History: A Change Is Gonna Come
“There have been times that i thought I couldn’t last for long/but now I think I’m able to carry on/It’s been a long time coming, but I know a change is gonna come.”
This one is a track with history, lots of history. Sam Cooke is said to be inspired by multiple political songs in the sixties, especially Bob Dylans’ “Blowin’ In The Wind”. The song reflects two incidents in his life, the death of his 18-month-old son and the the arrest of him and his band while trying to register at a “whites only” motel and got charged for disturbing the peace (crazy world!). It took Sam multiple months to write the lyrics for the track and was finally recorded on December 21, 1963.
At first, the song didn’t really get the exposure it deserved (only number 34 on the Billboard albums chart) and Sam and his manager thought of ways to make this bigger. This lead to Sam singing the song on the “Tonight Show”, but the impact was dimmed by the appearance of the Beatles on the “Ed Sullivan Show” only two days later. Later on they decided to shorten the song with 30 seconds, increasing its chance for airplay. Finally, the attention it deserved. It became an anthem for the American Civil Rights Movement and is know widely considered as Sam Cooke’s best composition.
Music has a different effect on every single person, but for me, I can feel every single word that he’s singing and it goes deep!
This song is covered by many artists, many legends. Check out some different versions.