0:00 Intro by Citizen Abels
2:22 With God On Our Side
8:35 Outro by Citizen Abels
#BobDylan #JoanBaez #WithGodOnOurSide
There’s a couple of questions to ask about America and the world. In an age of corruption, death, disease, and destruction – amongst other things – The Citizen asks the question: Is God on our side? Bringing in a classic performance by Bob Dylan and Joan Baez at the 1963 Newport Folk Festival of Dylan’s great antiwar song, “With God On Our Side,” and with the same inciteful and insightful commentary that he adds to videos of scantily clad women, Citizen Abels wonders – is all the insanity we produce on our own and that the world produces for us, God’s doing? Or has God left his people to wander so that The Citizen may take them down the path to righteousness. And a good falafel.
Wikipedia writes about “With God On Our Side” as follows (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/With_God_on_Our_Side_(song)):
“With God on Our Side” is a song by Bob Dylan, released as the third track on his 1964 album The Times They Are A-Changin’. Dylan first performed the song during his debut at The Town Hall in New York City on April 12, 1963.
The lyrics address the tendency of Americans to believe that God will invariably side with them and oppose those with whom they disagree, thus leaving unquestioned the morality of wars fought and atrocities committed by their country. Dylan mentions several historical events, including the slaughter of Native Americans in the nineteenth century, the Spanish–American War, the American Civil War, World Wars I and II, The Holocaust, the Cold War and the betrayal of Jesus Christ by Judas Iscariot.
Dylan added an additional verse about the Vietnam War for live versions in the 1980s (one which was recorded by The Neville Brothers) that ran thus:
In the nineteen-sixties came the Vietnam War
Can somebody tell me what we’re fightin’ for?
So many young men died / So many mothers cried
Now I ask the question / Was God on our side?
The words from the song “whether Judas Iscariot had God on his side” inspired Tim Rice to write the lyrics of Jesus Christ Superstar from Judas’s perspective.
Dylan and Joan Baez performed the song as a duet at the Newport Folk Festival in July 1963 and July 1964, and their July 27, 1963 performance was released on Newport Broadside: Topical Songs at the Newport Folk Festival 1963 (Vanguard VSD-79144). The liner notes by Stacy Williams mention Dominic Behan’s “Patriot Game”, which Williams points out that Behan had borrowed from the traditional “The Merry Month of May”. Another live recording of Dylan and Baez performing “With God on Our Side”, recorded on October 31, 1964, can be found on the album The Bootleg Series Vol. 6: Bob Dylan Live 1964, Concert at Philharmonic Hall, released in 2004.
A rare post-1960s performance of the song, recorded on November 4, 1975, with extra lyrics, was included on the bonus disc in the box set The Rolling Thunder Revue: The 1975 Live Recordings (2019). Conversely, Dylan’s performance of the song on the album Bob Dylan Unplugged, released in 1995, significantly omits verses about the Germans and the Holocaust, and the Russians and the Cold War.
“Citizen Abels” – a production of Four Strong Media LLC and The Citizen™ Media Group – is a YouTube show and channel produced, directed, and starring David Abels. You can follow Citizen Abels on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, or visit The Citizen on his website. He’s a got a million stories to tell. And they’re all true.™ Four Strong Media. High art of the lowest order.™ All original material is the respective property of its original producer.
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