Genius of Aretha: Share your love edition

I’m in the middle of translation hell and not posting much because of that, but I’ve just seen that Aretha Franklin has died. I have to admit she was never my personal subjective favorite singer (always high but never quite at the top) but her body of work clearly makes her the most important artist in one of the most important American musical genres of the 20th century – Soul.

Here’s a song that wasn’t one of her bigger hits but is a personal favorite, a mid-tempo number that sees her dial back her trademark intensity in a relatively straight reading of the lyrics detailing the pains of unrequited love (the intensity is there but kept under control and only surfaces by suggestion as in the crescendos on some words like love at 0.23 or no one at 1.18).

Beyond the appealing melody and her gently rocking performance (combining longing and resigned acceptance) I totally love the bass line chugging along in the background.

(lyrics below the video)

It’s an evil wind that blows no good, yeah
It’s a sad heart that won’t love like I know it should
Oh how lonesome you must be
It’s a shame if you don’t share your love with me

It’s a heartache, yeah, when love is gone
But it’s bad and even sad, oh later on
And there’s no one blinder than you won’t see,
It’s a shame if you won’t share some of your love with me

I can’t help it, oh no, he is gone
I must try to forget, because I’ve got to live on

Oh, it’s a good thing it’s a sweet thing
To love someone
But it’s bad and even sad when it’s not returned
Oh, how lonesome, how lonesome, how lonesome
You must be, I tell you it would be a shame
A shame if you don’t share your love with me

It would really be a mistake baby
If you don’t share your love with me
It would sure be a shame
If you don’t share, share your love with me

Farewell to a giant creative talent who made everyone who heard her better off. There is no greater artistic legacy.

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