Slim Gaillard: “Atomic Cocktail” (1945)

Slim Gaillard (1916-91) was a London-born American jazz singer, songwriter and bandleader. Gaillard became popular in the 1930s and 1940s, chiefly for his smooth vocals and clever and often humorous lyrics. Atomic Cocktail was released in late 1945 by Gaillard’s Quartette, just weeks after the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. It was one of the first songs to express quiet concern about this powerful new weapon:

It’s the drink that you don’t pour
Now when you take one sip you won’t need anymore
You’re small as a beetle or big as a whale
Boom! Atomic Cocktail.

Causes a splash all around the place
When you see it coming, grab your suitcase
It’ll send you through the sky like airmail
Boom! Atomic Cocktail.

[Instrumental break]

You push a button, turn a dial
Your work is done for miles and miles
When it hits it’s bound to shake
‘Cause it feels just like an earthquake.

That’s the drink that you don’t pour
When you take one sip you won’t need anymore
If you’re as small as a beetle or big as a whale
Boom! Atomic Cocktail.

Content on these pages is © Alpha History 2019. Songs are hosted on Youtube and the copyright for music and lyrics is retained by its original creators and/or rightsholders. For more information please refer to our Terms of Use.