Sunday, December 23, 2007

With God On Our Side

Here's another re-post from back in the early days of this blog:

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.



Happy to have stumbled across your blog. As a fan of Bob's, I wanted to let you know about the new novel I just published called BLOOD ON THE TRACKS.

It's a murder-mystery. But not just any rock superstar is knocking on heaven's door. The murdered rock legend is none other than Bob Dorian, an enigmatic, obtuse, inscrutable, well, you get the picture...

Suspects? Tons of them. The only problem is they're all characters in Bob's songs.

You can get a copy on or go "behind the tracks" at to learn more about the book.