In the 1950s, the USA was embarked on a huge programme of nuclear weapons testing. Huge areas of land around Los Alamos, New Mexico were dedicated to this cause. The USA exploded hundreds of Bombs during this period.
This song by Tom Lehrer is in the style of a sentimental western ballad like "Home on the Range", but it deals with the Wild West of the A-Bomb testing era. The typical western scenery is contrasted with less desirable features like radioactivity, spying and security clearances.
The US nuclear programme was intended to defend the American way of life against Soviet Russia- strange to note that they ran the risk of damaging the most typical American scene in the process.
Along the trail you'll find me lopin'
Where the spaces are wide open,
In the land of the old A.E.C. (yeeeea-hah!)
Where the scenery's attractive,
And the air is radioactive,
Oh, the wild west is where I wanna be.
Mid the sagebrush and the cactus,
I'll watch the fellas practice
Droppin' bombs through the clean desert breeze.
I'll have on my sombrero,
And of course I'll wear a pair o'
Levis over my lead B.V.D.'s.
Ah will leave the city's rush,
Leave the fancy and the plush,
Leave the snow and leave the slush
And the crowds.
Ah will seek the desert's hush,
Where the scenery is lush,
How I long to see the mush-
'Mid the yuccas and the thistles
I'll watch the guided missiles,
While the old F.B.I. watches me. (yeeeea-hah!)
Yes, I'll soon make my appearance
(Soon as I can get my clearance),
'Cause the wild west is where I wanna be.
Tom Lehrer- lyrics appear with his written permission. First appeared on "Tom Lehrer Revisited
" (1960). CST Approved