Kumbaya Karaoke?

Brooke at the Bitter Shack of Resentment is wondering where all the war protest songs have gone. Joanie, Buffy and Bob have folded up their protest signs and settled into fat complacency in the suburbs.

Well, perhaps coincidentally, while I was cleaning my living room the other evening, I stumbled upon some forgotten CDs and LPs. Among them a two-CD set from Joan Baez. I listened to my favorite Joan Baez songs — songs I hadn’t heard in YEARS … all the words came back.

This one stood out though. It’s called “With God On Our Side.” I’m reproducing the lyrics below…. 8.82MB MP3 (sorry, it’s 192 kbps!)

With God On Our Side — Joan Baez

My name it means nothing; my age it means less
and the country I come from is called the Midwest
was brought up there and taught there the laws to abide
and that the land that I live in has God on its side

Oh the history books tell it, they tell it so well
the cavalries charged and the Indians fell
the cavalries charged and the Indians died
though 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 was taught to memorize
with their guns in their hands and God on their side

Well World War One it came and it went
the reason for fighting I never did get
but I learned to accept it and accept it with pride
for you don’t count the dead when God’s on your side

For the Second World War boys it came to an end
we forgave the Germans and called them our friends
though they killed six million, in the ovens they fried
but the Germans now too have God on their side

Oh I learned to hate Russians all through my whole life
if another war starts, its them we must fight
to hate them and fear them, to run and to hide
and accept it all bravely with God on our side

And 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 we shot the world wide
and never ask questions when God’s on our side

For many long years I’ve thought about this
that Jesus Christ was betrayed by a kiss
I can’t do it for you, you’ve got to decide
whether Judas Iscariot had God on his side

And now as I’m leaving I’m weary as hell
the confusion I’m feeling no time can tell
the words fill my head and they fall to the floor
if God is on our side, he’ll stop the next war.

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