With lyrics by Elton's longtime collaborator Bernie Taupin, this song uses war as a metaphor for a stormy interpersonal relationship. It was the era of the Cold War, when the United States and Russia had nuclear weapons ready for attack. Explosions appear in the song to encourage the theme, and the video opens with the United States president answering his phone near the "button" which would supposedly launch the missiles. The jelly beans he eats are a reference to Ronald Reagan, the real president at the time who enjoyed the treats.
It's a catchy and upbeat tune from a resurgent Elton John, perhaps with an anti-nuclear sentiment similar to "99 Luftballons
," but it couldn't get traction in America, where the song was ignored.