Sunday Music: I’m Going Through Changes

When Charles Bradley’s producer asked him to sing “Changes” by Black Sabbath, he had never even heard of them. What’s a soul singer got to do with a heavy metal band anyway?

He read the lyrics. He’d been going through a personal crisis caring for his sick mother. The song took him there. To her suffering. To her last goodbye. To the pain he felt living on, next to the death of someone who was the world to him.

The rest came naturally. He says he didn’t need to rehearse it. The song just poured out of him. Automatically. Like the way water flows when you turn on the tap.

He’d say in interviews that whenever he performed the song it would bring all of these emotions back to the surface. That song transported him to those moments. Singing those words made them inescapable. But, it also made it possible to visit.

“Changes” popped up in my YouTube feed unexpectedly this week. Specifically this live version. I haven’t heard it in a few years but it’s still a tearjerker.

Here are the lyrics and a very, very special live performance.

I feel unhappy
I feel so sad
I have lost the best friend
That I ever had
She was my woman
I love her so
But it’s too late now
I let her go
I’m going through changes
I’m going through changes (in my life)

Oh, baby
Oh, no no

We shared the years
We shared each day
In love together
We found a way
But soon the world
Had its evil way
My heart was blinded
Love went astray
I’m going through changes
I’m going through changes, oh, in my life
Oh, oh
Oh, ooh ooh

It took so long
To realize
I can still hear her
Last goodbyes
And now all my days
Are filled with tears
Wish I…

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