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With God on Our Side

K'naan
Language: English


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[2012]
Lyrics by Keinan Abdi Warsame
Music by Keinan Abdi Warsame and Robert Allen Zimmerman
Album: Chimes of Freedom: Songs of Bob Dylan Honoring 50 Years of Amnesty International (DISC 3)

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K'naan, born Keinan Abdi Warsame in 1978, is an amazingly talented Somali-Canadian poet, rapper, singer, songwriter and instrumentalist now based in Toronto, after surviving a harrowing upbringing in war-torn Somalia. He recorded this "cover" version of Bob Dylan's "With God on Our Side", for a compilation album that came out earlier in 2012, Chimes Of Freedom: The Songs Of Bob Dylan Honoring 50 Years Of Amnesty International. K'naan's version of the song with substantially new lyrics, is fantastic, with his own desperate wartime childhood history woven into it..
Designed as a celebration for Amnesty International's 50th Anniversary, Chimes of Freedom is the mother of all tribute albums: a four-disc salute to Bob Dylan that runs some 76 songs performed by singers from all corners of the globe..
It's a movie and the whole world is viewing it
And the popcorn is dreams torn, but we're always chewing it
(They said) Dishonest by God but the costumes by the Devil
And the screenplay is adapted from a book that's embezzled
This is where I grew up
This is where I grew proud
This is where neighbors never say music is too loud
This is where the streets have no name, but they have history
This is loss is victory…

Oh my name it ain't nothing;
My age it means less.
The country I come from
Could be like the rest.
I was taught and brought up there,
Laws to abide..
And the land that I live in
has God on its side.

I was young; I grew.
I could tie my shoe.
I was blind, but I knew
that I would always see blue.
Blue seas I see through
on the bottom I'll meet you
And when we come up for a breath
Would you mind if I kiss you?
Childhood came up for the kiss,
but it slips its pain in with mist
And the sunny skies came and I missed it..
Vanished and when swept.
Landed we slept
in the arms of convenience,
Blanket obedience.

Now to some of the Americans,
War had its day
And the Civil War too was
Soon laid away
And the names of our warlords
I was made to memorize
With guns in their hands – they said,
God's on their side.

I had an undying wish to keep from dying
I had an untimely hitch keep me from climbing
But I climbed a hitch itself and I tried flying
I had an uprising in my soul…
The left was fight in the right
And the right was fight in the light
And the light was blind in the night
And the night woke up in tears
When my fingers went to wipe them
They became a poem but to write then
They would have to speak tears in another language
That would take years

So now as I'm leavin'
I'm weary as Hell
The confusion I'm feelin'
Ain't no tongue can tell..
The words fill my head
And fall to the floor
If God's on our side then
Would you ever need war?

Contributed by giorgio - 2013/8/4 - 11:05



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