A religious — Russian, Orthodox, choral, submarine, nuclear — oddity rebuked

[ by Charles Cameron — this post models the transition from nuclear threat to celestial peace — a transition our poor minds surely, sorely need ]


I’m very fond of sacred choral music, and the Orthodox sacred choral music of Russia can be beautiful indeed. Some of that beauty can be heard in this performance in the Cathedral of St. Isaac in St Petersburg, which drew a standing ovation and sustained applause just a week ago:

The Eparchy, or ecclesiastical authority, however, “eventually” expressed displeasure with the event. One might wonder why?

Radio Free Europe’s report provides the answer:

The song’s first verse describes a nuclear submarine with “a dozen little bombs of 100 megatons each” crossing the Atlantic.

“I call to the targeting officer,” the lyric goes, “‘Take aim, Petrov, at Washington!'”


While we can still draw breath, you at least deserve a taste of Russian chant of the kind targeted at the heart of God:

3 comments on this post.
  1. Charles Cameron:

    Our friend Cheryl Rofer commented on Twitter that there’s much to say about this nuclear-armed submarine song, and if she gets the chance I’d be delighted to read her further comments, either here or at Nuclear Diner. She also suggested:

    Probably the best instant response is Veljo Tormis’s “Curse Upon Iron.” It takes a different viewpoint. You can hear the air raid sirens at one point.

    Warning: it’s a Latvian Curse upon Iron, and starts quite loud.

    You can find the lyrics here.
    Thanks, Cheryl.

  2. Ornamental Peasant:

    Another point, made by the EU Disinformation web site, is that the Soviet Union never possessed a 100 megaton device. The largest was the 50 megaton Hydrogen Bomb Tsar-Bomba, approximately 1500 times more powerful than the weapon used on Hiroshima. Even the ‘Tsar-Bomba’ was militarily useless, it was too heavy for any aircraft with sufficient range to drop it on an enemy.

  3. Charles Cameron:

    Thanks as always, Michael.