Chicago (We Can Change The World)

Album: Songs For Beginners (1971)
Charted: 35
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  • Though your brother's bound and gagged
    And they've chained him to a chair
    Won't you please come to Chicago
    Just to sing
    In a land that's known as freedom
    How can such a thing be fair
    Won't you please come to Chicago
    For the help we can bring
    We can change the world

    Re-arrange the world
    It's dying, to get better
    Politicians sit yourself down,
    There's nothing for you here
    Won't you please come to Chicago
    For a ride

    Don't ask Jack to help you
    Cause he'll turn the other ear
    Won't you please come to Chicago
    Or else join the other side

    We can change the world,
    Re-arrange the world
    It's dying, if you believe in justice
    It's dying, and if you believe in freedom
    It's dying, let a man live it's own life
    It's dying, rules and regulations, who needs them
    Open up the door
    Somehow people must be free

    I hope the day comes soon
    Won't you please come to Chicago
    Show your face
    From the bottom to the ocean
    To the mountains of the moon
    Won't you please come to Chicago
    No one else can take your place

    We can change the world,
    Re-arrange the world
    It's dying, if you believe in justice
    It's dying, and if you believe in freedom
    It's dying, let a man live it's own life
    It's dying, rules and regulations, who needs them
    Open up the door
    We can change the world Lyrics licensed and provided by LyricFind

Comments: 21

  • Rhydo from CaResidents of Chicago got a lot of personal flack from this song and virtually countless numbers of them despise Nash for this song and his 50 year plus ingrained contempt for America despite all the wealth, fame, sex, and other benefits he had benefited from while living there. Certainly Nash ranks as one of the World's greatest ingrates.
  • Dave Mon Coeur from Cameron Forest Nash definitely had lyrics like "Please come to Chicago, for the fight that will be there" in this song, he's squished on what he really said.
  • Dave Mon Coeur from Cameron Forest Everybody assumed Jack was Richard Nixon, so totally you would sounded brain dead if you said anything else. Richard Nixon was definitely being referred to as Jack during Watergate.
  • Palmer from OregonI’ve always wanted to know who “Jack” was in the Graham Nash song “Chicago”. Originally I thought it might be JFK until I came out of the ether and realized he was already gone. Who was/is Jack anyway
  • Greg from Washougal WaI was the chief engineer at AFN Stuttgart 1987-1990. They said, our station had the 2nd largest LP collection outside the National Archives. Now the original 78 RPM of Ella Fitzgerald in Berlin was in a glass case, until a tank drove over it when the radio station was closed and no one wanted to work hard enough to save some history. Now Nash, Songs For Beginners was in the vault. Problem is AFRTS back in LA REDACTED two songs on that LP. Nothing but smooth as baby butt vinyl where Chicago and Military Madness should have been... Dang I wish I had committed a federal crime and pocketed those two LPs... AFN never aired either song, because the DJ had to hum it as the needle slipped on smooth un-cut vinyl.
  • Bill from ConnecticutBob in Rahway -
    "Jack" is not a reference to Chicago's mayor - his name was RICHARD Daley.
  • Ken from Philadelphia, PaAs much as I love this song and as much as I admire Graham Nash not only for writing it but for having the courage to publicly call out, among others, his own bandmates for not standing up for the Chicago 7 and, especially, for Bobby Seale, I have to point out a rather substantial piece of irony here. In the summer 1968, when Graham and everybody else REALLY had a chance to change the world and show up in Chicago during the Democratic Convention and make their voices and their opinions heard, nobody did. Although every popular musician of the day was invited to come and perform and stand up for something of great importance (i.e. ending a war!), all of them, not just Stephen Stills or Neil Young, but everybody including Graham Nash avoided Chicago like the plague. Well, actually, not everybody: The great (and greatly under-rated) MC5 had no qualms about following their conscience and were proud show and play. Everybody else, though, conveniently forgot who and what had made them rich and famous once they got wind of what Daley and his thugs planned to do "to the hippies".
  • Ken from Philadelphia, PaIt is certainly sensible that this song was directed to Stephen and Neil. Stephen, in particular is well known to be a conservative, law-and-order guy who was forever irritated that "For What It's Worth" (written while he was still with Buffalo Springfield) became something of a protest anthem (even though it was clearly neutral, at best, toward the counter-culture). Neil's beliefs are a bit harder to parse, especially since he wrote what I personally consider to be one of the rawest and most-powerful protest songs ever performed, "Ohio". However, Neil also seems to have had a bit of a selfish conservative streak. While I doubt he is cut from the exact same political cloth as Stephen, it would appear his beliefs are a lot closer to Stephen's than they are to Graham's and David's, both of whom whole-heartedly embraced (and continue to embrace) the beliefs of the 60's counter-culture.
  • Bob from Rahway, Nj'Jack' was a reference to John Daily who was Mayor of Chicago
  • Teresa from Mechelen, BelgiumI prefere the "Prison song" and all the songs Graham Nash did with The Hollies.
  • Jenna from Midland, MiI had to use a protest song for a English project. I heard this from a friend and said it's perfect, she was confused. My teacher loved my project. A+ yeah LOVE this song!!!
  • Gina from Paradise Valley, AzI asked David and Graham who "Jack" is. They said it's just like "anyone, any dude"...
  • Timothy from Oakland, CaSo who is the Jack that they refer to. JFK was dead for years before hand. I don't get the reference.
  • Scott from Palm Desert, CaThis song was not as socially releveant in 1971 as it was when it was wrote in 1968.
  • Marvin from Jackson, AlKanye West sampled this song for Beanie Sigel's song "The Truth."
  • Gina from Paradise Valley, AzSorry Shawn, but it IS true. I have heard Graham say this live, in front of both Stephen and Neil. I love Neil too and I think he does have a tremendous social conscience, but remember this was nearly 40 years ago; he was a young guy. Also, even people who are socially conscious have moments of selfishness. His history of feuding with Stills is legendary. They both have such huge egos! (Not without reason, of course. There are no better musicians and/or songwriters!)
  • Stefanie Magura from Rock Hill, SciiIt is sort of like Ohio, isn't it? That's not something that's easily noticealbe though. They sort of have the same beat, and in some ways, are about the same things.
  • Mark from Perth, Australiai love this song i dont get why you never hear it on the radio or why its so unknown??????
  • Shawn from Philadelphia/pittsburgh, PaDefinitely the best CSNY song. I've heard that story about Neil Young -- he's my favorite artist and I sure hope its not true since Neil pretty much is the embodiment of social consciousness as far as I'm concerned.
  • Clarke from Pittsburgh, PaForeshadowings of the later death-dirge "Ohio" in this one, for anyone who can hear it.
  • Gina from Paradise Valley, AzGraham Nash has said he wrote this song in reaction to the fact that Stephen Stills and Neil Young would not come to Chicago to protest the unfair proceedings at the trial of Bobby Seale. Young and Stills were so into the ego battle between themselves that they didn't respond to Nash's pleading "Won't you please come to Chicago just to sing?"....
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