Ray Anderson: “Stalin Kicked the Bucket” (1953)

Ray Anderson (1924-2010) was an American country singer, known for his distinctive voice and ‘hillbilly’ music. Anderson was born to a poor family in West Virginia and served in the United States Air Force during World War II. After the war, he worked in radio in his home state, becoming a program director and disc jockey.

Anderson also wrote and performed his own songs. One of them, recorded in 1953, was titled Stalin Kicked the Bucket, a cheerful if unnerving celebration of the death of Joseph Stalin earlier that year.

In 1957, Anderson also recorded Sputniks and Mutniks, a song expressing concern that the Soviet space program was years ahead of the United States’. He became an ordained preacher in the 1960s and turned his focus toward gospel music.

Old Joe kicked the bucket, he’s long gone
He won’t worry us from now on
He lived in a place they call Moscow
His number came up and he had to go

Yes, old Joe’s dead and gone
He stayed around too long
And nobody now can save his hide
‘Cause old Joe laid right down and died

Old Joe won’t worry us no more
He killed the helpless by the score
Now I hope he’s satisfied
Since old Joe’s taken his last ride


While near the end, he couldn’t talk
He’s paralyzed and he couldn’t walk
He died with a hemorrhage in the brain
They have a new fireman on the devil’s train


Although he was a man of power
He was scared of Eisenhower
So now the devil can retire
‘Cause old Joe Stalin will keep the fire


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