Thursday, October 18, 2007

With God On Our Side

One of the best early Bob Dylan tracks is With God On Our Side (buy album) from his third album, The Times They Are A-Changin’ (1964). It’s a powerful song. Read the All Music Guide review here. And if you want more early Dylan, there is a great 1962 radio interview (with many songs performed and a few lies told) here.

Part of Bob Dylan’s genius is knowing when to borrow a good melody or lyric for his own purpose. The musical and lyrical inspiration for With God On Our Side came from an Irish folk song called Patriot Game (buy album). This excellent version is sung by Liam Clancy, of the Clancy Brothers. Liam was a Greenwich Village drinking buddy of Dylan’s during the early 1960’s, and is featured in the Dylan documentary No Direction Home.

You would not expect With God On Our Side to translate well into an 1980’s pop song, but it did. The band Wire Train put a nice version of God On Our Side on their 1985 album Between Two Worlds, which I believe is now out of print. This version is not as powerful as Dylan’s but its an entertaining cover and great bit of 1980’s pop music.


jds said...

Thanks for the link.

There are some great tracks in this post.

davesap said...

Interesting history. Thanks for sharing. I love listening to covers next to the originals. My favorite band in high school was the Rolling Stones. I remember putting together a mix called Covered Stones with things like Polyphonic Size's version of Mother's Little Helper. I also had originals of songs the Stones covered like Little Red Rooster and Train in Vain. The songs were always back to back to compare and contrast.

Godihard said...

I've been looking for Wire Train's "Between Two Worlds" album on but they don't have it! I wonder why. It's a great album. I have a cassette tape of it once but got lost and i'm looking to where I can buy the CD.

While we're still in search mode, feel free to go to this site that has cheap Laser Computer checks ....

God, I need to have a copy of Wire Train or else I'm gonna die!

Anonymous said...

I think it's out of print. You might be able to get a digital copy here: