Masters of War

"Masters of War" (Bob Dylan, The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan, 1963) follows the melody of "Nottamun Town," an English folksong, probably dating to the Middle Ages, that was recorded by the so-called “Mother of Folk,” Jean Ritchie, who created the arrangement. "Masters of War" is a poignant condemnation of the people who stand behind wars, the “masters” who fuel the patriotism and fear that leads to war, then stand back while soldiers and civilians are slaughtered. The song's ongoing relevance has caught the attention of many people, and it has been covered by Judy Collins, Pete Seeger, and Tim O’Brien, just to name a few from a long list. In 2007, the song was part of Mountain’s Masters of War Dylan covers album with guest Ozzy Osbourne singing the song. We would also like to give honorable mention to Dylan's "Talkin' John Birch Paranoid Blues" (1962), a satirical song about a paranoid narrator who fears the communists have infiltrated the U.S. Please note the John Birch Society is alive and well as we speak.