Thursday, October 7

"With God on Our Side"

You know this song by Dylan always powerfully effected me. The first time I heard it I was just shocked by the power and the truth. As I listened more and learned the lyrics it became anthemic! I would scream the lyrics as powerfully as I could to match the fire with which Dylan was spitting out the words (hmmph, I sound like a kid but I was in my 20s when I first heard and learned this song).

Now, listening to Buddy Miller sing this song (it's on what will be considered one of the best albums of the year: Universal United House of Prayer) I can't help but cry. The song is so disturbingly true in this day and age, with our Born Again president and the Muslim terrorists. Dylan's lyrics are unparalleled and Buddy's delivery is as passionate as any I've heard.

Oh my name it is nothin'
My age it means less
The country I come from
Is called the Midwest
I's taught and brought up there
The laws to abide
And that land that I live in
Has God on its side.

Oh the history books tell it
They tell it so well
The cavalries charged
The Indians fell
The cavalries charged
The Indians died
Oh the country was young
With God on its side.

Oh the Spanish-American
War had its day
And the Civil War too
Was soon laid away
And the names of the heroes
I's made to memorize
With guns in their hands
And God on their side.

Oh the First World War, boys
It closed out its fate
The reason for fighting
I never got straight
But I learned to accept it
Accept it with pride
For you don't count the dead
When God's on your side.

When the Second World War
Came to an end
We forgave the Germans
And we were friends
Though they murdered six million
In the ovens they fried
The Germans now too
Have God on their side.

I've learned to hate Russians
All through my whole life
If another war starts
It's them we must fight
To hate them and fear them
To run and to hide
And accept it all bravely
With God on my side.

But now we got weapons
Of the chemical dust
If fire them we're forced to
Then fire them we must
One push of the button
And a shot the world wide
And you never ask questions
When God's on your side.

In a many dark hour
I've been thinkin' about this
That Jesus Christ
Was betrayed by a kiss
But I can't think for you
You'll have to decide
Whether Judas Iscariot
Had God on his side.

So now as I'm leavin'
I'm weary as Hell
The confusion I'm feelin'
Ain't no tongue can tell
The words fill my head
And fall to the floor
If God's on our side
He'll stop the next war.

Words and Music by Bob Dylan
1963 Warner Bros. Inc
Renewed 1991 Special Rider Music
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