Got my finger on the trigger
But I don't know who to trust
I look into your eyes
There's just devils and dust

We're a long, long way from home, Bobby
Homes a long long way from us
I feel a dirty wind blowing
Devils and dust

I got God on my side
I'm just trying to survive
What if what you do to survive kills the things you love
Fears a powerful thing
It can turn your heart black you can trust
It'll take your God filled soul
Fill it with devils and dust

Well I dreamed of you last night
In a field of blood and stone
The blood began to dry
The smell began to rise

Well I dreamed of you last night
In a field of mud and bone
Your blood began to cry
The smell began to rise

I got God on my side
We're just trying to survive
What if what you do to survive kills the things you love
Fears a powerful thing
It'll turn your heart black you can trust
It'll take your God filled soul
Fill it with devils and dust

It'll take your God filled soul
Fill it with devils and dust

Now every woman and every man
They want to take a righteous stand
Find the love that God wills
And the faith that He commands

I've got my finger on the trigger
And tonight faith just ain't enough
When I look inside my heart
There's just devils and dust

I got God on my side
And I'm just trying to survive
What if what you do to survive kills the things you love
Fears a dangerous thing
It'll turn your heart black you can trust
It'll take your God filled soul
Fill it with devils and dust

It'll take your God filled soul
Fill it with devils and dust


Lyrics submitted by Good OL MC

Devils & Dust song meanings
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    General CommentThis is a really broad song that can mean a lot to a lot of people.

    The "take a God filled soul" part is what is interesting. Here is someone who is religious, who has done all this praying, all his Bible reading or confession or whatever. Yet, he feels at the end. It could be a priest whose secret lover or wife (if he were Anglican or Orthodox) died. It does not have to be about a soldier. The wonderful thing about the Boss is how almost all his songs mean so much to different people. The song "American Skin (41 Shots)" was about whom? The police who each day have to make that horrible call IF it was a wallet or a gun? I don't know if he was sure or is even sure himself what his songs mean. Like all the great poets he gives even the most personal of songs like "Born to Run" a broad meaning that I used to identify with "Born to Run" to the point of obsessing, being a "bad boy" and taking off in my '67 Dodge Dart.

    So, what is he getting at here? This is a man at the breaking point. He has a gun. He might be suicidal, or he might be homicidal. I think he is probably one or the other. Yet, it does sound military when he uses the words "every woman and every man" lyrics, a common thing politicians say about the military..although it is interesting that "women" is first.

    Who is Bobby? Bobby can be a woman's name for Roberta. Usually it is spelled "Bobbi", but who knows? It could be his buddy in the trenches. It could be him talking to he gay lover who just died.

    The one thing I do know is this song has religious overtones, like almost all of Bruce's songs. "Devils and Dust" feels like an empty field in Kansas, empty field in the heart and soul, a man pushed past the point of his breaking point, even though he though his religion would somehow protect him. So much for the power of prayer, this man reflects. We do know he has a gun in his hand, but even that can be metaphorical or symbolic.

    All I know is this man is deeply religious and his religion has utterly failed him, and now his mind and soul are simply empty, empty, empty as can be. I've had a few days like that. I do think religious people can relate to this song better, as we have experienced when it seems like the whole idea of the "power of prayer" is just utter bullshit, and life is a joke, and not worth living anymore.

    A deeply religious man might literally believe he is filled with devils. Most Orthodox and Catholic traditions still teach about invisible spiritual warfare. He is obviously losing this warfare.

    Just because a war is going on and the artist is a known social activist doesn't mean his poetry means the same to all people. People have guns for all kinds of reasons. But, this is dark and deep poetry, and this was his best album since Nebraska hands down.

    And, Nebraska was his best album, hands down. It's a shame that men like Springsteen and Neil Young and Dylan like noise so much...just my opinion.
    smythadpon August 27, 2013   Link

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