Sam Cooke Analysis

485 Words2 Pages
Cooke’s song could be able to be considered as a viable protest song if it had some sense of direction. While criticizing the song, Trigg remarks that the lyrics move within a circular movement. He goes on to comment that at the end of the song Cooke “is in exactly the same position as he was at the beginning” (Trigg 993). The end goal for any protest song should be to end in a better place. The direction of the song is the antithesis of what the movement was trying to accomplish. In the opening line, Cooke states that he has been “running ever since.” The reader never knows what he was running to, or even why he was running. There is no aim or concrete plan that is described, only an action. As a result of the vague lyrics “running” can be…show more content…
Gil Scott Heron’s music mimicked the popular beliefs at the time along with other artists, who took a more active role in the movement. Scott Heron’s most prominent song “The Revolution will not be Televised,” shows a different point of view from what was presented Sam Cooke’s song. In his song, Heron predicts that television, among other things will “no longer be so god damned relevant.” It is in this lyric that we witness the anger that Heron feels toward his peers. The anger felt through Heron’s lyrics is more alive compared to the distressed tone of Cooke’s song. After explaining what the revolution will not do, Heron mentions that “the revolution will put you in the driver 's seat.” This break in the pattern is significant because here he places the listener as the person in charge. The power to make a difference is right in front of us, as opposed to Cooke’s song, in which even the speaker is powerless. Though at first, Heron mentions drug use amongst his peers, by the end of the song, black people are “in the street looking for a brighter day.” Heron goes from acknowledging an activity that causes harm to a community, to highlighting the actions meant to help the community. By the time the song ends, his message has successfully advanced from the beginning of the song, contrary to Cooke’s song which is aimless in
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