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With God on Our Side

Patriot Game - Dominic Behan
(„The Times They Are A-Changin'”, 1964 Columbia)
słowa i muzyka: Dominic Behan 1960 / Bob Dylan 1963
Patriot Game, the original, as written and performed by 
Dominic Behan 1960. The melody and lyrical structure was used 
by Bob Dylan in crafting With God On Our Side, first performed 
April 1963. Behan's original contains two versus not sung by the 
Clancy Brothers in their popuar version.
C   F  e   F e G7 C
               C                   F  e 

Oh my name it ain't nothin'

         F   e    G7     C

My age it means less

          F     e  G C

The country I come from

       F                      C

Is called the Midwest

        F         e      G        C

I's taught and brought up there

         F            C

The laws to abide

                                         F    e

And that the land that I live in

           F    e  G7 C

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's made to memorize

With guns on 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.


When 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 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 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.

Patriot Game - Dominic Behan
With God On Our Side {Live at Town Hall 1963} (23/25) - Elston Gunn

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. Dylan is known to sing the song only rarely in concert.
The lyrics generally address the notion of humans that God or some other higher power(s) invariably sides with them and opposes those with whom they disagree, and thus they don't question the morality of wars fought and atrocities committed by their country. Dylan mentions various wars and events from United States and world history, 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.
Radio personality Tim Riley once wrote: „'With God on Our Side' manages to voice political savvy mixed with generational naivete” as it „draws the line for those born long enough after World War I to find its issues blurry ('the reasons for fightin'/I never did get') and who view the forgiveness of the World War II Germans as a farce.”

Dylan claims „With God on Our Side” is an entirely original composition, however, its melody very strongly resembles that of „The Patriot Game”, a song with lyrics written by Dominic Behan and a melody borrowed from the traditional Irish folk song „The Merry Month of May”. Behan called Dylan a plagiarist and a thief, but Dylan never responded to Behan's claims.
In the introduction to the song at the Newport Folk Festival in 1963 Dylan has the following to say, „Yeah. You know, Jean Redpath sang a song here awhile ago which I heard Liam Clancy sing about two years ago and I was listening to her sing it and I thought that I never, uh, I thought I wrote this song called With God On Your Side. And it must have somewhere stayed in the back of my mind hearing Liam Clancy singing The Patriot Game.”
Dylan was familiar with „The Patriot Game”, having first been introduced to the song by Scottish folksinger Nigel Denver. Scottish writer and folksinger Jim McLean said he remembers Dylan asking him in late 1962: „'What does it mean, 'Patriot Game'?'…I explained--probably lectured him--about Dr. Johnson, who's one of Dominic's favorite writers, and that's where Dominic picked up [the] saying: 'Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel.'”


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