Humorist Tom Lehrer finds the silver lining in nuclear destruction!
Nuclear war would kill us all, but at least, unlike an adversarial war, we would all be doing something in common. Dying!
The 1959 song is touching on the concept of mutually assured destruction, early considered here by Frankie Goes To Hollwood’s Two Tribes, and Dawn of Correction by The Spokesmen. It is the premise that countries won’t start a nuclear war because they will be destroyed, too.
In the 1980s, “Star Wars” technology was touted as a way to get around this, by using satellites and other weaponry to shoot down incoming nuclear missiles. Twenty-first century worries about “rogue states” possessing nuclear weapons has revived some interest in this gambit.
Bob Dylan sang just a few years later, similarly, in Let Me Die in My Footsteps – that he would face nuclear fallout before hiding in a fallout shelter.