Masters of War (4:32)

Cover of Bob Dylan: The Collection

From Bob Dylan: The Collection and 134 other releases

“Masters of War” is a song by Bob Dylan, written in 1963 and released on the album The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan. It is an adaptation, with new words by Dylan, of “Nottamun Town”. As with many of the major songs Dylan composed at this time, he often adapted or “borrowed” melodies from traditional songs. On this occasion however, he had borrowed an arrangement by veteran folksinger Jean Ritchie. The arrangement of “Nottanum Town”, unknown to Dylan, had been in her family for generations, and Ritchie wanted an acknowledgement on the writing credit. This, however, was not to be the case, as Dylan’s lawyers paid her $5,000 to settle and agree not to make further claims.
There is a live, electric version on Dylan’s Real Live album. In his 1994 Hiroshima concert, Dylan played the first acoustic version of “Masters of War” since 1963. Dylan also played the song in Oshkosh, Wisconsin on the night of the 2004 U.S. presidential election.


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  • LittleJoa1

    caiu hj no enem kkkk

    10 Nov 5:42am Reply
  • jonatexraupp

    All the money you made Will never buy back your soul

    10 Nov 12:43am Reply
  • RAY7654321

    Listening to the album "The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan" released in May 1963 by Columbia, Dylan's second studio album. This album established Dylan as a true Folk songwriter

    20 Sep 3:00am Reply
  • Hannesr

    ..feel peace and let them bury themselves...I can`t see no other way. Even though, I like this song so very much.

    2 Sep 11:27am Reply
  • RAY7654321

    Odetta does a version on her album "Odetta Sings Dylan", not better but very good. Have heard Bert Jansch's version which is excellent as well.

    11 Jun 9:25pm Reply
  • liafrr


    4 May 12:41am Reply
  • SeaDogMariner

    The 'original' song from which this was taken, the English Folk song 'Nottuman Town' is well worth a listen. Bert Jansch has a good version on his album 'Jack Orion'.

    29 Apr 3:42am Reply
  • Storchel

    Is your money that good?

    23 Apr 12:37pm Reply
  • JohnnyMath

    Dylan we need your music more than never

    3 Mar 10:06pm Reply
  • Gordonwaits

    timeless lyrics..

    22 Oct 2013 Reply
  • nomoresongs

    Probably my favourite Dylan, apart from every track on the Infidels album nobody seems to ever mention.

    2 Jun 2013 Reply
  • jeemajamajimma

    Love this song. Can be taken literally or as a perfect metaphor for the cruelty of despotic control in any form, genius lyricist, Dylan.

    12 May 2013 Reply
  • fancykatya

    Yes, this is quite fitting at this time. It's fitting anytime though since war is pointless except for to kill others to bend them to your will. I'd have to agree, likely the best anti-war song ever~

    21 Apr 2013 Reply
  • TheSuperCrasher

    So fitting right now.

    16 Apr 2013 Reply
  • demo-crassy

    Mine too, BlueOclock.... great tune and those lyrics, well what can i say... Eddie Vedder's version is superb too

    30 Mar 2013 Reply
  • BlueOclock

    One of my favorite songs by Bob Dylan....or anybody for that matter.

    1 Feb 2013 Reply
  • Predelnik

    "The fear to bring children into the world..." Incredible song!

    19 Jan 2013 Reply
  • thedoseoftea

    I'm just starting to find out what a genious mr. Dylan is. This tune is amazing.

    7 Dec 2012 Reply
  • thekills1985

    21 Sep 2012 Reply
  • thekills1985

    Fucking amazing song!!!

    5 Sep 2012 Reply
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