Category Archives: aretha franklin


When it all comes down to it, aren’t we all really looking for a little respect?

R-E-S to the P-E-C-T

Unless you can sing like Ree Ree, respect is a little harder to come by. Usually, it’s earned through the decent treatment of others. You know, the thing you were taught in Kindergarten, in Sunday School, in Catechism…..”The Golden Rule”, a/k/a the Law of Reaping and Sowing, better known as “karma”.

Pardon this rant, but this has been on my mind.

To me, the problem manifests when people somehow think that they’ll gain respect by bashing others or bullying or making fun of someone. I HATE THAT CRAP. Intelligent disagreement and civil debate on a particular subject is fine. Got no problem with that. But, what I really abhor is when somebody — anybody — makes other people feel crappy to have some kind of control and quasi-respect. Has that ever worked?

I mean, who enjoyed being teased or ridiculed growing up? Who has ever endeared themselves by making others feel crappy? Aren’t there 1,000 movies like Revenge of the Nerds, Never Been Kissed, She’s All That, Just Friends, etc.? And don’t you just want to punch the jock, cheerleader, clearly evil asshats bent on making people feel bad?

My theory of people that live to tear down others is a lack of respect for self. Because they do not like themselves, they can’t love others. In not loving others, they have little or no remorse in inflicting great pain on others. That brings retribution and lack of acceptance which feeds the vicious cycle.

What is the point? Isn’t life too short? Isn’t it easier to be supportive and positive rather than critical and negative? And, does anybody really get satisfaction in making fun of someone’s weight? height? looks? handicap? misunderstood humor? lack of intelligence? religion? ethnicity?

Isn’t time better spent encouraging and building others up? Yeah, yeah, I know…..rainbows, kitties, baby ducks and squishy muffins…

I’ll conclude this pontificating with a little Staple Singers:

Give a cahoot, don’t pollute.


Posted by on November 15, 2007 in aretha franklin, random crap, that's life


Never Gonna Break My Faith


Sometimes, there is a song that just sticks with you.

A good friend recently told me that she always wanted to be Aretha Franklin. Now, Aretha is just one of those pulsars that grace a generation. She’s an institution, yet she’s not so self-consumed that she forgets that her gift is to provide music that kun-NECKs with folks. Makes you feel. Makes you sing along.

While Aretha is not high profile anymore, recently she recorded “Never Gonna Break My Faith” with Mary J. Blige and the Harlem Boys’ Choir. Wow. Here are the powerful lyrics to that song, highlighted in the movie, Bobby, about the late Robert F. Kennedy. These lyrics are sooooo powerful to me:

My Lord
I have read this book so many times
But nowhere can I find the page
that says what I experience today
has any Grace.

Now I know that life is meant to be hard
that’s how I learn to appreciate my God
Though my courage made me tried
I can tell you I won’t hide
Because the footprints show you were by my side.

You can lie to a child with a smilin’ face
Tell me that color ain’t about race
You can cast the first stones, you can break my bones
But your never gonna break, You’re never gonna break my Faith.

Faith and Hope aint yours to give
Truth and liberty are mine to live
You can steal a crown from a king
Break an angels wings
But your never gonna break, You’re never gonna break my Faith

My Lord
Won’t you help them, help them to understand
that when someone takes the life of an innocent man
Well they never really won because all they’ve really done
is set the soul free where it’s supposed to be


For those we lose before their time,
I pray their souls will find the light.
I know that the day will surely come,
When His will, His will, will be done.

While designed to pay homage to Bobby Kennedy and his “walk”, the song has meaning in so many of today’s struggles. In light of all those “situations”, this song — delivered with added emphasis from Misses Franklin and Blige, parlay courage to face the day….

Remember, no-one can make you feel bad about yourself without your permission.


Posted by on April 14, 2007 in aretha franklin, Influences