8.10.2004

"changes come," on live album changes come, by over the rhine

i suppose it's sort of strange to review one song of an album. but the song, performed live, deserves considerable mention. the song is great on ohio (2003); painful on changes come (2004).



the lyrics:

Changes come

Turn my world around

I have my father's hand


I have my mother's tongue

I look for redemption in everyone

I wanna wear your ring


I have a song to sing

It ain't over babe

In fact it's just begun

Changes come


Turn my world around

Changes come

Bring the whole thing down

I wanna have our baby


Somedays I think that maybe

This ol' world's too fucked up

For any firstborn son

There is all this untouched beauty


The light the dark both running through me

Is there still redemption for anyone

Jesus come


Turn the world around

Lay my burden down

Turn this world around

Bring the whole thing down

Bring it down



the subtle shift from "changes come" to "jesus come" is chilling. it's almost as if the singer isn't completely sure she wants jesus to come; that even though she wants change, the enormity of the eschaton is a little too big. this song is begging for a frightening thing: the end of the world as we know it. given the context in which this song was written- in the wake of 9/11 and the cusp of a senseless war- the lyrics aren't all that extreme. it strikes me as the polar opposite of mark twain's war prayer, a satire of the twisted religiousity of patriotism. there's no assumption of righteousness, no false claim of god-on-our-side. just pure lamentation.

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