Respect Aretha Franklin

Artist: Aretha Franklin

Song Title: Respect

Date Recorded/Released: Originally in 1965 by Otis Redding; released again in 1967 by singer Aretha Franklin

Other Famous Songs by Artist: "Baby, I Love You", "Chain of Fools", "Rock Steady", "Spanish Harlem", "Don't Play That Song", "Dr. Feelgood", "Day Dreaming", "I Say a Little Prayer", etc.

Lyrics and Analysis:

"R-E-S-P-E-C-T" - Franklin spells out the word RESPECT to demonstrate the importance of the word and its meaning. It represents Franklin's devotion to the one she loves while he is gone fighting in the Vietnam War.

"Find out what it means to me" - She is willing to work and give up her life to take care of herself and her family in order for her husband to fight in America's name in the war. All she asks from him in return is to give her a little respect when he returns from Vietnam for her work and obvious dedication to him.

"R-E-S-P-E-C-T" - Same as above [repetition to show importance].

"Take care, TCB" - Franklin is sending a pro-war message to her partner to "TCB" or "Take Care of Business" in Vietnam, until he can come home to her after America "surely" wins the war.

Relation to Time Period: Aretha Franklin's cover of "Respect" shows a rare pro-war perspective in an American sea of anti-war emotions. It also shows a woman's point of war during this time, where respect is an important wish for them, and something that they fight to achieve, especially in this time of female independence as more and more young men, many newly married or to be married, leave behind strong and rebellious brides behind.

What Is Taking Place In History: "1967 the continued presence of American troops increased further and a total of 475,000 were serving in Vietnam and the peace rallies were multiplying as the number of protesters against the war increased...In the middle east Israel also went to war with Syria, Egypt and Jordan in the six day war and when it was over Israel controlled and occupied a lot more territory than before the war. Once again in the summer cities throughout America exploded in rioting and looting the worst being in Detroit on July 23rd where 7000 national Guard were bought in to restore law and order on the streets...this year was also coined the summer of love when young teenagers got friendly and smoked pot and grooved to the music of "The Grateful Dead. Jefferson Airplane and The Byrds". The movie industry moved with the times and produced movies that would appeal to this younger audience including 'The Graduate" Bonnie and Clyde' and 'Cool Hand Luke.'"

Citation For Information Above: The People History -- Steve Pearson. "What Happened in 1967 Important News and Events, Key Technology and Popular Culture." What Happened in 1967 inc. Pop Culture, Prices Significant Events, Key Technology and Inventions. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Dec. 2016.

Overall Inspiration and Message of the Lyrics: Pro-War feelings towards the Vietnam War; the song "Respect" attempts to make amends towards the idea of respect towards everyone, including authoritative figures [LBJ and the government] as more soldiers are sent to Vietnam. It sends a message of hope and having faith in the leaders of the country to make the right decisions for America in accordance towards the war, and hope that the USA will end/win the war, and soon.

Project by Hannah Rothman, History Honours Period 2, 12/17/2016


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