This morning (or rather: last night) I witnessed a strange but wonderful circus. At 5 AM, in a zombie-like state of semi-sleep, I joined approximately 1200 people in the Kurhaus in Scheveningen for the “Election Breakfast”, to watch the results of election day come in live. Just as we walked up the grand staircase into the beautiful main hall of the Kurhaus, we were met by a large cheering crowd: Barack Obama won the race.

First we watched McCain’s gracious speech, a shining example of how to accept your defeat with dignity. Then there was just enough time to stock up on bagels and donuts before Obama took to the stage. Quite the sight: this majestic hall full of people, cheeks filled with breakfast buffet goodies, staring up at Barack Obama and drying the odd tear during his powerful speech.

One of the things Obama said really struck me:

“It’s been a long time coming, but tonight, because of what we did on this date in this election at this defining moment, change has come to America.”

This is clearly Obama’s subtle but unmistakable reference to the civil rights movement through one of the most beautiful and poignant songs ever written: Sam Cooke’s A Change Is Gonna Come.

When you hear Sam Cooke sing “It’s been a long time coming, but I know, a change is gonna come. Oh yes it will.”, you can’t help but be moved. Sadly, Cooke never lived to see the significance his song would come to have after it’s posthumous release in 1964.

Congratulations Obama and thank you for the little Cooke reference you snuck in there, it provides me with the perfect excuse to pull this glorious golden oldie out of the dusty archives:

Sam Cooke – A Change Is Gonna Come