Mourning Armageddon

Album: not on an album (2019)

Songfacts®:

  • The Hawaiian slack-key guitarist Makana wrote this song in response to a nuclear alert sent to the island by government authorities on January 13, 2018, warning of a "ballistic missile threat inbound to Hawaii." It was a false alarm, but it caused considerable panic. Makana did some research and learned that nuclear arsenals are far from secure, and that most of the weapons belong to the United States and Russia.

    To see how it looks from the other side, we visited Russia, where he played shows in Moscow and St. Petersburg. While there, he became the first American to visit Bunker 703, a site in Moscow where nuclear weapons were stored during the Cold War. The site had recently been declassified.

    Touring the bunker, inspiration struck, and Makana wrote "Mourning Armageddon" on the spot. "Standing in the tomb-like space, my soul began to cry in the form of song," he said.
  • The music video shows Makana recording the song in the bunker. He did it in one take, coming up with the lyrics on the spot, with the natural echo adding to the ambiance. Other scenes in the video show his journey through Russia.

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