What does Gotta Serve Somebody mean?

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Bob Dylan: Gotta Serve Somebody Meaning


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Song Released: 1979

Gotta Serve Somebody Lyrics

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...

  1. anonymous
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    Jan 9th 2020 report

    Everybody serves something or someone. Making it as simple as God or the Devil does a disservice to the complexities of life. Were Cavalry soldiers serving God when they murdered Native Americans? Were slave ship captains serving God when they brought human beings in chains to live lives of uncompensated servitude? Were Haitian slaves serving Satan when they used African magic to set themselves free? We all live in spiritual and psychological trenches and cannot see the terrain where our ditch has been dug. This song encourages me to question the principals I serve and ask the hard questions about the system in which I live.

  2. anonymous
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    Jun 9th 2018 report

    the classic 'Hostage to the Devil' makes the observation that no choice is completely unbiased, objective. Every choice has a moral quality. I.e., if you believe in Darwin, then he's your god. Dylan seems to offer that the choices are simple .... serve the Creator of everything, or serve basically the ultimate antithesis of the Creator, which is Satan. Of course the devil puts on the masquerade, such as pseudo-science and that has become the state religion. We see this is education, where the hypothesis of creation by an Infinite Intelligence is not even allowed in the discussion on so-called scientific basis. Ironic, because the scientific method of evidence by testing and observation leans far more in favor of God than existence by accidents.

  3. anonymous
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    Nov 11th 2017 report

    Dylan wasted no time in getting to the heart of the matter in this song...No matter a Man or woman's position in life; rich or poor, exalted or a pauper you will never be your own master in this world. you serve the Devil or you serve the Lord... you are a servant whether you know it or like it and it does not matter your position or who serves you in this world.

    I take the song as a reminder to those who have the arrogance in the flesh to think they are the masters of all things in their life in this world that they are sadly mistaken.

    Masterpiece of simplicity musically and lyrically.

    composed to let all who have ears to listen regardless of intellectual ability or literary knowledge to understand... unlike some of his previous works.

    One of his best in my opin, a lot like "In the Garden" but more inclusive for a worldwide audience who may not have awareness or acceptance of Christ. You either serve Good or evil. Sometimes it is as simple as black or white in a philosophical sense without "religion" to get in the way of the message.

    We need more songs like this at this time in the music world that is so full of drivel and self centered emptiness!

    Thank you Mr. Dylan

  4. kooljohn176
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    Feb 26th 2015 report

    This song by Bob Dylan can certaintly makes you think about 'Who are you serving really? or 'Who are you really working for? Man, i think it is not as simple to understand our position of work we are doing in our everyday life to make a choice between the two. If most people will realize who are they really serving in their society part of the world that they are living in, we could have a total collapse of the economy by most of us quitting our jobs when all the people wake up to really realize who are they serving, 'cause most of us according to this song do not serve the Lord JESUS CHRIST in GOD.

  5. anonymous
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    Dec 29th 2014 report

    There are only two choices - if you don't serve the Lord, you serve the devil.

  6. sydferret
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    Jan 16th 2012 report

    Dylan sold this to McDonalds, but they have yet to use it.

  7. anonymous
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    May 11th 2011 report

    I think it means you must make choices in life, do you follow the lord or do you follow the devil.

  8. m320753
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    Mar 5th 2011 report

    it's black and white. you can serve the devil or you can serve the Lord but gonna have to serve somebody. if you don't do God's will then you're condemned to serve satin's will

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