Oh my name it ain't nothin'
My age it means less
The country I come from
Is called the Midwest
I was 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

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

The First World War, boys
It came and it went
The reason for fighting
I never did get
But I learned to accept it
Accept it with pride
For you don't count the dead
When God's on your side

The Second World War
Came to an end
We forgave the Germans
And then 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 the Russians
All through my whole life
If another war comes
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 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 a 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
That if God's on our side
He'll stop the next war

Lyrics submitted by Jack, edited by aaron11773

With God on Our Side Lyrics as written by Bob Dylan

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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With God on Our Side song meanings
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  • +7
    General CommentThis songs about how people blindly go to war thinking that its for a good reason (country and religion.) They don't even know what they're fighting for. Plus, everything thinks God is on their side.
    MrMojoRisin5552on May 03, 2002   Link
  • +5
    General Commentguys, come on now, hello? i think we're forgetting that this song was written in the sixties, the point wasn't to be historically fair or even accurate, but to make a point of protestation about what was happening at the time the song was written. to call dylan ignorant is grossly irrational because dylan was not an objective historian, he was a FOLK SINGER IN THE SIXTIES!!!! with a gift for getting a story told and a point across and setting it to music. talk to some people who were in college in the sixties, it was a different time.

    dylan's point about russia and germany is not a commentary on the facts surrounding world war II and the tragedies that occured, but about the nature of politics and the quick shifting of loyalties and how history is told from the perspective of the victors etc etc, if you're focusing in on that one detail you're not seeing the brilliant, ironic forest for the trees.

    the 1964 live version with joan baez and dylan is the best by far.
    uglycellardooron December 23, 2004   Link
  • +4
    General Commentthis is the song that plays in my head everytime george w bush goes into one of his good vs evil diatribes to justify more murder.

    i think god prefers an athiest
    waltflanagansdogon August 28, 2002   Link
  • +2
    General CommentI will, if I may.
    You're totally missing the point. And, at this point, you already know that.
    Dylan doesn't even criticize the Germans
    What he does criticize is the double-standard that led the public opinion to change the way they feel about them once their leaders tell them to do so.
    Of course, forgetting whatever principals that might have led them to feel either way.
    You already know what we all mean, so stop tryin' to pick a cheap fight.
    It's very easy.
    It's not about Jews being victims, or Commies innocent, or Germans being the bad guys.
    It's all about how easily Americans buy the oficial version of the story, and how distracted they are about the obvious truth:
    Going to war to kill in the name of any God-Bad
    DJacques75 listening and enjoying a beautifull Dylan song-Good
    DJacques75 getting lost in the way of petty different versions of "the truth" and totally missing the point-Bad
    cavernon February 03, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General CommentDJacques, the reason he references the holocaust is because it was a GENOCIDE! 20 million died in russia however that was due to selfishness, not the attempted extermination of an entire race and RELIGION (in case you had forgotten the song is about religion). He is commenting on the Christian docterine of repentance and forgiving - the Nazis denounced Christianity and commit crimes against humanity but Germany was instantly forgiven by the pope post 1945. And that aside, as many have pointed out to you, the song was written in 1964, a time when the true facts about Soviet crimes were held by the Soviets and the Soviets alone. In the Soviet verse he is not talking about the Soviets crimes, he is talking about the American/fundemental Christian attitude that 'God hates communism'.

    Oh and by the way DJacques,

    "That Dylan (and, evidently, you) only see Jewish deaths as worthy of recognition says quite a bit about how the American media is stacked"

    - I would prefer if you kept you small-minded anti-semitic views out of the discussion
    unihillon December 31, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General CommentActually, just a minor correction. The Nazis were actually very intolerant christians. Hitler himself was a devout christian who led thousands to believe that Jews were evil based on the bible. However, the anti-semitism has always been present in Europe and probably always will be. Even before the middle ages, Jews were persecuted. So Hitler and his regime were simply a culmination of all the hatred over the centuries. It was horrible and sick and wrong, all done in the sake of christianity
    la_femme_morte89on January 29, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI can't believe that anyone would get bogged down in the semantics of Holocaust death figures... A LOT OF PEOPLE DIED... the song attacks the contradictions and double standards set when the winners write the history books and when war is given false justification to placate the masses
    phatmatt911on May 02, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General CommentDylan is a genius, there's no disputing that.
    But this song really makes a lot of sense, and it's easy to see that it's always been controversial.
    But the point is that God is not to be used to defend or justify war.

    Smile, be happy, thank God you're alive, suck it up, and love everyone.

    jam_stickson December 21, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI don't see how anyone could be confused by this.

    Humans have gotten used to the idea of gods, and the people who are in power convince the masses that the Easter Bunny (God, Zeus, Spaghetti Monster, call him whatever you want) would approve of the torture and murdering of millions of people all in the name of the greater good which is their religion.

    In my opinion religion is the one flaw in the evolution of man, and it will be the death of us all.

    Of course, advances in science could also wipe us out (and obviously have already to a certain extent), but I sincerely believe that "sheeple" blindly growing into who they are based on religion is much more harmful than people actually concerned with finding out what's really going on, and not just blindly accepting fairy tales as fact to explain life's mysteries.

    trousers@verizon.net, let me know if I pissed you off or if I made any sense to anyone

    If your god helps you get through your day, more power to you, but I believe that if you had never heard of "god" that something else in your life would help you day to day in the exact same way (perhaps helping those close to you for the sole reason of it being the RIGHT THING TO DO). And I truly believe the negative effects of religion far outweigh the good, on a global and historical scale at least.

    I hate to be so anti religious, but I sincerely think the time has come for this nonsense to stop and for people to think for themselves. Stop Brainwashing Kids.

    Trouserzon February 10, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think God prefers people not to invoke His name in accomplishing what is antithetical to life. Man oh man, I love the Jesus/Judas Iscariot verse. Buy Bootleg Vol. 6 (it's a live 1964 show in NYC). You get to hear Bob and Joan Baez sing an awesome rendition of this song.
    srh1sonon April 28, 2004   Link

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