Malvina Reynolds: Song Lyrics and Poems  

I'm Apathetic

Notes: words and music by Malvina Reynolds; copyright 1960 by author, 1963 by Schroder Music Company.

The world’s best brains have banded together--
On each side of the curtain, that is--
To plan extermination for the whole population,
And to give little me the biz.
With the fallout and the chemical warfare,
They’ve gone all out, only the best will do.
It’s all so suicidal that I find myself idle
When I should be joining in the hullabaloo.

I’m apathetic, I don’t know what’s the matter;
C.D. officials are turning gray.
Civilian defense doesn’t wow me somehow:
I’m a little apathetic today.

They tell you to dig yourself a great big hole,
Take the whole family underground,
And the dogs and the cats, the kettles and the mats,
And anything else that you have around.
You’ll have to take a cow to save for the babies,
A couple of chickens and a plot of grass,
You’ll be safe, you can trust, from atomic dust--
The stuff that will get you will be poison gas.


The air is full of automated bombers,
Labs produce cans of concentrated death,
So I’m to get injections to stave off the infections--
When it gets too bad I can just hold my breath.
I don’t know why they’re picking on a fellow
To compete with the army, the navy and marines.
I wish they’d leave the germs and the atoms and the worms,
And go back to digging some nice latrines.


The diplomats don’t seem to know their business,
I can get on better with the man next door,
We can manage fine without the concrete doghouse,
The world can get along without atomic war.
I could get excited over co-existence,
Peace walks, peace talks, that’s a good way,
But for jumping in a hole with my old bed-roll,
I’m a little apathetic today.

Malvina Reynolds songbook(s) in which the music to this song appears:
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Malvina Reynolds recording(s) on which this song is performed:
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