“Masters of War” by Bob Dylan







Bob Dylan certainly exercised his freedom of speech in his song Masters of War. Recorded and released in the spring of 1963, Masters of War soon became known for its state of dispute and protest. The times of the 1960s were filled with conflict. The United States was consumed in the Cold War, practically activating a nuclear war. Most Americans were considerably unenthused about sending their sons and grandsons off to such an invasive war. Dylan personifies these objective views in his song Masters of War. Referring to the political leaders and military-industrial complex as “you”, Dylan aims his disapproval at the war proprietors.

The military-industrial complex seems to be the main source of fury throughout the country. The relationship between the legislators, national armed forces, and the manufacturers of weapons is exploited in Masters of War. Dylan explains that we “can see through your masks.” These leaders of ours “lie and deceive”; however, those who are mindful realize the truth behind the interviews, conferences, and news provided to the public. It is like a game of chess. The strategic movements, calculations, and sacrificing pons for more important players is comparable to war plans. According to Dylan’s words “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”, the our leaders have no concern with the individual lives being lost, it is about supplying the drafted sons and daughters with knowledge and weapons to kill. No matter the cost, winning is the only option. The anger behind the lyrics seeps through the page. Dylan asks, “Is your money that good; will it buy you forgiveness…I think that you will find; when your death takes its toll; all the money you made; will never buy back your soul.” He is explaining how greed can be the death of you. These political leaders associated with the military-industrial complex care about supplying a war but do not inquire about its basis. These ruthless decisions are like selling your soul to the devil. There is no turning back.





“Masters of War.” Wikipedia. June 9, 2014. Accessed September 9, 2014. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Masters_of_War.

“Masters of War by Bob Dylan.” SongFacts. January 1, 2014. Accessed September 8, 2014.

Esch, Jim. “Masters of War – Bob Dylan | Listen, Appearances, Song Review | AllMusic.” AllMusic. Accessed September 9, 2014.


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