"God Made the Automobile" as written by and Samuel Ervin Beam....
God made the automobile to pass all the pretty girls
The smoke by the side of the road, the blues lovin' boys in tow
To drive to the end of the day and bow to a borrowed flag
To ride all the brave and the blind, and men without men in mind

To pass all the things He made and then never bothered to name
And no one will tell the truth, and no one will hide it from you
Like birds around the grave

God made the automobile and I made a little boy
To pass on the blissfully young, the snake with a forked tongue
To praise on the wanting for time, and makes in the sleepless waves
The fear of the Black and the Jew, and blood for the camera crew

And passes the things He made and then never bothered to name
And no one can tell the truth, and no one can hide it from you
Like birds around the grave


Lyrics submitted by Mellow_Harsher, edited by BlimeyMe

"God Made the Automobile" as written by Samuel Ervin Beam

Lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.

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God Made the Automobile song meanings
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8 Comments

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  • +3
    General CommentI'll be the first to admit that I don't fully comprehend this song, but I've always gotten the impression that it was commentary on Southern culture and racism. It's important to remember that Sam Beam grew up in Columbia, SC. I think so much of his music deals with the conflicted feelings of growing up in the South. He clearly loves the South.His musical stylings are born of a Southern folk tradition. His lyrics carry a very Southern flavor, i.e. "This Solemn Day" and "Calm on the Valley". Yet the things he loves about the South are inseparably coupled with blatant hypocrisy and gross injustice.

    I think the "borrowed flag" mentioned in the first stanza refers to the Confederate Battle Flag, aka "the rebel flag". The Battle Flag was intended to represent the belief that the states' right of self-determination takes precedence over federal authority, but over time has been misconstrued or "borrowed" to represent racism and "redneckism" (I can't think of a better term). The line "the fear of the Black and the Jew, and blood for the camera crew" also points to racial issues.

    Okay, I'll get off my soapbox now.
    praguevolkon October 14, 2010   Link
  • +2
    General CommentI'd say its definitely not sarcasm. I think this song is primarily pointing to the fact that reality (all of God's creation) is at its core not subject to concepts or judgments. The terrible things are inseparable from the wonderful things and are really only "terrible" or "wonderful" as much as we attach those ideas to them.

    I would paraphrase the chorus as "The world is as it is, God never bothered to name a thing, and the truth cannot be spoken but only experienced for yourself"

    Very Zen.
    mtndew00on August 11, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI'm pretty sure the lyrics for the first verse are this:

    God made the automobile to pass all the pretty girls
    That smoke by the side of the road, their blues loving boys in tow
    To drive till the end of the day and bow to a borrowed flag
    Beside all the brave and the blind, and men without men in mind

    They are just minor differences but I think they could be significant when interpreting the lyrics. Which I'm not doing, because I'm clueless about the meaning to this song.
    KEskimoon September 02, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI don't think it is sarcasm. It seems to be more of a statement against that theistic view. The line "God made the automobile and I made a little boy", couldn't be the other way around, because it's HIS kid. God either made both, or neither. He says, throughout the whole song, that this creation leads to so many terrible things. It's interesting that his claims about these things are very negative, it ironically seems to be more about either God's or man's wrong doings and destruction, not their creations.

    God made the automobile...to ride all the brave and the blind, and men without men in mind.
    AndrewScottYoungon June 27, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentAgree with mtndew00...

    "And no one will tell the truth, and no one will hide it from you
    ...
    And no one can tell the truth, and no one can hide it from you
    Like birds around the grave"

    Such beautiful lines. People won't tell the truth, nor can they. We have our ideas, and our names, and our borrowed symbols....all lies. But they also can't hide the truth from you. You're free to see God's nameless creations as they are.
    pbankaon April 01, 2010   Link
  • 0
    Lyric CorrectionKEskimo is correct on the lyric correction. Also in the third stanza, "to pass on the blissfully young" should be "to pass ALL the blissfully young".
    praguevolkon October 14, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentMy very favorite lyrics of all time are in this song. Such poignant feeling, and without the least bit of pretense or guile. Beam is a courageous a writer as any I've known. For a blonde southern white man to so delicately voice notions that could easily have been misunderstood and rendered him as a bigot takes true character and vision, and the confidence in his convictions. This song made me want to be a song writer again, and I am forever grateful for that. And people never tell you the truth, nor do they hide it. Like Birds. ....
    computanton January 10, 2015   Link
  • -1
    General CommentI love how he uses Sarcasm...... Of course God did not make the automobile...instead he uses it as sarcasm....cuz all we can do is blame god for everything and not ourselves... hence God made the Automobile and I made A little boy....it should be the other way around.....
    manuelturcioson January 17, 2008   Link

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