They said protect and you'll survive-- (but our postman didn't call)
8lbs. of over-pressure wave seemed to glue him to the wall
They said protect and you'll survive

E.M.P. took out the radio-- (and our milk-man didn't call)
Flash blinded by the pretty lights, didn't see his bottles fall
Or feel the warm black rain arrive

Big friendly cloud builds in the West (and our dust-men haven't called)
They left the dual carriageway at a hundred miles an hour--
A tail wind chasing them away

And in deep shelters lurk below, sub-regional control
Who sympathize but cannot help to mend your body or your soul
Self-appointed guardians of the race with egg upon their face
When steady sirens sing all-clear they pop up, find nobody here

And so I watch two new suns spin-- (our paper man doesn't call)
Burnt shadow printed on the road-- now there's nothing there at all
They said protect and you'll survive

Lyrics submitted by inpraiseoffolly

"Protect and Survive" as written by Ian Anderson

Lyrics © BMG Rights Management

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Protect and Survive song meanings
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    Song Meaning"Protect and Survive" was a set of public information issued by the British government in the 1970s and 1980s, giving advice about preparations in case of nuclear war. The song contrasts the promise implied ("They said protect and you'll survive") with the reality of nuclear war, illustrated by the destruction of all the people who formed part of the British daily routine - the postman, the milkman, the dustmen (refuse collectors), the postman - each of whom fails to show up at the expected time, having been gruesomely killed by the effects of the nuclear attack - "eight pounds of over-pressure wave", "flash-blinded", reduced to a shadow on the road, or blasted off the road by high winds.

    "... in deep shelters left below, sub-regional control ..." refers to the network of underground Sub Regional Control (SRC) centers, bunkers from which the British civil service ("self-appointed guardians of the race") was supposed to run Britain in the aftermath of a nuclear attack.
    slamon December 21, 2011   Link

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