Bob Dylan Protest Songs

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Expressing emotions through forms of expression have existed for a long time. Whether it’s through art, poetry or song’s, citizens throughout history have expressed outrage, sorrow, happiness, disobedience through song. Throughout the history of the United States, artist have expressed themselves through song. Slave spirituals is just one example. The 1960’s in particular was a decade where protest songs were abundant. Vietnam, the Civil Rights Movement, police brutality, gay rights struggle where all occurring in the 1960’s and were themes in songs for several music artists. There are also protest songs that exist today. Even though times have changed since the 1960’s, artist still have current issues of today that they personally feel, or feel the pain of some in society, effects them to the point they want to write…show more content…
The song chosen to be examined through textual analysis for this paper is entitled “With God On Our Side.” Bob Dylan performed this song in 1963. Three themes contained in this song are war, government betrayal and the use of religion in justifying war. “Oh the First World War, boys, it closed out its fate, the reason for fighting, I never got straight. But I learned to accept it, accept it with pride, for you don 't count the dead, when God 's on your side” (Dylan, 1963). Within the lyrics of this verse Bob Dylan describes that although not really understanding the underlying cause for the reason of the WWI, he decided to accept it, with pride even, because he was told by his government that God was on the side of the victor (United States). Another verse that identifies the three themes or war, government betrayal and the use of religion are, “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” (Dylan,
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