Marsh index 0001.htm
Get Acrobat Reader

The Heart of Rock and Soul

Dave Marsh, 1989

32 A CHANGE IS GONNA COME, Sam Cooke
Produced by Hugo and Luigi; written by Sam Cooke
RCA 8486 - 1965
Billboard: #31

samcooke2.jpg

Sam Cooke's greatest records are the gospel sides he made with the Soul Stirrers. Here's the exception that proves the rule: a lush orchestral arrangement in which Cooke smoothly preaches a sermon on humanity. There are those who would argue that the single is inferior to the album track because it omits the most militant verse (about being refused admission to a movie theatre). But in 1965, much less twenty years later, what Cooke was singing about was clear enough, especially when he talks about his "brother" who knocks him to his knees. This was Cooke's final hit, and it is the one record I know that comes closest to the spirit of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s self-eulogy "I've Been to the Mountaintop."

Sam Cooke - A change is gonna come - the lyrics
I was born by the river in a little tent
Oh and just like the river I been a runnin' ever since
It's been a long, a long time coming but I know
A change gon' come oh yes it will
It's been too hard living but I'm afraid to die
Cuz I don't know what's up there beyond the sky
It's been a long, a long time coming but I know
A change gon' come oh yes it will

I go to the movie, and I go downtown
Somebody keep tellin me "don't hang around"
It's been a long, a long time coming, but i know
A change gon' come oh yes it will

Then I go to my brother
And I say "brother, help me please" 
But he winds up knocking me
Back down on my knees
There been times that I thought I wouldn't last for long
Now think I'm able to carry on 
It's been a long, along time coming but I know
A change gon' come, oh yes it will
Marsh index 0001.htm


From "The Heart of Rock and Soul, The 1001 Greatest Singles Ever Made", by Dave Marsh, 1989.
Powered by PHP and created by Lex Jansen