sam cooke & basic goodness

June 9, 2007   |   2 Comments

I heard that Sam Cooke dreamt the song A Change is Gonna Come,woke up and wrote it down. It scared him. He thought it meant he was going to die.

The song sounds like this.

Lately, I’ve been listening to it repeatedly. Like maybe hundreds of times in the last several months. It makes me cry every single time. I’m trying to figure out why…

I was born by the river
In a little tent
And just like the river
I’ve been running ever since

The “in a little tent” part just kills me for some reason. And we’ve all been running since the day we were born.

It’s been a long time coming
A long time coming
But I know change is gonna come
Oh yes

We keep longing no matter what…

It’s been too hard living
But I’m afraid to die
Because I don’t know what’s up there
Beyond the sky

How much more perfectly and succinctly can this fear be expressed? We don’t really know what’s going on or why we’re here. The only people who say they do seem not all that bright to me.

It’s been a long time coming
A long time coming
But I know change is gonna come
Oh yes

But still we long.

I go to the movies
And I go downtown
Somebody keeps telling me
Don’t hang around

And the confusion creates the poison of hate. Plus when I think if anyone being racist to Sam Cooke I just want to cry and cry.

It’s been a long time coming
A long time coming
But I know change is gonna come
Oh yes

But still we long.

Then I go to my brother
And I say brother help me please
But he winds up knocking me
Back down on my knees

And still poison grows. Cruel responses are real and I don’t know what to do.

There have been times that I thought
I couldn’t last for long
But now I think I’m able to carry on

When I see the courage people have to renew themselves and carry on, I think it is the most moving thing in the entire world.

It’s been a long time coming
A long time coming
But I know change is gonna come
Oh yes

When I hear faith like this, I feel so grateful. Maybe it’s true.

So I guess what the song sounds like to me is

Life is suffering
But there is basic goodness
Our biggest fear is not-knowing
Plus everything is impermanent: why?
But there is basic goodness
And also poison
But there is basic goodness
And also poison
But I can be brave
I have faith.

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2 Comments

  • Posted by:  Valery

    Hello,
    Are you inspired also by Barack Obama who is an advocate for Change? Just curious.

  • Posted by:  susan

    To me, this song should be Barack’s theme song. I am inspired by both. Mostly, I’m inspired by hope, by faith, and by endless goodness that, given the least chance will always surface.

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