this week's song. Hear it here.
In fond remembrance of The Queen of Soul (1942-2018).
As befits one of America's premiere artists, Aretha Franklin sang at
three Presidential inaugurations. The first was Jimmy Carter's in 1977,
when she sang "God Bless America." What's your favorite patriotic song? "America, The Beautiful." If anyone asked me -- and no one has -- I'd suggest making this our national anthem. "And crown thy good with brotherhood from sea to shining sea!" C'mon. How does that not get to you?
2) The daughter of a Baptist minister, Aretha grew up with church music. She told Rolling Stone one of her favorite songs was the hymn, "Victory Is Mine." What's your favorite religious song? I'll stick with "America, The Beautiful." It's in our church hymnal, and one of the later verses especially applies today: "O, beautiful, for heroes proved in liberating strife, who more than self thy country loved and mercy more than life." There's so much macho chest thumping these days about being "tough" on our allies, "tough" on NFL players, even "tough" on mothers who enter this country looking for asylum for themselves and their children (which is legal). It would help us to remember that heroes can be merciful.
She welled up a bit when President George W. Bush presented her with
the nation's highest civilian award, the Presidential Medal of Freedom
in 2005. When is the last time you shed a tear? Last week. Streisand Day on TCM.
In 1980, the Queen of Soul sang for the Queen of England in a Command
Performance at The Royal Albert Hall. Have you ever been to London? Nope.
Since Aretha had many honorary degrees, it would have been appropriate
to refer to her as Dr. Franklin. Who is the last person you referred to
by his or her title (Officer, Father, Sgt., Dr., etc.)? Golly, I can't remember the last time I addressed anyone directly by title. I referred to my GP as "doctor" when I was talking to her office staff, last week, over the phone.
In this week's song, Aretha tells her lover that it doesn't take a high
IQ to understand what's going on in their relationship. Do you know
your IQ? Nope.
7) A sculpture of Aretha is on display at Madame Tussaud's in New York. Do you think wax museums are cool, or creepy? I don't see this as an either/or.
Aretha and Motown legend Smokey Robinson were literally lifelong
friends, since they were playground buddies in Detroit. Smokey is one of
the only people who can claim to have seen The Queen of Soul with a
bucket in a sandbox. If we went to the playground today, would you head
for the swings, the slide or the jungle gym? Or, like Aretha, would you
play in the sand? Swings! By the way, my mom never let us go near the sandbox. She maintained it was "filthy." When I was a wee one, I thought she was crazy. "Other kids use it!" But now, I see her point. Who patrols it to make sure that outdoor cats won't do what cats do in sand?
9) Random question: Do you like pumpkin seeds? I don't not like them.