A Bob Dylan kind of day….

The King is resting, and I am procrastinating on all the sock sorting in the plans. Our bedroom is filled with that crisp, post-rain light that reveals every bundle of dust bordering the stacks of books on the floor.

All in all, it’s a Bob Dylan kind of day- a day that straddles the line between poetry and blues. Listening to Bob is like hearing the story of the last American century in a song. His lyrics offer the best of what living in freedom means- the ability to question official narratives and owe your allegiance to nothing so abstract as a flag. And if “The Death of Emmett Till” doesn’t shake you up a little, then you are only half-alive.

Bob recorded “With God On Our Side” in 1963- and its heartbreaking message echoes today in this light-covered bedroom. Don’t get excited- Bob was not a “pacifist”, which is a pretty rigorous ethical framework- but his “politics” emerged from the attempt to tell our history as it was lived by those Americans rarely included in the official version of events.


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 the 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
l’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

Through 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

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