Roots of Bob

With God On Our Side

Dominic Behan chided Dylan publicly for lifting Behan's melody to his Irish rebel song "The Patriot Game". Actually, Behan himself had borrowed the melody from "The Merry Month Of May". In "For Dave Glover" (1963 Newport Folk Festival programme) Dylan wrote "I can't sing 'John Johanna' cause it's his story an his people's story/ I gotta sing 'With God On My Side' cause it's my story an my people's". The title line appears in Robert Southey ("The laws are with us and God's on our side") and in Shaw's "Saint Joan". Aaron Neville of The Neville Brothers covered this song, including a verse (he himself had composed?) about Vietnam which Dylan included in his 1988 live performances.

(thanks to Ben Taylor)

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