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Masters of War

Updated on October 27, 2010

What is it good for...Absolutely Nothin'

Bob Dylan

Come you masters of war
You that build all the guns
You that build the death planes
You that build the big bombs
You that hide behind walls
You that hide behind desks
I just want you to know
I can see through your masks

You that never done nothin’
But build to destroy
You play with my world
Like it’s your little toy
You put a gun in my hand
And you hide from my eyes
And you turn and run farther
When the fast bullets fly

Like Judas of old
You lie and deceive
A world war can be won
You want me to believe
But I see through your eyes
And I see through your brain
Like I see through the water
That runs down my drain

You fasten the triggers
For the others to fire
Then you set back and watch
When the death count gets higher
You hide in your mansion
As young people’s blood
Flows out of their bodies
And is buried in the mud

You’ve thrown the worst fear
That can ever be hurled
Fear to bring children
Into the world
For threatening my baby
Unborn and unnamed
You ain’t worth the blood
That runs in your veins

How much do I know
To talk out of turn
You might say that I’m young
You might say I’m unlearned
But there’s one thing I know
Though I’m younger than you
Even Jesus would never
Forgive what you do

Let me ask you one question
Is your money that good
Will it buy you forgiveness
Do you think that it could
I think you will find
When your death takes its toll
All the money you made
Will never buy back your soul

And I hope that you die
And your death’ll come soon
I will follow your casket
In the pale afternoon
And I’ll watch while you’re lowered
Down to your deathbed
And I’ll stand o’er your grave
’Til I’m sure that you’re dead                                       


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    • Pulse101 profile image


      7 years ago

      I haven't heard this. I like Bob Dylan's music and I have 3 albums of his but none of this song.

      Thanks for posting this. I'm off to see this on youtube.

    • justom profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from 41042

      One of mine too Tony, I'm surprised more folks aren't familiar with it. Thanks for your always welcomed comment. Peace!! Tom

    • tonymac04 profile image

      Tony McGregor 

      7 years ago from South Africa

      One of my favourite Dylan songs, and one which strikes right at the roots. Thanks for sharing it and the wonderful images you have used. Make the point brilliantly.

      Love and peace


    • justom profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from 41042

      Thanks Beth, I'm glad you enjoyed it, it's one of the best tunes I've ever heard. Peace!!

    • beth811 profile image


      8 years ago from Pearl of the Orient Seas

      Oh boy! The content of these lyrics is a 'slap on the face' of the masters of war!

      Great antiwar song! Voted up!

      Thanks for sharing this, Tom.

    • justom profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from 41042

      Hi Vern, I'm happy you like it. This song was on an album called "Freewheelin' from 1963 and from the first time I heard it it continues to be one of my all time favorite tunes because it says exactly how I feel about war. A lot of veterans don't even want to talk about it and after hearing some of the horror stories I understand why. I had a friend that was a photographer in Nam and the stuff he showed me will never go away. Thank God for folks like you! Peace and Love!!

    • justom profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from 41042

      Micky Dee, you are right on target, as usual. Those kind of people wear me out and if it weren't for good folks like you I think I could just give up trying! Peace brother!!

    • justom profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from 41042

      Dar, always good to hear from my favorite girlfriend. I'm glad you enjoyed the read! Peace!!

    • justom profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from 41042

      G-ma, glad you like it and yes it is a very scary thing. Bob Dylan, in my opinion, is the best song writer ever and he's coming to town next week. Sadly ticket prices are so high I won't get to see him this time so I'll just have to remember the other 6 or 7 times. Peace and Love to you!!

    • vrbmft profile image

      Vernon Bradley 

      8 years ago from Yucaipa, California

      Dear Tom

      I so appreciate your posting of this song. I know who Bob Dylan is but have never heard of this song and I so appreciate you posting it. I do not know why our common sense cannot see through the masks. The evidence is constantly in front of us that money is behind war and that our committment to continue sacrificing our children to the gods of war is just plain stupid, archaic, and insane, and outright unGodly.

      There are times that I actually feel guilty for filing as a CO during Viet Nam war, guilty when I realize how many of my brothers died or were maimed, physically and emotionally, and soulfully wounded sometimes seemingly beyond repair. One WWII veteran told me a few years back, he has since died, that he woke up every morning, not some mornings, but every morning feeling nauseated at the thought of how many people he had killed. He was a Catholic, so would go to confession over and over and over again, and never got any relief. War does not win over evil, but only breeds more evil, and our soldiers are infected with horrendous soulful diseases. I cannot figure out how an intelligent person can sit anywhere and believe for even a second that war is necessary or fruitful. What we take away from war, in terms of the war machine, is nothing but death and destruction even for those who survive. Anywho, I could go on and on here. THANKS for rubbing it in our noses.

      We need to smell just how bad it really really is.

      War is not a necessary evil, just evil. There are so many other fruitful ways we could conquer whatever it is we are trying to conquer and do it much more successfully and productively. We have just gotten used to and comfortable, and economically comfortable doing this way without any thought to the possibility of change. Gotta stop!!

      Love you, Tom, PEACE


    • Micky Dee profile image

      Micky Dee 

      8 years ago

      God bless you Tom! The war-mongers contiuosly assault my hubs of truth and usually like "AKingWithNoClothes" they attack my last thirty years since Nam. They know nothing about my building an inn called the Bicycle Inn. They know nothing of two lifetimes stolen from me. They know nothing of my working with back damage. They know nothing of my standing in a restaurant and say, "The word "nigger" offends me!" THEY know nothing. They do nothing- but attack. They call me lazy while RUNNING for office saying they are between a Democrat and a Republican. They swear "they" are different. They lie about our history. They lie about our future. Satan is their leader. It's election time and Satan is unleashed!

      God bless you BrotherMan!

    • Darlene Sabella profile image

      Darlene Sabella 

      8 years ago from Hello, my name is Toast and Jam, I live in the forest with my dog named Sam ...

      Oh my dearest boyfriend, this is brillent, perfect indeed..your passion flys out of each word you pose. I will walk by your side as we follow this carvan to the final resting place of those evil eyes. The casket might be made of gold but it will drop down into hell! Rate way up, love Darski

    • G-Ma Johnson profile image

      Merle Ann Johnson 

      8 years ago from NW in the land of the Free

      oH DEAR this brought so many things to mind, things I have always been worried about, afraid of since a young girl. Trouble is; too many have happened and come true.

      You did a good job with this and I feel your feelings,well some of them anyways...

      It is a great wonder why humans fight? Very difficult to understand how it helps? God be with you always justom...:O) Hugs G-Ma

      Oh forgot to mention Love Dylan !!!


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