When the President Talks To God

Album: Motion Sickness (2005)

Songfacts®:

  • This is a protest song aimed at 2000-2008 US President George W. Bush. The band and frontman Conor Oberst have made it known that they don't approve of President Bush, his policies, or the war in Iraq. The title is a reference to the former president's claim that when he prayed, he and God shared direct, back-and-forth communication.

    Bright Eyes performed the song on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno in May 2005, several months after Bush's reelection.
  • This song was released separately from Bright Eyes' 2005 studio releases (I'm Wide Awake, It's Morning and Digital Ash In A Digital Urn). It was released on iTunes and on 7" vinyl around the same time as the 2005 double release. A live version of the song was released on Bright Eyes' 2005 live album Motion Sickness, released on Oberst's "Team Love" label. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Chris - Andover, MN
  • "When the President Talks to God" appears on the soundtrack Body of War: Songs That Inspired an Iraq War Veteran, accompanying the film Body of War. The song is representative of young Americans' frustration with a government they felt did not represent them.
  • The song was first performed at the University of London Union in an intimate solo acoustic show by Conor Oberst. It had been written on the ferry trip from France that day, and Oberst performed the new song with the words and music in front of him. He had to stop halfway through because he messed up! >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Alex - London, England

Comments: 9

  • Hope from Lafayette, InI am a Christian, and I've always taken this song to mean that Bush (and a lot of public 'action' figures) act as if they have faith in God just to appear to be a 'good person' to the public. They blame their supposed 'faith' for their moronic decisions.... As a Christian, I find it insulting that they declare war, oppress the nation's people, etc, and do it all in the name of God.
  • Jeffrey from Ludlow, KyA God will always have a place. The big bang may have happened but a God is just as likely as a singularity appearing and expanding and not to mention gravity, electromagnetic force, and nuclear force were set perfectly for life. Steven Hawking himself said the odds of this happening out of the big band are extremely unlikely and that it's likely a "God" did intervene. heh and Bush does suck. I have just as much right to say that as i hate that there are starving children around the world even though i have yet to help with it.
  • Darrell from EugeneI don't know much about Bright Eyes due to being 64 years old, but I certainly agree with everything about this song except for the parts about religion. I believe that the world was created in the Big Bang, that all life evolved (if you don't believe me, just look at a book about fossils with lots of pictures), that Christ was a complete fabrication, that Gutenberg wrote the Bible in addition to printing it and that religion has NO place in the 21st century.
  • Kiran from Shelton, Ctwar is wrong. and bush isnt 100% right
  • Jeeves from Dc, DcBRIGHT EYES ROCKS
  • Alessandra from St.louis, MoI am a very opinionated person, i do not approve of everything Bush is doing, but complaining isn't helping. Bright Eyes is one of my favorite bands, & i LOVE conor,but i think too much energy is wasted on hating Bush & not enough on acctually doing good for this country. this is a grreat song, i like it, but i just think people need to stop dwelling on what Bush is doing wrong if they aren't going to try & help stop it. Especially is you didnt vote(& over 18-duh) then you have no right to even open your mouth. :D i love conor!!!!
  • Ash from Charleston, WvSept., 2006: What a colossal cluster-f*** this world is now in, all thanks to what I used to consider the worst U.S. president since Nixon, but now am pretty much convinced is the worst president EVER. Holy crap! I could go on for days about it. Iraq, hurricane Katrina, Jack Abramoff, Valerie Plame, tax cuts for the rich at the expense of the poor (during an economically crippling war I might add), a budget surplus that was turned into a record deficit, completely destroying the post 9-11 goodwill of the entire world, alienating all of our allies, totally ignoring environmental issues, vetoing stem-cell research, and on and on and on and on. I get angrier and angrier by the day at the national embarrassment that is our president. How we'll ever be able to fix this mess is beyond me.
  • Cassie from Hamilton, NjThis song really expresses Bush's mistakes and I love it!
    -Cassie, NJ
  • Jessie Ann from Purchase, NyThis song is available to download for free on iTunes!
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