♫ R.E.S.P.E.C.T. ♫

I had another song planned for tonight, but when I heard that Aretha Franklin is seriously ill and not likely to live much longer, I knew I had to do this one tonight.  There are a lot of great singers in the world, but I know of none with a voice as powerful as Aretha’s.

From The Washington Post

It was Valentine’s Day 1967 when Aretha Franklin sat down at a piano in the Atlantic Records studio in New York and recorded “Respect.”

The Queen of Soul, now gravely ill, took the song written and first recorded by Otis Redding and made it her own, transforming it into what would become an anthem for the civil rights movement and for the women’s movement.

“Respect” became a soundtrack for the 1960s. Franklin, then just 24 years old, infused it with a soulful and revolutionary demand, a declaration of independence that was unapologetic, uncompromising and unflinching.

The song was a demand for something that could no longer be denied. She had taken a man’s demand for respect from a woman when he got home from work and flipped it. The country had never heard anything like it.

“Aretha shattered the atmosphere, the aesthetic atmosphere,” Peter Guralnick, author of “Sweet Soul Music,” told The Washington Post in 1987, on the 20th anniversary of the song. “She set a new standard which, in some way, no one else could achieve.”

When Franklin’s version of “Respect” was released in April 1967, it soared to No. 1 on the charts and stayed there for at least 12 weeks.

“Respect” would become an anthem for the black-power movement, as symbolic and powerful as Nina Simone’s “Mississippi Goddam” and Sam Cooke’s “A Change is Gonna Come.”

The song caught on with the black-power movement and feminists and human rights activists across the world. Its appeal remains powerful. In the last year, it has become a symbol of the #MeToo movement.

A toast to Aretha Franklin … 🥂

Respect
Aretha Franklin

What you want
Baby, I got it
What you need
Do you know I got it
All I’m askin’
Is for a little respect when you get home (just a little bit)
Hey baby (just a little bit) when you get home
(Just a little bit) mister (just a little bit)

I ain’t gonna do you wrong while you’re gone
Ain’t gonna do you wrong cause I don’t wanna
All I’m askin’
Is for a little respect when you come home (just a little bit)
Baby (just a little bit) when you get home (just a little bit)
Yeah (just a little bit)
I’m about to give you all of my money
And all I’m askin’ in return, honey
Is to give me my propers
When you get home (just a, just a, just a, just a)
Yeah baby (just a, just a, just a, just a)
When you get home (just a little bit)
Yeah (just a little bit)
Ooo, your kisses
Sweeter than honey
And guess what?
So is my money
All I want you to do for me
Is give it to me when you get home (re, re, re ,re)
Yeah baby (re, re, re ,re)
Whip it to me (respect, just a little bit)
When you get home, now (just a little bit)

R-E-S-P-E-C-T
Find out what it means to me
R-E-S-P-E-C-T
Take care, TCB
Oh (sock it to me, sock it to me, sock it to me, sock it to me)
A little respect (sock it to me, sock it to me, sock it to me, sock it to me)
Whoa, babe (just a little bit)
A little respect (just a little bit)
I get tired (just a little bit)
Keep on tryin’ (just a little bit)
You’re runnin’ out of fools (just a little bit)
And I ain’t lyin’ (just a little bit)
(Re, re, re, re) when you come home
(Re, re, re ,re) ‘spect
Or you might walk in (respect, just a little bit)
And find out I’m gone (just a little bit)
I got to have (just a little bit)
A little respect (just a little bit)

Songwriters: Otis Redding
Respect lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc, Universal Music Publishing Group

21 thoughts on “♫ R.E.S.P.E.C.T. ♫

  1. Jill, nice tribute to a talented person. Like Bessie Smith, Aretha is comfortable in her own skin. She knew what she wanted to do. Carole King tells how she added her own style to “Natural Woman” that she and her husband wrote. So, when King later recorded it, she adapted to the Aretha version.

    What a love about Aretha, she knew how to accent a song – letting the words not get overshadowed by the music. Many could learn from her style and have. I recall a Janis Joplin tribute show revealing how Franklin, Smith and Nina Simone influenced her. Aretha will be missed. Keith

    Liked by 1 person

I would like to hear your opinion, so please comment if you feel so inclined.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s