Roy Acuff: “Advice to Joe” (1951)

Roy Acuff was an American country singer. Born in Tennessee, Acuff rose to fame at Nashville’s Grand Old Opry in the 1930s. He became enormously popular in the southern United States, drawing huge crowds and earning the epithet ‘the King of Country Music’.

Acuff was also a political figure, a supporter of the Republican Party and, in 1948, an unsuccessful candidate for the governorship of Tennessee.

Three years later, Acuff released a single titled Advice to Joe. Its lyrics contained a stern warning to Soviet leader Joseph Stalin. Should Stalin ever attack the United States, Acuff warned, Moscow would “lie in ashes”. Acuff followed Advice to Joe with a song praising recently dismissed military leader Douglas MacArthur.

There’s a Communist ambition now to rule or wreck us all
With atomic ammunition, they would like to see us fall
Peaceful men of every nation would become as common slaves
We’ll prevent that situation better we shall fill our graves

You will see the lightnin’ flashin’ hear atomic thunders roll
When Moscow lies in ashes God have you mercy on your soul
Here’s a question Mr Stalin and it’s you who must decide
When atomic bombs start falling do you have a place to hide?

Uncle Sam will still be living when the smoke of battle’s o’er
He will make a noose to fit you God will close up Heaven’s door
You’ll come face to face with Satan see the loved ones who have died
So be sure that when bombs start falling that you have a place to hide


Just remember Mr Stalin how we both fought side by side
When Hitler and Mussolini had you whipped and how you cried
Uncle Sammy came to help you gave you strength, we gave you all
And now your great ambition is to see our nation fall


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