Respect – ‘in respect of’, ‘paying respect’, ‘showing respect’, ‘mutual respect’, ‘final respects’, ‘in many respects’, ‘last respects’, ‘with all due respect’, ‘with respect to…’ – yes, today with respect to my 30/30 blog/day challenge, I have arrived at Respect. I came across a list of random topics or subjects and I can’t even remember who why or what the list was for but I have been writing about one from the list, in order, every day for the last twenty-four days, and today it’s day 25.
The first thing which springs to mind when I hear the word ‘respect’ is the song of that name sung by Aretha Franklin. I first remember hearing the song in the early 1970’s when I was in Manchester, and my new friends were really into soul music and I was introduced to all sorts of new singers, groups and music with the albums we had and the clubs we went to. Aretha Franklin (and my friends always called her Areeta – I’m not sure if that was just them, a northern thing, or how she called herself) had her hit in 1967, and I must have heard it but it passed me by. I was more into what my sister called ‘weird stuff’, such as the Incredible String Band… whatever happened to them?
Aretha Franklin who became known as the Queen of Soul, was born in 1942; over her long career she had so many hit records, but the early ones which I know best (once I knew who she was) included ‘Never Loved a Man the Way I Love You, You Make Me Feel Like a Natural Woman, and ‘Say a Little Prayer’. ‘Respect’ was a hit for her two years after the man who wrote it, Otis Redding… or did he write it? I’ve only just discovered that Otis had a success with it and I’ve never heard his version of it. He may be credited for it, but as with so many songs, I guess, it’s not clear where it originally came from and this is what Wikipedia says:
Bandleader Percy Welch said it was a guitarist at Bobby Smith’s recording studio in Macon. Redding took Speedy Sims’ version, rewrote the lyrics and sped up the tempo. Sims went with the band to the Muscle Shoals studios, but was unable to produce a good version. Redding then decided to sing the song himself, which Sims agreed to. Redding also promised to credit Sims, but this never happened. Sims never pressed Redding on the issue, possibly because he himself had not really written it in the first place.
I can’t find a difference in lyrics of the two singers versions of the same song, but a man (especially in the 60’s) asking his woman to respect him is different from a woman asking the same – it’s not what a man has but what a woman is.
The last time I remember seeing Aretha Franklin singing was at President Obama’s 2009 inauguration; she sang ‘My Country, ‘Tis of Thee’ and I think this shows in what respect she was held that she should be invited to share that momentous occasion.