Dave Mason’s ‘World in Changes’ Captures the Spirit of an Essay

By Richard Lee

In her Media Studies Across Disciplines essay, Fundraising in the Midst of Pandemic: Important Work. Unique Challenges, Monica Mattioli explains how those in the advancement profession must adapt and change to meet the challenges created by the pandemic. 

So the search for a song to illustrate Mattioli’s paper begins with recordings about money. And there are many: Pink Floyd’s Money, the Motown classic Money (That’s What I Want), the Beatles’ Can’t Buy Me Love and many, many more. 

But since the advancement profession is just one of the countless facets of our daily professional and personal lives affected by the pandemic, a better choice might be a song about change. 

Again, the choices are plentiful. David Bowie’s Changes, Sam Cooke’s A Change is Gonna Come and Dylan’s The Times They Are A Changin’ top the list. 

However, it is a lesser-known song, Dave Mason’s World in Changes that best illustrates Mattioli’s essay and the changes resulting from the pandemic. 

Let’s start with the title. World in Changes is an accurate description of life in 2020. It is not a person, a place or an event that has changed; the pandemic has impacted every corner of the globe. 

Mason’s lyrics, although written about a romantic partner, could easily apply to the pandemic. The song opens with the lines: Things could be lazy if they weren’t so crazy. For some of those stuck at home for weeks, it may be a lazy time. For everyone, “crazy” is an appropriate description for 2020. 

As the song progresses, Mason sings a line that reminds us that life during the pandemic is a bit like Groundhog Day. Every day seems the same: Running in circles won’t find me no purpose. 

Later, in a few lines that capture the emotions of the pandemic, he sings about the need for a change, but worries about what that change will bring: Time for a new day, in search of a new way, but are you sure that it will do? 

And the song come to end with a refrain that sums up the situation and the fact that we still are learning about the virus and how to deal with it: World in changes still going through. I’ve got a lot to learn…” 

Lastly, at a time when people are separated physically, but united by a pandemic that affects us all, let’s not overlook the title of the album on which World in Changes appears – Alone Together. 

Richard Lee, executive director of the Jandoli Institute, is a former music journalist who often writes about the intersection of music and current events. Click here to read Rich’s soundtrack selections for our other Media Studies Across Disciplines research essays.

 

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