Who do you serve?


My wife has been a fan of Bob Dylan’s music and lyrics. My oldest son likes just about all kinds of music. This past week she introduced him to the song below. Old “Bobby One-Note” might not turn your crank with his voice but he is a master song-writer and has something to say.  The song has tons of biblical-theological implications. It’d make a great ending to a sermon on Jesus’ parables. Click here for a site that has all his song lyrics.

Gotta Serve Somebody (Bob Dylan) 

You may be an ambassador to England or France,
You may like to gamble, you might like to dance,
You may be the heavyweight champion of the world,
You may be a socialite with a long string of pearls

But you’re gonna have to serve somebody, yes indeed
You’re gonna have to serve somebody,
Well, it may be the devil or it may be the Lord
But you’re gonna have to serve somebody.

You might be a rock ‘n’ roll addict prancing on the stage,
You might have drugs at your command, women in a cage,
You may be a business man or some high degree thief,
They may call you Doctor or they may call you Chief

But you’re gonna have to serve somebody, yes indeed
You’re gonna have to serve somebody,
Well, it may be the devil or it may be the Lord
But you’re gonna have to serve somebody.

You may be a state trooper, you might be a young Turk,
You may be the head of some big TV network,
You may be rich or poor, you may be blind or lame,
You may be living in another country under another name

But you’re gonna have to serve somebody, yes indeed
You’re gonna have to serve somebody,
Well, it may be the devil or it may be the Lord
But you’re gonna have to serve somebody.

You may be a construction worker working on a home,
You may be living in a mansion or you might live in a dome,
You might own guns and you might even own tanks,
You might be somebody’s landlord, you might even own banks

But you’re gonna have to serve somebody, yes indeed
You’re gonna have to serve somebody,
Well, it may be the devil or it may be the Lord
But you’re gonna have to serve somebody.

You may be a preacher with your spiritual pride,
You may be a city councilman taking bribes on the side,
You may be workin’ in a barbershop, you may know how to cut hair,
You may be somebody’s mistress, may be somebody’s heir

But you’re gonna have to serve somebody, yes indeed
You’re gonna have to serve somebody,
Well, it may be the devil or it may be the Lord
But you’re gonna have to serve somebody.

Might like to wear cotton, might like to wear silk,
Might like to drink whiskey, might like to drink milk,
You might like to eat caviar, you might like to eat bread,
You may be sleeping on the floor, sleeping in a king-sized bed

But you’re gonna have to serve somebody, yes indeed
You’re gonna have to serve somebody,
Well, it may be the devil or it may be the Lord
But you’re gonna have to serve somebody.

You may call me Terry, you may call me Timmy,
You may call me Bobby, you may call me Zimmy,
You may call me R.J., you may call me Ray,
You may call me anything but no matter what you say

You’re gonna have to serve somebody, yes indeed
You’re gonna have to serve somebody.
Well, it may be the devil or it may be the Lord
But you’re gonna have to serve somebody.
 

2 Comments

Filed under Doctrine/Theology, Great Quotes

2 responses to “Who do you serve?

  1. This is one of the songs that Dylan wrote when going through his “converted Christian” period, in which he released two albums. However, he still likes to open his concerts with one of his “Christian” songs, which is pretty cool. Yet in interviews, he says he’s in some sort of Jewish sect, so who really knows?

    In undergrad, I had a pleasure of taking a 3 credit course entitled “Dylan and the Beatles” and another called “The History of Rock”. We talked extensively about Dylan’s contribution to music in general, analyzed his songs, and even had a big book of lyrics as a text book. It was the best class ever…I mean, except for those awesome Christian counseling classes at Biblical taught by you of course.

    Of course, we *did* get to go to a Bob Dylan concert as a class trip in “Dylan and the Beatles” and Natalie Merchant opened…can you really blame me for loving it, Phil?

  2. Hey Amy. Great to hear from you. Sounds like the best kind of class trip.

    Phil

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