Sunday, November 29, 2009

Take This Tune

Jamie posted Joan Baez singing "Diamonds and Rust" for her meme this week. I chose Joan Baez, too, but she's singing "With God On Our Side," written by Bob Dylan. It's an anti-war song and the video is from 1966 the year I got married during a terrible time of protest and fear.

My husband, Vinny, was classified "1Y" during the Vietnam War which meant he was qualified for military service only in time of national emergency. He had a torn knee ligament which he lives with to this day. Obviously he never had to serve.

My nephew, Jim, came to spend Thanksgiving with us this year and we were delighted. He dressed for the day in blue shirt and kahki pants. He asked if he should wear a tie. He's blond, blue-eyed and takes after his father, my brother, in that regard. Jim, has been home two years since he went to fight in Iraq as a U.S. Marine. He's studying Arabic language and culture now at university and hopes to join the FBI or the State Department when he graduates next year.

Now putting all this together listen to Joan Baez sing, but open your hearts to the men and women who serve and defend our country. Be against war but for our armed forces. Be proud of those who go in harm's way to defend us.

With God On Our Side

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 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
I'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.

In a 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.

Copyright ©1963; renewed 1991 Special Rider Music


carol g said...

The wonderful thing about blogging is that there is no right or wrong. There are just amazingly brilliant people with amazingly brilliant thoughts and obsevations. Thank you for sharing yours with us.

Jamie said...

Mary, I mentioned that I got an IPOD for an early present. One of the first songs loaded in was Joan Baez and "With God On Our Side". A great choice. Coming from a military family, I know that the person who hates war most is the career soldier.

My best wishes for success to your nephew. We certainly need all the linguists we can get if only to talk first and shoot later (much later).

Thérèse said...

A very moving song. We went to listen to Joan Baez last February...

Bond said...

A beautiful song indeed...

♥ Kathy said...

Love that song. I was born during Vietnam (my father served and my mother served at home) and have several family members that have served our country in Iraq.

Babs-beetle said...

One of my old favourites! I had this record and a friend (I use the word loosely) borrowed it and returned it unplayable!