Wednesday, November 5, 2008

All change...




I can't think why, but this rather wonderful little song has been going through my head this morning.

15 comments:

May1366 said...

You've called it, ToffeeBoy. Maybe it's the association I have with this song from Spike Lee's Malcolm X when it's playing over the montage of preparations for the event at which Malcolm gets shot, but I often think of A Change Is Gonna Come as a beautiful grim joke at the expense of Sam Cooke and all those who ever held it as an anthem. Cautions, caveats and cynicism all taken into account, it's nonetheless astonishing to be allowed to think that this wonderful song could finally go from a hopeful lament to a celebratory proclamation.

Abahachi said...

Perfect. It's not just the lyrics and the sentiment - the balance of experience and optimism, so there's no illusion that it's going to be easy even now - but musically, too, this encapsulates for me something of what is or can be great about the US; where would we be without soul, or Sam Cooke? 1997 was encapsulated by a mediocre band playing a song that could only ever represent a brief moment of euphoria; maybe, just maybe, Obama can actually live up to this one...

Chris said...

Well done, TB, for putting this up. And a huge 'thank you' to steenbeck and her fellow citizens who actually made this astonishing event take place. Let's hope that the Malcolm X echo May recalls is no more than that and all parts of the USA can keep any anger under control.
It feels like Kennedy has returned in a different form, relevant to a new century.

steenbeck said...

Sorry, Ejaydee, we couldn't wait. We need him now. maybe you can be the tallest president.

To paraphrase my new first lady, For the first time in my adult life I feel really proud of my country.

It hasn't quite sunk in yet, though--I'm half afraid they'll take it away.

And thanks for the song, toffeeboy, I heard it this morning at a rally at which John Lewis was speaking, and got all weepy. again.

gordonimmel said...

It's a marvellous song at any time but today it's beyond words. I've been hearing the new version by Seal recently and I listened to Otis Redding's version earlier but I have to admit that Sam wins it.....and ofcourse Obama referenced it in his acceptence speech. I listened to that speech in it's entirety courtesy of GuardianUnlimited. I'm a political cynic myself, seen it all don't believe a word etc., but Obama had me by the throat (atleast I assume that's the cause of the lump in the throat and the watery eyes).

I only hope it doesn't turn out to be 2nd May 1997 all over again......

ToffeeBoy said...

@ gordon - I listened to Obama's speech this morning and I had that very same l. in the t. and the w. e's.

I admired him during the campaign but last night, he went into overdrive and suddenly sounded like the genuine article.

I have to say I was also impressed by John McCain's speech - he hit just the right note and I loved the way he silenced the more ignorant, biggoted members of his audience when he was talking about the particular significance of the election for African-Americans. I can't somehow see Bush (or Palin!) behaving quite so honourably if they'd been in McCain's place.

I've always felt that as far as pure vocals go, Sam Cooke wins hands down. Of course Otis was a genius, but the purity in Sam Cooke's voice was accompanied by a raw, rough edge that lifts him up to a different level. Listen to the opening line of A Change Is Gonna Come and hear how he sings the word 'tent' - then try to do it yourself and you'll realise how extraodinary his voice was.

shoey said...

Good song choice. Cynical me would probably have gone with Public Enemy's "Don't Believe The Hype", but even I can't help being swept up in the spirit of optimism, & if President O can run the country half as well as he ran his campaign, things may get better. Would be more encouraged if he had something to show for his time in the Senate, but this can probably be forgiven as most Senators and Congressmen are useless, do-nothing tossers.

Obama is certainly smart enough - there are no dumb editors of the Harvard Law Review; and as the current presidential incumbent set the bar so low, and then started digging, another song choice could be "The Only Way Is Up" (terrible but annoyingly catchy).

steenbeck said...

Ordinarily there's nobody more cynical than me. I've never had team spirit or school spirit; I've never been patriotic. I've never really cared this strongly about a presidential election before. This feels different. Obama feels different. I feel completely emotional about this moment in history and about Obama, and as Colin Powell said, with tears in his eyes, it's nothing to be ashamed of. I think Obama is a remarkable person, in so so many ways. Maybe after the last 8 years I am clinging to something that's not really there, but it doesn't feel like that to me. I've never felt this strongly about a historical moment, and I'm going to trust my instincts and not let cynicism win this time.

FP said...

Jolly good idea - Ejay for President - at a future date. That's two votes already, Frenchy!

ejaydee said...

The movement starts here. I wonder if my 'Spillous associations will cost me the job though. I can setle for Secretary of Awesomeness, as George Clinton has got Funky Things locked up.

Schadenfreude alert:
http://tinyurl.com/6l26r5
Look out for the Frozen out segment.

steenbeck said...

I don't know, ejaydee, I hear you were PALLING AROUND WITH 'SPILLERS!! And that your campaign was launched from the 'Spill living room. Well, comment box.

ToffeeBoy said...

@ ejay - I'm not so sure. You certainly have the soul, jazz, blues and world music votes in the bag - but what about the conservative rock vote?

saneshane said...

'Frozen Out' section isn't headed
'Whose nailin' Palin'
Could the Giant Secretary of Awesomeness answer that one please... (cleanly)

May1366 said...

"...what about the conservative rock vote?"

steenbeck, could you not mobilise the pete rock vote to counteract this?

ejaydee said...

Conservative rock vote? No worries, I whip out my token copy of Dark Side Of The Moon, and Beatles and Bob Dylan albums, confess to a brief love affair in the summer with Journey's Don't Stop Believin', and sprinkle a few Rolling Stones and Mad Dogs & Englishmen references prepared by my spin/'Spill team.

I enquired with Fox News about the matter, and even though they had intended to use the title for that section, a Sarah P., has the rights to that title for her upcoming talk show.