Song Stories

“Masters of War”

Bob Dylan | 1963

Bob Dylan's "Masters of War" seemed to open the floodgates for a host of rock acts over the years to pen their own anti-war songs (Creedence Clearwater's "Fortunate Son," Black Sabbath's "War Pigs," John Lennon/Yoko Ono's "Happy Xmas (War Is Over)," etc.). And in the book Down the Highway: The Life of Bob Dylan, author Howard Sounes explains that the song "Was inspired by the Cold War arms buildup. Yet like many of Bob's best songs, 'Masters of War' transcended the time in which it was written." At the 1992 'Tribute to Dylan' concert at Madison Square Garden, Pearl Jam's Eddie Vedder and Mike McCready performed a version of the tune.

Song Stories Main Next

Song Stories

“Long Walk Home”

Bruce Springsteen | 2007

When the subject of this mournful song returns home, he hardly recognizes his town. Springsteen told Rolling Stone the alienation the man feels is a metaphor for life in a politically altered post-9/11 America. “Who would have ever thought we’d live in a country without habeas corpus?” he said. “That’s Orwellian. That’s what political hysteria is about and how effective it is. I felt it in myself. You get frightened for your family, for your home. And you realize how countries can move way off course, very far from democratic ideals.”

More Song Stories entries »