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The Cesium Rag

February 27, 2012

Hot music gets hotter

What’s that stuff arrivin’ on the wind from the west?
It’s radioactivity! (Or hadn’t you guessed?)
Hot stuff a-headin’ for your gut and your chest —
Addin’ up hourly,
Grimly and sourly!
Look at how it’s spreadin’ out all over the world,
Headin’ your way with its banners unfurled,
High aloft by hydrogen explosion hurled —
Doin’ the Cesium Rag!

What’s accumulatin’ in the walls of your heart,
Knockin’ your cardiac rhythm apart?
Products of the fuel pool designer’s art,
Kickin’ your ticker right
Into arrythmia!
You’re gonna have to live with them as long as you can,
Every girl and boy and every woman and man,
Looks as if your life’ll have a truncated span —
Doin’ the Cesium Rag!

Radiation readings are a-makin’ you grieve.
Isotopes are clingin’ to your collar and sleeve.
Watch kilobequerels the atmosphere leave
And drop isotopic harm
Onto a dairy farm!
There a-concentrated in the milk and the cheese,
Emitters’ll move into your body with ease,
Hastening the day when vital functions cease,
Doin’ the Cesium Rag!

What’s accumulatin’ in your mouth and your lung,
Givin’ you an icky metal tang on your tongue,
All around the world by Fukushima flung,
Makin’ you unfit
for human consumption? It’s
Easy to approximate the total for
Exposure cumulative from a dusty floor,
Just add the 137 to the 134 —
Doin’ the Cesium Rag!

Coughin’-and-wheezium —
Worse’n magnesium —
Doin’ the Cesium Rag!

(c) 2012 David Ritchie

(Based in Seoul, Korea, David Ritchie hopes that dark humor in light verse will make a point which sober rhetoric seems unable to convey. If any musician would like to contribute a melody to these lyrics, then please contact David at We might come up with something that could go viral.)

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