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Music Lyrics: 'A Change is Gonna Come - Essay Example

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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…
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Music Lyrics: A Change is Gonna Come
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Download file to see previous pages 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). ...
This is one of the reasons the song has been recognized as one of the greatest of all time. When one further examines the song it’s clear there are many other notable elements. One of the other important features is the nature of the song’s vocal line. It is widely understood that Sam Cooke’s vocals are some of the most talented in the history of 20th century musicians. It goes without saying then that the song is nearly entirely structured to highlight this great strength. In terms of vocal styling, Cooke implements a straight tone that is highlighted by the texture of his voice. In terms of the overall song, the work reflects a traditional mid-20th century ballad. The mood and themes that are explored are perhaps the song’s greatest qualities however. In these regards, the song presents a mood that is both forlorn, but also looking forward to the change that will come. In terms of thematic content one considers the lyrics as one of the most powerful features. While the song is ostensibly about the civil rights movement, its lyrics are structured in such a way that they can be applied to a variety of elements and life situations. This is perhaps the great beauty of the song and also contributes to its modern day appreciation. In these regards, individuals are able to project their own interpretations onto the song, because it is constructed in such a way that the lyrics are abstract, yet universal. In conclusion, this essay has examined Sam Cooke’s ‘A Change is Gonna Come’. The essay has demonstrated that the song implements a slow-paced and minimal rhythmic pattern, as a means of mirroring the song’s lyrical ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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