A Song for Nagasaki… and Hiroshima.

One of the things we hope to achieve with All That Remains, is to bring the story of the atomic bombings more into popular culture, so more people are made aware of these events.

With that in mind, we thought we’d post a blog about how the atomic bombings of Nagasaki and Hiroshima have been remembered in popular music through the decades…

THE BELLS OF NAGASAKI (Nagasaki No Kane) was written by poet, Hachiro Sato for the 1950 movie of the same name. It became one of the most enduring hits of the decade in Japan and was even played daily on the speakers at the train station in Nagasaki.


Wishful Thinking’s HIROSHIMA album was first released in the UK on the B&C label in 1971.

Initially the album made little impact however, in 1978, the album was re-released by Global Records and sold well in excess of 1,000,000 copies in Germany, where it remained in the charts for 41 weeks. It has since gone on to become the 17th bestselling single in Germany since charts began.

In 1990 it provided German singer Sandra with one of her biggest hits, when she released the song on her fourth studio album Paintings in Yellow.


ENOLA GAY is a song by British synthpop band Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark (OMD). It was written by front man Andy McCluskey and was released as a 7″ single on 26 September 1980. ENOLA GAY reached number 8 in the UK charts and topped the charts in Portugal and other European countries. An early version with a slightly different arrangement appears on the group’s Peel Sessions 1979–1983 album.


English punk rock band, Crass released the single NAGASAKI NIGHTMARE on their own label, back in 1981.


In 2002 Bryan Ferry released his album Frantic which included the track, HIROSHIMA, written by Bryan Ferry and Eurthmics Dave Stewart and inspired by the 1959 movie, Hiroshima mon amour. It features Jonny Greenwood of Radiohead on guitar.


HIROSHIMA-NAGASAKI RUSSIAN ROULETTE was original written and performed by American folk singer, Jim Page. It was later covered by Irish folk singer Christy Moore who in 2007 was named as Ireland’s greatest living musician in RTÉ’s People of the Year Awards.


More recently…

A THOUSAND PAPER CRANES is a track from the album, Walking Cloud and Deep Red Sky, Flag Fluttered and the Sun Shined  by Japanese experimental rock band Mono, released in 2004. The album comes with origami paper and instructions on how to fold a paper crane.

The song is inspired by the true story of 12 year old Sadako Sasaki, who after being diagnosed with “atomic bomb disease” (leukemia), turns to her native Japanese beliefs and makes one thousand paper cranes so the gods will grant her wish to be well.


A Thousand Suns by American rock band Linkin Park was released on September 10, 2010, under Warner Bros. Records. The album’s title comes from the Hindu Sanskrit scripture, the Bhagavad Gita:

If the radiance of a thousand suns were to burst at once into the sky, that would be like the splendor of the mighty one,”

A quote made famous by J. Robert Oppenheimer in reference to the atomic bomb, which references the numerous apocalyptic themes of the album.





LOST IN AUGUST is a song that deals with the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, from Japanese Electro / Hip Hop / Rock band, 5th Blood.

Contains language that some people may find offensive.

If you know of any other songs about  the atomic bombings then let us know…

Leave a comment


  1. Here is a song about Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombing from the italian metal band Flashback of Anger. The song is called “Hiroshima & Nagasaki – Is this mankind?” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X6GV0ikrg8s

  2. Rien

     /  September 26, 2016

    Hiroshima Album: Utopia from Todd Rundgren.

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