HER casket lies in state, TODAY. She brought joy and happiness to many millions across the world, without waging non-stop war to make the world in the image of her America. She is Aretha Franklin. Let us celebrate the life of this truly great American:
Aretha Franklin (who also had fighting words for the Brothers in her life), sang for the love of Jesus. “She was singing to God, just as when she screamed out her passion as a sinner cleansed by the blood of the Lamb: When my soul was in the lost and found/You came along to claim it. And when she threw out her arms wide under the spotlights, it was not to thank the fans who clamoured for her as much as to say, Precious Lord, take my hand.”
“Aretha Franklin died on August 16th: America’s undisputed Queen of Soul was 76”:
AT POINTS in her concerts, which enthralled America for 50 years, Aretha Franklin would fling her arms out wide. Sometimes it was to shrug her strong shoulders out of some satiny or feathery dress, or to throw away her long fur coat, like any diva (though she was the ultimate diva) who by the end of her career had won 18 Grammys and sold 75m records. Sometimes it was to embrace America, all colours, as when she sang “Precious Lord” at Martin Luther King’s funeral, or gave her rapturous version of “My Country ’tis of Thee” in a big-bow-statement hat at Barack Obama’s inauguration. Or possibly those arms just demonstrated how her voice, the whispering or crying height of it and drop-jaw depth of it, seemed to pass any limit that people might imagine.
Open arms suggested love, but more often Everywoman’s frustration, black or white. For every super-sharp man she daydreamed of, Turns me right on when I hear him say/Hey baby let’s get away, there would be ten who let her down: You’re a no-good heartbreaker/You’re a liar and you’re a cheat/And I don’t know why/I let you do these things to me. They messed with her mind, as she fumed in the Blues Brothers film in 1980, pummelling her palms into her big man’s stupid chest: Just think/Think about what you’re tryin’ to do to me. After all, it don’t take too much high IQs. Men in general didn’t begin to give her what she wanted, just a little respect when you get home…R-E-S-P-E-C-T/Find out what it means to me. This, her most famous song, wasn’t just about a put-down woman and a do-wrong man; it became the anthem of every liberation movement because of her roof-raising style. It was her personal anthem, too. She wished to be called “Ms Franklin”, to be paid cash and to be spared air-conditioning. All I’m askin’, honey.
Those wide arms also showed how her whole body sang. When she accompanied herself on the piano, big rampaging chords picked up from Oscar Peterson and Art Tatum, she sang with the stomach as well as heart and head. As a child of ten she’d understood that, hiding her chronic shyness behind the instrument while she sang “Jesus be a Fence Around Me” with the voice of an angel, or a grown woman. …
MORE in The Economist (August 23rd).
Naturally, it’s not John McCain and his “national greatness “conservatism.”
READ the expose on McCain’s history in Vietnam by Sydney Schanberg. Back in the days before American journalism became a circle jerk of power brokers, Mr. Schanberg was considered one of “America’s most eminent journalists.”
“John McCain and the POW Cover-UpThe “war hero” candidate buried information about POWs left behind in Vietnam, said Sydney Schanberg.”
Not MAGA: Meghan McCain
North Korea? No, America.
Obama heaping contempt on America:
UPDATE II (1/28/021):