New! Read & write lyrics explanations
  • Highlight lyrics and explain them to earn Karma points.

I was born by the river in a little tent
Oh and just like the river I've been running ever since
It's been a long, a long time coming
But I know a change gonna come, oh yes it will

It's been too hard living but I'm afraid to die
Cause 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 gonna come, oh yes it will

I go to the movie and I go downtown
Somebody keep telling me don't hang around
It's been a long, a long time coming
But I know a change gonna 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 couldn't last for long
But now I think I'm able to carry on
It's been a long, a long time coming
But I know a change gonna come, oh yes it will

Lyrics taken from

Correct | Report

Please input the reason why these lyrics are bad:

songmeaningsPost my meaning

  • Kurogari_No_Hime
    Kurogari_No_HimeJul 7, 2008 at 3:25 am
    sam cooke meant that one day, even through all the racism that he had to live with, all of it will end and everybody, no matter what color, race religion, or whatever; will get along without discrimination.
    so if you really are racist you need to rethink where you are in life. where i live black people, part of the many races that i am, are racist against white people. so i get attacked everyday because they say that my behavior is 'white'. the two major people who help me get through this are my brother and mother. my brother is half white but looks white and my mother is over one fourth white. i grew up without a father and eventually i realized that it's not the color of your skin or where your family's from or even where you go to church at, it's the content of your character and that is why i have few friends where i live. anybody with me on that?
  • U
    UnregisteredJun 17, 2012 at 4:48 am
    It is just is inspiring to others to not give up but things will change in a matter in a time. Ohh yes !
  • U
    UnregisteredAug 31, 2012 at 3:28 pm
    Personally this song is helping me out of my struggle with depression. This song has power, it touches the heart xx
  • U
    UnregisteredAug 11, 2012 at 10:20 am
    The song is soulful , it depicts that change is inevitable , no matter how you repress it , it will come some day but it doesnt come quickly. Sam waited for the change , he saw it but he never lived it .
  • U
    UnregisteredMay 13, 2012 at 4:08 pm
    Sam cooke is still trying to find meaning.. "like the river, i've been running ever since".. He don't know what going on so he is searching for the answers.. "he went downtown and was told not to hang around" why can't we all co-exist with each other... "then i go to my brother and say help me please, buthe winds up knocking me back down to my knees" he went to find answers, from someone he thought would help him.. But was turned away.. So he is still running like the river... And through it all he is alright.. And he know eventually all te answers he searches for will soon surface one day..

    Write about your feelings and thoughts

    Know what this song is about? Does it mean anything special hidden between the lines to you? Share your meaning with community, make it interesting and valuable. Make sure you've read our simple tips.
    Min 50 words
    Not bad

    Write an explanation

    Your explanation
    Add image by pasting the URLBoldItalicLink
    10 words
    Explanation guidelines:
    • Describe what artist is trying to say in a certain line, whether it's personal feelings, strong statement or something else.
    • Provide song facts, names, places and other worthy info that may give readers a perfect insight on the song's meaning.
    • Add links, pictures and videos to make your explanation more appealing. Provide quotes to support the facts you mention.
    Before you get started, be sure to check out these explanations created by our users: good, very good, great.