Music Lyrics: 'A Change is Gonna Come’

Music Lyrics:
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The specific song under analysis is Sam Cooke’s ‘A Change is Gonna Come’. In addition to being a very enjoyable song to listen to, the song also is one of the most renowned of the 20th century.


While the song was originally inspired by Bob Dylan’s ‘Blowing in the Wind’ Rolling Stone notes that Cooke’s song was, “recorded on January 30th, 1964, with a sumptuous orchestral arrangement by Rene Hall, was more personal — in its first-person language and the experiences that preceded its creation” ("Rolling Stone"). This essay examines the song for its form, instrumentation, and vocals. When examining the song for its form there are a number of notable elements. The song has a minimalist texture, with slow arrangements playing behind Sam Cooke’s upfront singing. It seems clear that Cooke’s vocal melodies are placed in such an upfront way, as they are highly exceptional and unique. In terms of dynamics, one considers that the meter and rhythm are slow-paced and minimalist in nature. This slow paced structure functions to draw attention to the significant meaning behind its lyrical qualities. In terms of inspiration for writing the song and structuring it in this way, it’s noted that, “Cooke wrote this as a protest song to support the civil rights movement, as black Americans fought for equality. Up to this point, most of his songs were either touching ballads ("You Send Me") or lighthearted uptemo tunes ("Twistin' The Night Away")” (Werner). ...
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