Gedachtniskirche, sometimes at the Alexanderplatz"
"Party At Ground Zero," by Fishbone
Johnnie go get your gun, for the commies are in our hemisphere today. Ivan go fly your mig, cause the yankee imperialists have come to play
"Peace Sells But Who's Buying?," by Megadeth
Definitely strikes a note about the arms race, and how here in America killing people(especially Communists back in the 80's) is more in demand than making peace
"People are People," by Depeche Mode
Kinda obvious especially with the video of all the marching Russian soldiers and straight forward anti -war lyrics.
"Planet Earth," by Duran Duran
"look now look all round there's no sign of life..." this is actually inspired by the "day after"
"Power And The Passion," by Midnight Oil
"Flat chat, Pine Gap, in every home a Big Mac And no one goes out back, that's that" Pine Gap is a US military spy base in Australia which would be (even now!) a prime Russian target in the event of a nuclear war.
"The Powers That Be," by Rodger Waters
This song, along with many others on the album, I feel are cold war inspired.
"Put Down That Weapon," by Midnight Oil (1988)
The "harbour town" is Sydney and "the grey metal ships" are US ships coming to Australia full of nuclear weapons. New Zealand said no to these ships yet Australia allowed them entry. There is no mention of submarines in this song.
"Radio Free Europe," by R. E. M.
Radio free Europe was propoganda put out by the CIA to former Soviet Bloc countries. The operation was terminated August 92.
"Radio Silence," by Boris Grebenshikov
At the tail end of the 80s, Russian Rock star Boris Grebenshikov, from the group Akvarium, had his chance at an international career wrecked... in collaboration with 80s dude Dave Stewart, who produced Grebenshikov's failed album. In the title track from that album, Radio Silence, BG sings about how great it is to finally be able to get out into the West and tell us a few stories. Technically, then, it's an end-of-the-cold-war song.
"Red Lenses," by Rush
"The Soviets are the blues - the reds".
"Red Rain," by Peter Gabriel (1986)
"Red Rain....Red Rain...Red Rain is falling down, falling down all over me..."

If that doesnt say it all, what will?

"Red Skies," by The Fixx
"Rhythm Of Youth," by Men Without Hats
I think this song is really about the cold war from the lyrics about the army and how "You've got your own committment,your own complaints , your own religion"
"Rockabye Baby," by Roger Waters
"I stood in the wings, our lives in the hands of some second-rate actor, holding the high ground on some big stage." A definite reference to Ronald Regan. This song was feature on the animated anti-war film "When the Wind Blows."
"Rocking in the Free World," by Neil Young
Got fuel to burn, got roads to drive.
"Ronnie Talk To Russia," by Prince
From the Controversy album, it says it all "ronnie talk to russia before its too late, before they blow up the world." references to guerillas, an overall great cd with sexy and funky tracks, circa 1981
"Russian Radio," by Red Flag
"Russian Roulette," by Accept
"Wargames - killed in action Wargames - for satisfaction" "That's what you like to do To treat a man like a pig"
"Russians," by Sting
Not just about nuclear war though, this one touches more on the rhetoric that went back and forth, "Mr. Krushev says we will bury you, I don't subscribe to that point of view"
"Russians," by Sting
Talks about tensions between the US and Russia during the Cold War- The best song on the Cold War I'v ever heard.
"Rust in Peace... Polaris," by Megadeth
This whole song screams Cold War, WWIII and the idea of a nuclear holocaust, right after the triggering of the first atomic bomb.
"Saturdays in Silesia," by Rational Youth
Canadians will probably be the only ones who remember this song from the album "Cold War Night Life". This 1982 tune was inspired by the famous Lech Walesa-led strike at the Gdansk Shipyard in Poland. Many of you may remember the popular t-shirts of the time with "Solidarity" printed on them.
"Seconds," by Human League (from the album DARE)
"The shot that was heard around the world For a second. It took seconds of your time to take his life, It took seconds"
"Seconds," by U2
In an apartment on Times Square, You can assemble them anywhere. Held to ransom, hell to pay, A revolution everyday. USSR, GDR, London, New York, Peking. It's the puppets, It's the puppets who pull the strings.
"Showdown at Big Sky," by Robbie Robertson (1987)

"Can't predict the future, Can't forget the past, Feels like any moment Could be the last

All you believers Standing inside this room Can't you see it coming Shooting out across the moon

Save this place In the valley of tears By the river of time From weapons race In the Book of David In the holy night

When it's laid to waste It will be written By the children of Eden I said save this place And the Holy Ghost..."

This song has it all. It talks about the fear of the future or the fear of a lack of one. It talks of the predictions in the Bible and how everything is coming together. The showdown between the two big super powers that affect every village and every nation.
"Silent Running," by Mike and the Mechanics
"Small World," by Split Enz
"It's common knowledge, satellite looks on and a Russian man is sent to spy upon us"
"So Afraid of the Russians," by Made for TV
Surely the title says it all, but: "They've got ships at sea / Planes in the air / Tanks on the border of Europe / And spies everywhere"
"Soviet Snow," by Shona Laing
We're wide awake, and the world is aware. Radiation over Red Square
"Stand or Fall," by The Fixx
"Crying parents tell their children If you survive don't do as we did A son exclaims there'll be nothing to do to Her daughter says she'll be dead with you While foreign affairs are screwing us rotten Line morale has hit rock bottom Dying embers stand forgotten Talks of peace were being trodden"
"State Of The Nation," by Industry
Lyrics say it all. "I see them marching off to war / they're looking so heroic / Ten thousand gone and won't return...this war has nothing to do with us..."
"They Want War," by UDO
A pacifist song by the german vocalist Udo Dirchsneider from Accept
"Throwing Stones," by Grateful Dead
Commissars and pin-stripe bosses Roll the dice. Any way they fall, Guess who gets to pay the price. Money green or proletarian gray, Selling guns 'stead of food today.
"The Tide is Turning," by Rodger Waters
"Time Zones," by Negativland
"Toy Soldiers," by Martika
I am a friend of Dave Macias who played guitar on the album for Martika and is a personal childhood friend of hers. He told me the song is about drug addiction and how it sneaks up innocently enough and then and ends up killing (Toy Soldiers).
"Toy Soldiers," by Martika
You kinda got it wrong. This song has nothing to do with the Cold War, it's about cheating on your partner. In an interview shortly after the song, she was upset that some italian company had translated it to be an anti-drug song, but it was never about war.
"Toy Soldier," by Martika
"Two Minutes to Midnight," by Iron Maiden
Refers to the symbolic "Doomsday Clock".
"Two Minute Warning," by Depeche Mode
We're lying by the orange sky Two million miles across the land Scattered to the highest high Expect they'll either laugh or cry No sex, no consequence, no sympathy You're good enough to heat Two minute warning Two minutes later When time has come My days are numbered The dawning of another year Marks time for those who understand One in four still here While you and I go hand in hand No radio, no sound, no sin, no sanctuary So welcome to your last Two minute warning Two minutes later When time has come My days are numbered The sun, the solitude, the cemetery So welcome to your last Two minute warning Two minutes later When time has come My days are numbered *From the album "Construction Time Again," 1983.
"Two Monstrous Nuclear Stockpiles," by Discharge
Pretty straightforward lyrics & title: "Should East and West be ever divided Resigned to livin', livin' in fear"
"Two Suns in the Sunset," by Pink Floyd
I suffer premonitions/confirm suspicions/of the holocaust to come/the sun is in the east/even though the day is done/two suns in the sunset/could be the human race is run/As the windshield melts/and my tears evaporate/leaving only charcoal to defend/finally I understand/the feelings of the few/ashes and diamonds/foe and friends/we were all equal in the end
"Two Tribes," by Frankie Goes To Hollywood
"Two tribes go to war," but then add in the video, in which the American and Soviet leaders duke it out . . .
"Two Tribes," by Frankie Goes To Hollywood
"When two tribes go to war, money is all that you can score. Cowboy #1, a born-again poor man's son." is Probable reference to former President Reagan. The music video for this song had Reagan and Gorbachev violently duking it out in a boxing match. Classic cold-war angst.
"Two Tribes," by Frankie Goes To Hollywood
When two tribes go to war...
"Two Tribes," by Frankie Goes to Hollywood
Memorable video with Reagan and Andropov wrestling.
"Underneath the Radar," by Underworld
"between the walls but hey we're just too small to make a fuss about it. If something falls well, hey what is the point of losing sleep about?" "We dance underneath the radar, we live underneath the barbed wire"
"Under Pressure," by Queen & David Bowie
I have never gotten the impression this song was about the cold war. Everythng I have ever heard or read suggested it was about "closet" homosexuals - the pressure of dealing with "coming out". Lyrics like "It's the terror of knowing What this world is about Watching some good friends Screaming let me out!" would support that argument.
"Under Pressure," by Queen and David Bowie
"Under Pressure," by Queen/David Bowie
The person suggesting this is NOT a Cold War song is creative in suggesting it's about wishing to 'Come Out' as a gay person. However, most of the comments that the Band made publically back up the interpretaion that it was representational of the growing sense of panic the election of Ronnie "I'vbe got my finger on the button' Reagan in the US and Margaret Thatcher in the UK. It was only a couple of years later that we got a TV miniseries called THE DAY AFTER. The Video also backs up the intepretation that we should fear an over-mechanized world on the brink of destruction. That said, it is interesting that UNDER PRESSURE preceeded the AIDS Crisis by only a short while. When the song came out, AIDS was still referred to as G.R.I.D or Gay-Related Immune-Deficiency. I say both interpretations are valid!
"US Forces," by Midnight Oil
"Bombs and trenches all in rows Bombs and threats still ask for more Divided world, the CIA" "L. Ron Hubbard can't save your life Superboy takes a plutonium wife In the shadows of Ban the Bomb we live"
"The Visitors," by ABBA
This song is the title track from ABBA's 1981 album. According to band member Bjorn Ulvaeus, the lyrics reflect the situation in many Eastern European countries at the time, where the threat of being hunted down by the secret police was very real. The song itself opens with the narrator hearing "the doorbell ring and suddenly the panic takes me. A sound so ominously tearing through the silence" and gets steadily darker before ending with the words: "I have been waiting for these visitors. Help me." It is also implied (in the second verse) that this character was involved with a dissident group.
"The Walls Came Down," by The Call
The title... and somewhere in the lyrics are the words "aint no Russians and there aint no yanks", or something to that effect.
"The Wall," by Pink Floyd
The Wall is actually about Rodger Waters alienation with the audience. He built a wall between himself and the audience onstage. He had a nervous breakdown soon after. Cool music though.
"War Baby," by Tom Robinson (1984)
The lyrics mention, "Another 10 years ...." and "Armageddon".
"Warhead," by U.K. Subs
"The soldiers of Islam are loading their guns / they're getting ready / But the Russian tanks are mowing them down..."
"War Party," by Eddie Grant
You invite me to a War Party / me no wanna go / Everybody seems to be inviting me to a / War Party / me no wanna go Heard about the last one, no thanks, but no thank you... ___________ This song didn't draw too much attention at the charts, but it has one of the most meaningful lyrics I've ever heard.
"The War Song," by Culture Club
War war is stupid And people are stupid And love means nothing in some strange quarters War war is stupid And people are stupid And I heard them bamging on hearts and fingers
"The War Song," by Culture Club
"War," by Frankie Goes To Hollywood (1984)
Cover of the Edwin Starr classic.
"We Didn't Start The Fire," by Billy Joel
Heavy focus on events in the Cold War, even though it is a list not explaining them...Roy Cohn, Juan Peron, Sputnik, Chou-Enlai, Bridge On The River Kwai
"When the Children Cry," by White Lion
No more presidents and all the wars would end
"When The Walls Came Tumbling Down," by Def Leppard
"Some said it was the aftermath of the radium bomb" - kinda says it all, don't you think?
"When the Wind Blows," by David Bowie
This song released in 1986 by David Bowie talks about the cold war and the people who were involved in it.
"Why Cant We Live Together," by Mike Anthony
"Wild Wild West," by Escape Club
"Sitting in the back room waiting for the big boom" "Gotta live it up, live it up, Ronny's got a new gun."
"Wind Of Change," by Scorpion
Yes, but this song is from the album Crazy World, which was released in 1990, so it cannot be a 80's song.
"Wind of Change," by Scorpions
About the end of the cold war and the fall of the Berlin Wall...fitting, since the Scorpions were a German group.
"Wind of Change," by Scorpions
From Wikipedia: Wind of Change" is a 1990 power ballad written by Klaus Meine, vocalist of the Scorpions. It appeared on their 1990 album Crazy World, but did not become a worldwide hit single until 1991, when it topped the charts in Germany and across Europe, and hit #4 in the United States and #2 in the United Kingdom. It later appeared on 1995 live album Live Bites, on their 2000 album Moment of Glory, with the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, and on their 2001 unplugged album Acoustica. "The band also recorded a Russian-language version of the song, under the title 'е,ер Перемен (Veter Peremen) and a spanish version called Vientos de Cambio, also played by Medina Azahara. "The lyrics celebrate the political changes in Eastern Europe at that time " such as the fall of the Berlin Wall, the increasing freedom in the communist bloc (which would soon lead to the fall of the USSR), and the clearly imminent end of the Cold War. "Many listeners of the song who are not acquainted with Moscow are often confused by the meaning of the opening lines of the song, which are: I follow the Moskva Down to Gorky Park Listening to the wind of change "The Moskva is the name of the river that runs through Moscow, and Gorky Park is the name of an amusement park in Moscow. Scorpions were inspired to write this song on a visit to Moscow in 1989, and therefore included references to the aforementioned landmarks." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wind_Of_Change
"Word of Mouth," by Mike and the Mechanics
Now the world is getting older, there's a few things to be said. Do you believe the things they told you? Do you believe the things you've read? There's a rumour on the corner; but it's always been denied, coz they don't want you any wiser. You're just toeing the Party line. From the West side to the East side. etc.
"You're The Voice," by Heart
Actually, This is a John Farnham's song from 1987. Heart version is just a cover. A Nice cover, but Farnham's is also incredible. You can also find the extraordinary vocal work of this australian singer in many Little River Band's albums. Specially the song 'We Two'. He's The Best, He's The Voice! So, this are the first lines of 'You're the Voice' "We have the chance to turn the pages over We can write what we want to write We gotta make ends meet, before we get much older We're all someone's daughter We're all someone's son How long can we look at each other Down the barrel of a gun?"
"You're The Voice," by Heart
Heart perfomed the song You're the Voice. If you watch the music video you can clearly see that song is about the cold war ending. Listen to the lyrics, they are clearly saying "Hey the cold war is over".
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