"Lives In The Balance" as written by and Jackson Browne....
I've been waiting for something to happen
For a week or a month or a year
With the blood in the ink of the headlines
And the sound of the crowd in my ear

You might ask what it takes to remember
When you know that you've seen it before
Where a government lies to a people
And a country is drifting to war

There's a shadow on the faces
Of the men who send the guns
To the wars that are fought in places
Where their business interests run

On the radio talk shows and TV
You hear one thing again and again
How the USA stands for freedom
And we come to the aid of a friend
But who are the ones that we call our friends?
These governments killing their own?
Or the people who finally can't take anymore
And they pick up a gun or a brick or a stone

And there are lives in the balance
There are people under fire
There are children at the cannons
And there is blood on the wire

There's a shadow on the faces
Of the men who fan the flames
Of the wars that are fought in places
Where we can't even say the names

They sell us the president the same way
They sell us our clothes and our cars
They sell us everything from youth to religion
The same time they sell us our wars

I want to know who the men in the shadows are
I want to hear somebody asking them why
They can't be counted on to tell us who our enemies are
But they're never the ones to fight or to die

And there are lives in the balance
There are people under fire
There are children at the cannons
And there is blood on the wire


Lyrics submitted by DHMachine31

Lives In The Balance song meanings
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8 Comments

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  • 0
    General CommentWow, can't believe nobody has commented on this song. Sure, it wasn't written specifically to target Bush, but it fits pretty damn well. The original album version is OK, but the new acoustic version kicks ass.
    lastelement21on January 10, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI agree. What Jackson Browne was singing in the 1980s still rings true today.
    mark36on March 27, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Comment"But there never the ones to fight or to die" - Bush took a duty as a national guardsmen so he wouldn't have to die for his country, something he claims to be the essence of patritiosm. And then he has the audactiy to send other young kids to die when he was to cowardly to do it himself.
    Tmo2199on May 06, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentDoes the phrase history repeats itself mean anything to anyone?
    boltauon July 02, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song also rings pretty true with what many people would consider "conspiracy theory." The people with money and influence are the ones who run things behind the scene. There are people who profit off of the wars, and who influence who becomes presidential canidates with their own hand.

    This song rings so true.
    WanderingHypocriton December 21, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentAt the time this was writen, I thought it was about the US supporting dictatorships in Latin America - anyone remember El Salvador, the Contras, or 9-11 of 1973 in Chile?

    The places may have changed, but not much else.
    jimqukon January 12, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song is timeless -- the mark of a truly gifted writer.
    KellyBoon September 04, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI like that he had the boldness to mention the SHADOW GOVT. Altho, he must not really take that to heart, or he'd realize that Dems and Repugnants are flip sides of the same coin. He wouldn't be campaigning for Edwards and Obama. Waste of time, IMO. The agenda goes forward no matter which party is in power. i.e. no balanced budget, LOL. Obama is furthering the war, not bringing guys home.

    Wish he'd give up on his alignment with 1 of the 2 parties...waste of time!

    I want to know who the men in the shadows are
    I want to hear somebody asking them why
    phxvalleygirlon September 17, 2009   Link

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