ARETHA on MY MIND
AUGUST 16 and 17, 2018
I sing to people about what matters. I sing to the realists, people who accept it like it is. I express problems, there are tears when it’s sad and smiles when it’s happy. It seems simple to me, but to some, feelings take courage.
ARETHA FRANKLIN is on my mind. I’m praying for her; and I’m anxious about what I’m hearing. She’s one of my Sheroes; she’s also notoriously private which makes the current spate of reporting hard to take. Of course, if my beloved Stevie Wonder and the Rev. Jesse Jackson have been to see her; if former spouse, Glynn Turman has dropped by, then obviously, she’s not doing well.
I love Aretha Franklin the way I love my hometown, Oakland, CA… with a purple passion which defies definition. And if I commence to discussing how personal her discography is for me, needless to say, the dialogue will never end! Enuff said??? I enjoy watching the televised Kennedy Center Honors and my heart swelled with pride when the undisputed Queen of Soul was an honoree in 1994. Aretha, however, is a show-stopper, a scene-stealer; an all-around powerful presence. You knew she had to be part of the 2015 Kennedy Center tribute to Carole King. And believe me, my Queen did her thang! Aretha, puh-leez!!! Video of her performance went viral, dominating social media. Folk were signifyin’ an testifyin’…ah, let me tell you, when the Queen opens her mouth, she is unforgettable. No one can sing her signature songs the way she does, period, end of sentence. Okay! Okay! I’m biased. Right now, Aretha is on my mind…
I began this post while Aretha was still with us and realized I could not complete it. After my husband broke the news of her death to me, the mourning began. Letting go can be incredibly difficult – and saying goodbye can be painful. As I sift through my feelings of loss, sadness, and disbelief, I find consolation in gratitude.
Aretha Franklin was my muse. She sang my life with words I could not express. She was authentic! And in her authenticity, she earned R-E-S-P-E-C-T, which she shared. She gave voice to yearnings, urges, and experiences with a force no one can duplicate. Aretha took you higher and brought you back to earth, leaving you wanting more… She issued messages with such clarity they became personal anthems…
Written by Luther Dixon and Curtis Ousley
Only you can hear my soul serenade…
I want to be free to fly away and sing to the world
About my soul… serenade!
My soul serenade…
When you’re not around, there’s a lonely sound
In my soul serenade…
Everyone but you adores me,
But oh, do you know pretty soon they bore me?
Let me tell you right now that they bore me!
They bore me with their pretty little words,
Those pretty little words of devotion…
But, oh, let me tell you right now, my message to ‘em this evening
Is they can jump in anybody’s ocean!
Because only you hear my soul… my soul serenade!
My soul serenade…
Oh, my soul serenade…
My soul serenade
The Queen of Soul was matchless; she has no peer! I adored her… I love her music; I appreciated her humility; I admired her grace and grit. Her incredible voice has been stilled in this life. I know she’s singing with the celestial choir, celebrating her transition from labor to her justly earned reward. Her catalog, not simply her repertoire, will continue to electrify, uplift, and reverberate with generations yet unborn because authenticity never goes out of style!!!
DR. FEELGOOD (LOVE IS A SERIOUS BUSINESS)
Written by Aretha Franklin and Ted White
I don’t won’t nobody always
Sitt’in around me and my man.
I don’t won’t nobody always
Sitt’in right there looking at me and that man.
Be it my mother my [brother] or my sister
Would you believe I get up put on some clothes,
Go out and help them find somebody for their selves if I can,
Yes I will.
Now I don’t mind company.
Because company’s alright with me every once in a while. Yes it is.
I say I don’t mind company.
Because company’s alright with me every once in a while. Yeah.
When me and that man get to luv’in.
I tell you girls, I dig you, but I just don’t have time.
To sit and sit and sit and sit tight and smile.
Don’t send me no doctor.
Filling me up with all of those pills.
I got me a man name Dr. Feelgood.
Oh! Yeah! That man takes care of all of my pains and my ills.
His name is Dr. Feelgood in the morning.
And taking care of business
Is really this man’s game.
And after one visit to Dr. Feelgood.
You’d understand why Feelgood is his name.
Oh! Yeah! Ooh!
Good God Almighty the man show makes me feel real good.
Copyright August 17, 2018, Theresa W. Bennett-Wilkes. All rights reserved.