NPR logo Thinking About Salvation, but at a Later Date

Thinking About Salvation, but at a Later Date

I'm Gonna Change My Ways

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Friday's Pick

  • Song: "I'm Gonna Change My Ways"
  • Artist: Peter Case
  • CD: Let Us Now Praise Sleepy John
  • Genre: Folk

Peter Case testifies with the conviction of a true believer and howls with the intensity of a recent convert. Denise Sullivan hide caption

toggle caption Denise Sullivan

Some songs rely more on the ferocity of the person singing it than the song itself. On "I'm Gonna Change My Ways," Peter Case testifies with the conviction of a true believer and howls with the intensity of a recent convert. The warm and rumbling electric guitar tempers the acoustic that Case wields like a combination megaphone and truncheon.

The message he's delivering might not mean the same thing coming out of anyone else's mouth; hell, it might not mean anything coming from someone else. But it doesn't really matter that the listener believes what Case has to say, so long as it's clear that Case does, fervently and with all his heart and brand-new soul.

Or maybe it's not that simple, since the tag that Case keeps dropping at the end of the chorus — "one of these days" — makes explicit the fact that he's speaking in the future tense the entire time. For all the fire in his heart, the man delivering this sermon isn't quite ready to abandon the life he knows for the straight and narrow. But, Case suggests with a sly smile, he's sure thinking about it.

Listen to yesterday's 'Song of the Day.'

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Let Us Now Praise Sleepy John

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Let Us Now Praise Sleepy John
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Peter Case

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