Otis Redding and Aretha Franklin on marriage (R-E-S-P-E-C-T)


In 1967, Aretha Franklin's classic single "Respect" topped the charts for two weeks. Women in the emerging feminist movement identified with the lyrics, which depict a strong woman standing up to a man she cannot trust, and "drawing the line." What most folks don't know is that Otis Redding actually wrote the song in 1965 about a man coming home, totally spent, so desperate for his deepest need--respect--that he will give up anything. Aretha had simply altered the lyrics so she could sing it as a woman, and had no social or political intentions. But her version hit home for many women, and for good reason.

My challenge to you is to google the lyrics to both versions and compare them side-by-side in the following ways:

1) What would change in Aretha's version if the woman in the song had the trust she needed?

2) How would Aretha's woman respond to the man in Otis's song?

I do an 8-week marriage enrichment seminar for churches called "Respect: Otis and Aretha on Marriage" at no cost. The focus is on discussion and participation, not teaching, and I learn as much as anyone else.

They call it soul music for a reason!