A Change Is Gonna Come

Written by Sam Cooke
Performed live by Bob Dylan at the 70th anniversary celebration show at the Apollo Theatre, NY
Tabbed by Eyolf Østrem


Capo 1st fret (sounding key C# major)

See tab for chord shapes

The song is played higher up on the neck, and instead of the first-position version below, you can use a capo on the 6th fret and the alternative chords further down on the page. The intro can actually be played fairly comfortably on a single guitar an octave lower than played, as notated:


             C       /b        Am      /g        F Em/b Dm7 Am7   Bb9-5   Ab11+5
  :   .      :   .   .   .     :   .   .   .     :   .   .   .     :   .   .   .
-h5---3---|------------------|-----------------|-----------------|-0-------0-------|
----------|3h5---3---1---0---|-3---1-----------|-------------1---|-0---1-----------|
--5-------|----------0-------|-2-------2---0---|-----0---2---2---|-1-------3-------|
----------|--5-------2-------|-2-------2-------|-3---2---0---2---|-0-------4-------|
----------|--3-------2-------|-0---------------|-0---2---3---3---|-1-------3-------|
----------|------------------|---------3-------|-1---------------|---------4-------|
G7 .

      C
I was born by the river, in a little tent,
Dm                                     Am
 just like the river I've been running   ever since
(G/b)            C                 Dm            F   E7
     It's been a long, a long time coming, but I know
  Am                              C    .   Csus4  C
A change is gonna come, oh yes it will


It's been too hard living, but I'm afraid to die
I don't know what's up there beyond the sky,
It's been a long time coming, but I know
A change is gonna come, oh yes it will

I go to the movie and I go downtown
Somebody always tellin' me: don't hang around
It's been a long, a long time coming, but I know
A change is gonna come, oh yes it will
Dm
  Now I go
          Am
to see my brother
      Dm
I say brother,
           Am
help me please
       Dm
But he wind up
           Am
a-knocking me
D7              G11   G7
back down on my knees
There been times that I thought I couldn't last for long
Now I think I'm able to carry on
It's been a long, a long time coming, but I know
A change is gonna come, oh yes it will

Version with capo on the 6th fret:

      G
I was born by the river, in a little tent,
Am                                     Em
 just like the river I've been running   ever since
            G                 Am            C   B7
It's been a long, a long time coming, but I know
  Em                              G
A change is gonna come, oh yes it will

. . .
      Am
Now I go
          Em
to see my brother
      Am
I say brother,
        Em
help me please
       Am
But he wind up
           Em
a-knocking me
A7              D11   D7
back down on my knees