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Jackson Browne — Lives In the Balance (live)
Album: solo acoustic
Avg rating:
7.1

Your rating:
Total ratings: 716









Released: 2008
Length: 3:26
Plays (last 30 days): 1
I've been waiting for something to happen
For a week or a month or a year
With the blood in the ink of the headlines
And the sound of the crowd in my ear
You might ask what it takes to remember
When you know that you've seen it before
Where a government lies to a people
And a country is drifting to war

And there's a shadow on the faces
Of the men who send the guns
To the wars that are fought in places
Where their business interest runs

On the radio talk shows and the T.V.
You hear one thing again and again
How the U.S.A. stands for freedom
And we come to the aid of a friend
But who are the ones that we call our friends
These governments killing their own?
Or the people who finally can't take any more
And they pick up a gun or a brick or a stone
There are lives in the balance
There are people under fire
There are children at the cannons
And there is blood on the wire

There's a shadow on the faces
Of the men who fan the flames
Of the wars that are fought in places
Where we can't even say the names

They sell us the President the same way
They sell us our clothes and our cars
They sell us every thing from youth to religion
The same time they sell us our wars
I want to know who the men in the shadows are
I want to hear somebody asking them why
They can be counted on to tell us who our enemies are
But they're never the ones to fight or to die
And there are lives in the balance
There are people under fire
There are children at the cannons
And there is blood on the wire
Comments (46)add comment
 radioparadise9 wrote:

Are you tired of winning, yet.

America's humiliation continues ... is there a bottom?
 

nope. just blame vague conspiracies and move the bottom.
 radioparadise9 wrote:

Are you tired of winning, yet.

America's humiliation continues ... is there a bottom?
 
Poor benhardt57, Jackson Browne has an opinion.  Witch hunt!

So much whining!!!


 benhardt57 wrote:
Overall, I'm a Browne fan. But I can't swallow the anti-American BS that the pop culture and education system has been diligently shoving down the throats of our youth. If it is so bad here then why are millions of people from all over the world wanting to come here.

Let's see the list of all the great countries out there that are better and more free with more opportunities than here.....Mr. Browne.

*MAGA*


 
Are you tired of winning, yet.

America's humiliation continues ... is there a bottom?
It sounds as though Bruce Cockburn was mashed with 'Enter Sandman'. This is not a Bad Thing. Any who feels the lyrics are somehow unpatriotic or incorrect really needs to take a closer look at what's going on. Saying "there are worse places" in no way lessens the evils being currently perpetrated in the US.
 ick wrote:

The basic issue is that we all have different ideas on how to make the US better.  We never needed to "Make America Great Again" it has always been great and afforded its people a lot of opportunity in comparison to other places.  It is not anti-American to want the US to be a better place than it has been.  Personally, I don't think that locking asylum seekers in kennel cages exposed to harsh conditions and violating their basic human rights as something that makes America great, or taking away a woman's right to choose what they do with their own body nor is having a criminal in the Oval Office making America great.
 
Mic Drop!!
 benhardt57 wrote:
Overall, I'm a Browne fan. But I can't swallow the anti-American BS that the pop culture and education system has been diligently shoving down the throats of our youth. If it is so bad here then why are millions of people from all over the world wanting to come here.

Let's see the list of all the great countries out there that are better and more free with more opportunities than here.....Mr. Browne.

*MAGA*


 
The basic issue is that we all have different ideas on how to make the US better.  We never needed to "Make America Great Again" it has always been great and afforded its people a lot of opportunity in comparison to other places.  It is not anti-American to want the US to be a better place than it has been.  Personally, I don't think that locking asylum seekers in kennel cages exposed to harsh conditions and violating their basic human rights as something that makes America great, or taking away a woman's right to choose what they do with their own body nor is having a criminal in the Oval Office making America great.
It's the same old song and so filled with truth. Bob Dylan sang a most important similar message, "Yes, 'n' how many times must the cannon balls fly Before they're forever banned? The answer, my friend, is blowin' in the wind The answer is blowin' in the wind"

And here we are in 2019, the song is still the god damn same, sending our young men and women off to fight senseless wars.
Then we bring 'em home and give them veteran's discounts at The Home Depot and wave the flag and sing their praises.
They deserve so much more. They are heroes that should never have been asked to be heroes. God bless them.

 edgiltokyo wrote:

Dear Sir,

Jackson Browne released this song in 1986. If you were thinking that it was written about modern days you are incorrect and yet it is very much apropos. That being said, your statement is completely incorrect and flies in the face of the first amendment of the US Constitution. There is a long history of artists of all kinds using their voice to protest.

If you are in the believe that all acts of aggression taken by the United States of America are in the right then you should take time to review the history and stop blindly following what the dog-waggers would have you believe (Bush/Rumsfeld is a great place to start). Follow the money, sir, follow the money.

Now, before you jump all over me as un-American. I served six years in the US Navy. Have you ever served?
 
Thank YOU for your service, Sir!  And even more important to me; THANK YOU for helping to shed the light on the dog-wagging harm that uses patriotism to allow humans to harm other humans.  I'm rating this song a 9 (still) and your comment a 10!  Long Live RP!!
How old is this song now?  Yet it is just as pertinent as it has ever been.  Human beings; we just don't seem capable of real change, do we?  

So it goes.

Highlow
American Net'Zen
 kingart wrote:
MAABRFTFT! Make America A Banana Republic For The First Time! 
 
We are on the cusp.
MAABRFTFT! Make America A Banana Republic For The First Time! 
 benhardt57 wrote:
. . . Or you could find out where all the celebrities moved to when Trump won the election, and move there with them. Oh wait, none of them actually followed through. Hmmm, I wonder why.
 
Because hanging around to watch him go to jail will be so much damn fun.

Ooooo....struck some nerves.
Again, if it is so bad here, I hear that Venezuela is nice this time of  year. 

Or you could find out where all the celebrities moved to when Trump won the election, and move there with them. Oh wait, none of them actually followed through. Hmmm, I wonder why.
YES!

...and he sure as hell didn't watch Ken Burn's Vietnam.  He wasn't paying attention when the CIA imported cocaine from those same Central American countries to buy weapons to sell to the Iranians (just 5 years after the hostage crisis, btw) either, I'm guessing.  Probably didn't know that we sold weapons to both sides during that Iraq/Iran war. Or that we turned our backs on the Shiites, that we promised to protect after the first gulf war, leaving them to the tender mercies of Saddam Hussein.  Or that we turned our backs on our loyal Iraqi and Afghani interpreters during GWOT.    But I digress...

It's one thing to be proud to be an American but, a proud American is an informed American.  One that is aware of both the good and the bad and wants our country to strive for the former.  It's yet another to put on a blindfold and engage in performative patriotism whilst badmouthing the very institutions that inform the populace.  Sad.  Not goodly.

gjeeg wrote:
My god, another clueless "maga" paleolith.
You have no ears.
You didn't hear a word of the song. Nor were you conscious in the 80's. Or the 60's. Or now.
You are unconscious. But happy to salute the orange fascist.
Have you heard of the U.S. funded and directed "death squads" that roamed throughout Central America in the 1980's terrorizing innocents in the service of the worst dictators the world has known?  No, you haven't.
You are unconscious. And the song whistled right past you.....  benhardt57 wrote:

Overall, I'm a Browne fan. But I can't swallow the anti-American BS that the pop culture and education system has been diligently shoving down the throats of our youth. If it is so bad here then why are millions of people from all over the world wanting to come here.

Let's see the list of all the great countries out there that are better and more free with more opportunities than here.....Mr. Browne.

*MAGA*



 
 


My god, another clueless "maga" paleolith.
You have no ears.
You didn't hear a word of the song. Nor were you conscious in the 80's. Or the 60's. Or now.
You are unconscious. But happy to salute the orange fascist.
Have you heard of the U.S. funded and directed "death squads" that roamed throughout Central America in the 1980's terrorizing innocents in the service of the worst dictators the world has known?  No, you haven't.
You are unconscious. And the song whistled right past you.....  benhardt57 wrote:

Overall, I'm a Browne fan. But I can't swallow the anti-American BS that the pop culture and education system has been diligently shoving down the throats of our youth. If it is so bad here then why are millions of people from all over the world wanting to come here.

Let's see the list of all the great countries out there that are better and more free with more opportunities than here.....Mr. Browne.

*MAGA*



 

 benhardt57 wrote:

Overall, I'm a Browne fan. But I can't swallow the anti-American BS that the pop culture and education system has been diligently shoving down the throats of our youth. If it is so bad here then why are millions of people from all over the world wanting to come here.

Let's see the list of all the great countries out there that are better and more free with more opportunities than here.....Mr. Browne.

*MAGA*



 
Dear Sir,

Jackson Browne released this song in 1986. If you were thinking that it was written about modern days you are incorrect and yet it is very much apropos. That being said, your statement is completely incorrect and flies in the face of the first amendment of the US Constitution. There is a long history of artists of all kinds using their voice to protest.

If you are in the believe that all acts of aggression taken by the United States of America are in the right then you should take time to review the history and stop blindly following what the dog-waggers would have you believe (Bush/Rumsfeld is a great place to start). Follow the money, sir, follow the money.

Now, before you jump all over me as un-American. I served six years in the US Navy. Have you ever served?

Overall, I'm a Browne fan. But I can't swallow the anti-American BS that the pop culture and education system has been diligently shoving down the throats of our youth. If it is so bad here then why are millions of people from all over the world wanting to come here.

Let's see the list of all the great countries out there that are better and more free with more opportunities than here.....Mr. Browne.

*MAGA*


For some reason this sounded like a cover of Nils Lofgren's "Keith Don't Go" at first...
Realpolitik takes a lyrical hammering! 
Never more true.

Wow, not sure exactly when this tune was written, seems like it could have been anytime in the last century, or it could have just been written.  Amazing how a few chords, deep lyrics and strong voice can get a point across, and I really hope that we (Earthlings) can all raise up against all that is wrong with the world.  Too much oppression still, debt/slavery and not enough true love, happiness and understanding in the world.

I'm also getting a George Harrison "Bangladesh" vibe from this track - which reminds me....I haven't heard that track on RP yet!  Maybe the next time when BillG does a "social consciousness" playlist, eh there BillG?

Here's to PEACE, LOVE, HAPPINESS, UNDERSTANDING, and ROCK&ROLL - LONG LIVE RP!!


Bill,
please play this daily
I'm hearing a little Led Zeppelin in that guitar.  Just me?
... we hear that the USA stands for freedom and we come to the aid of our friends.

Nope, not today, not anymore.

... they sell us our president.

#45 going cheap, real cheap.
Untouchably excellent, IMHO
I love the truth! 9
I love this song, but there are at least a couple of recordings of it that I like much better, especially the live one with Crosby and Nash.
 AndyJ wrote:
Politically Incorrect lyrics by UC Berkeley standards today. Cannot say "Land of Freedom or Land of Opportunity without being rebuked and corrected. The current newspapers and screaming TVs indicate we're headed for ugliness.   Lots of ugliness and bloody stuff.  Chickens roosts and so on...

I'm glad I am old,  Glad I have a beach. Glad there is surf, even if small wind waves.

I am also very, very Glad Radio Paradise plays great music 24 hours a day. I listen on desktop, laptop, cellphone when traveling and most nights via Roku on my wonderful information and entertainment machine. You know, the blue light that promises much, teases often and provides so little.  Radio Paradise simply works; mostly entertaining, often educational and rarely annoying. PSD solves that nicely.

Thank you,

Counting my blessings this morning.

 
I'm not sure what you are saying. Do you think his words are somehow demeaning to the USA and therefore not PC? Have you found some sort of nationalistic meaning in them I've missed? A pride that I can 't see? His lyrics cut a deep wound in US foreign policy. An ugly, hard to heal wound.


I started to comment about this one and then James McMurtry started "Levelland". I think I'll just shut up, listen, and count my blessings like AndyJ.
 
 AndyJ wrote:
Politically Incorrect lyrics by UC Berkeley standards today. Cannot say "Land of Freedom or Land of Opportunity without being rebuked and corrected. The current newspapers and screaming TVs indicate we're headed for ugliness.   Lots of ugliness and bloody stuff.  Chickens roosts and so on...

I'm glad I am old,  Glad I have a beach. Glad there is surf, even if small wind waves.

I am also very, very Glad Radio Paradise plays great music 24 hours a day. I listen on desktop, laptop, cellphone when traveling and most nights via Roku on my wonderful information and entertainment machine. You know, the blue light that promises much, teases often and provides so little.  Radio Paradise simply works; mostly entertaining, often educational and rarely annoying. PSD solves that nicely.

Thank you,

Counting my blessings this morning.

 
The Princeton Open Campus Coalition sent a well-thought, well-written letter to President Eisgruber yesterday about the campus PC problem.  
Politically Incorrect lyrics by UC Berkeley standards today. Cannot say "Land of Freedom or Land of Opportunity without being rebuked and corrected. The current newspapers and screaming TVs indicate we're headed for ugliness.   Lots of ugliness and bloody stuff.  Chickens roosts and so on...

I'm glad I am old,  Glad I have a beach. Glad there is surf, even if small wind waves.

I am also very, very Glad Radio Paradise plays great music 24 hours a day. I listen on desktop, laptop, cellphone when traveling and most nights via Roku on my wonderful information and entertainment machine. You know, the blue light that promises much, teases often and provides so little.  Radio Paradise simply works; mostly entertaining, often educational and rarely annoying. PSD solves that nicely.

Thank you,

Counting my blessings this morning.


Appropriate as folks show a renewed interest in discussing the Iraq War.
Stone cold gem.
All his work.
Never a less-than brilliant composition.
Tell it like it is, Jackson !!  Saw him do one-man acoustic show at Planet Bluegrass in Lyons Colorado a few years back .... still bringin it after all these years.  A true master of his craft.
 bitbanger wrote:
So Jackson is selling us this diddy about how we are getting sold stuff. Okey Dokey, sure.

 
I thought the point was... make those ones and zeros count.   Treat every decision you make/take as if it were connected to something else whether we consider it good, bad or irrelevant.   Of course banter on the web, Jackson's lyrics, politics or even wars are irrelevant if they don't move you.

Just a tad curious how much we "spent" on this diddy say versus our cars... or better yet a few drones.  Orders of magnitude I imagine.
 bitbanger wrote:
So Jackson is selling us this diddy about how we are getting sold stuff. Okey Dokey, sure.

 
There are lives in the balance
There are people under fire
There are children at the cannons
And there is blood on the wire
..really sounds like he's upset about adverts doesn't it? Listen more carefully.
{#Clap}
I remember this song in the CASSETTE TAPE of Miami Vice. The live version is rather good, too. Long live the 80s!
 TreborG2 wrote:

Which brings us to "bitbanger" - in this time and place, you may take it for of and about selling stuff, commercialism, but in the original time there was a point not related to song sales.. but to weapons, and war.
 

When a pop musician compains of commercialism there is something of pots and kettles going on. The music business is first and formost a business which sells jingles much like the clothes and cars Mr. Browne compains of. Not much different from political marketing. Same in the 80's as it is now.
 scarletdancer wrote:
The studio version of this is one of my favorite Jackson Browne songs.  Had not heard this live acoustic version before.  Very nice.

 
Agree'd with "ProjectGemini07" - this version is marginal ... at best.  The original album track (is that your studio version "scarletdancer"?) and in its time was much better.

Which brings us to "bitbanger" - in this time and place, you may take it for of and about selling stuff, commercialism, but in the original time there was a point not related to song sales.. but to weapons, and war.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lives_in_the_Balance_%28song%29

In part this version looses a lot by not having the backing of the pan flute and other "world music" instruments and sounds, which evoked the thoughts of this being about something outside of the states.


 ProjectGemini07 wrote:
Pretty marginal, both musically and lyrically.

 
 bitbanger wrote:
So Jackson is selling us this diddy about how we are getting sold stuff. Okey Dokey, sure.

 
The studio version of this is one of my favorite Jackson Browne songs.  Had not heard this live acoustic version before.  Very nice.
Pretty marginal, both musically and lyrically.
So Jackson is selling us this diddy about how we are getting sold stuff. Okey Dokey, sure.
Misty Mountain Hop?
Anyone hear Led Zeppelin here?