Track 4 of Dan Bern/Bernstein's New American Language, this song is a meditation on living in the present in general, and specifically coming to terms with history, no matter how horrible. In each verse, the singer pleads with God for the chance to intervene with various historical figures, and is denied, despite his good intentions. It's interesting to note that each of the figures in question --- Kurt Cobain, Adolph Hitler, and Jesus Christ --- have featured in previous Dan Bern/Bernstein songs: respectively, "Kurt", "Hannibal", and (in the latter case) "One Thing Real", "Jesus Freak", "Monica", and "Hannibal" again. Addressing celebrities made immortal by their notoriety is a recurring device in Bern/stein's works, but the singer/narrator's conversation with God in this song is perhaps the ultimate example of this conceit. In any case, it's a haunting tune on the album, much slower than I remember it being performed live, but it's thought-provoking and fun in both forms.

Lyrics (reproduced here by permisssion):

I met God
On the edge of town
Where the wind meets the stillness
Where the darkness meets the light
Where the ocean meets the sky
Where the desert meets the rain
Where the earth meets the heavens
On the edge of town I met God

I asked God
Do one thing for me
Send me back in time
Send me to Seattle
Let me go
Find Kurt Cobain
Take away his gun
Take away his bullets
Talk to him
Make him wanna live
Tell him how we love him
Help him see his glory
God Said No
If I sent you back
If you really found him
You would only ask him
If he could
Help you get a deal
If he knows a lawyer
If he can help you
God Said No

I asked God
Do one thing for me
Send me back in time
Send me to Berlin
Let me find
The one they call Hitler
I will stalk him
I will bring him down
I will bring along
A powerful gun
Loaded with bullets
Obliterate his memory
God Said No
If I sent you back
You would get caught up
In theory and discussion
You would let your fears
Delay and distract you
You would make friends
You would take a lover
God Said No

I asked God
Do one thing for me
Send me back in time
Send me to Jerusalem
Let me go
Let me go find Jesus
Let me save his life
As they try to kill him
Let me take him down
Down from the cross
Take the iron from his body
Try to heal his wounds
God Said No
If I let you go
If you really found him
Walking with the cross
You would stare
Your tongue no longer working
Eyes no longer seeing
Ears no longer hearing
God said Time
Time belongs to me
Time's my secret weapon
My final advantage
God turned away
From the edge of town
I knew I was beaten
And that now was all I had
God Said No

---words and music by Dan Bern/Bernstein

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