Mourning Armageddon

Album: not on an album (2019)
Play Video


  • 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.


Be the first to comment...

Editor's Picks

Dennis DeYoung

Dennis DeYoungSongwriter Interviews

Dennis DeYoung explains why "Mr. Roboto" is the defining Styx song, and what the "gathering of angels" represents in "Come Sail Away."

Tanita Tikaram

Tanita TikaramSongwriter Interviews

When she released her first album in 1988, Tanita became a UK singing sensation at age 19. She talks about her darkly sensual voice and quirky songwriting style.

The Evolution of "Ophelia"

The Evolution of "Ophelia"Song Writing

How four songs portray Shakespeare's character Ophelia.

Jon Anderson of Yes

Jon Anderson of YesSongwriter Interviews

From the lake in "Roundabout" to Sister Bluebird in "Starship Trooper," Jon Anderson talks about how nature and spirituality play into his lyrics for Yes.

Johnette Napolitano of Concrete Blonde

Johnette Napolitano of Concrete BlondeSongwriter Interviews

The singer/bassist for Concrete Blonde talks about how her songs come from clairvoyance, and takes us through the making of their hit "Joey."

Tom Johnston from The Doobie Brothers

Tom Johnston from The Doobie BrothersSongwriter Interviews

The Doobies guitarist and lead singer, Tom wrote the classics "Listen To The Music," "Long Train Runnin'" and "China Grove."