“Discovering Japan” was the highlight of Graham Parker and the Rumour’s 1979 new wave album, Squeezing Out Sparks. It’s Parker’s own Hiroshima mon amour. I hadn’t thought about the song for a long time, but it seems to evoke the moment:
Her heart is nearly breaking, the earth is nearly quaking
The Tokyo’s taxi’s braking, it’s screaming to a halt
And there’s nothing to hold on to when gravity betrays you
And every kiss enslaves you
She knows how hard her heart grows under the nuclear shadows
She can’t escape the feeling repeating in her head
When after all the urges some kind of truth emerges
We felt the deadly surges
Discovering Japan. . . .
Parker is still out singing it. In the video below, from a performance in Michigan last year, he forgets the lyrics but gets by with a little help from his fans.