So the end of the dog days of summer is supposed to be August 21st, but seriously, last week was almost just as brutally hot here as the week before. Theoretically it’s supposed to ease back down into the double digits again this coming week. *le sigh* Let us hope.
Here’s a little Flo to get you moving. Even in the heat, this one makes me want to dance.
Unless you’ve been on a news blackout for several days — and I get it, why wouldn’t you want to be? — you’ll have heard about the sad passing of the Queen of Soul. Yes, Aretha Franklin died last week, and the world is now somewhat bereft of her glorious talent and immense contributions to arts and culture. It may or may not be well known that she and her family were influential during the Civil Rights Era as well. You can click here for an excellent tribute to her.
So of course this week’s earworm would have to be Aretha. But which song? So many would work so well; I just couldn’t decide. Should I go with “Freeway of Love,” which was the song that allowed me (then a child) to fully connect who she was with her impressive previous work? How about “Respect” or “Think,” anthems most people who know her music will connect with her immediately? What about her performance of “You Make Me Feel Like A Natural Woman” at the Kennedy Center — yeah, that one almost won out. So powerful. There were too many good choices, and I could spend another hour watching videos of her online, but I have to make a choice.
So here you go. Enjoy it, and rest in peace, Queen of Soul.
When I taught AP Gothic Lit. I included this song as a springboard into discussion about female vampires in 19th-century literature. Now that I’m going to be teaching a different AP class this year, I might still use this song as part of a unit on feminist literature — and why sometimes people who don’t understand the concept of feminism very well still assume it to be threatening.
Please feel free to add your thoughts to this discussion in the comments below.