I Never Met Her . . . But I Knew Her
Like millions of people around the world, I knew Aretha Franklin through her music–music that touched the heart and massaged the soul,
As I listened to the outpouring of remembrances, tributes and honors bestowed on Aretha Franklin, my heart became heavy, a lump settled in my throat and tears rolled down my cheeks. Why was I sad? Why was I grieving? Did I feel a loss of her presence? The answers did not come, but I knew they would, and when they did … they would reach beyond the surface of thought.
They came as I listened to her recording of “Angel.” It was not so much the lyrics that stirred my soul, it was the word “angel.” You see … that word has a special meaning to me … it’s a divine message, speaking to the human consciousness. I knew I had to listen for it to reach my soul … before it could reach your eyes. I waited … I waited … I waited.
Then … a voice whispers, “It’s not about how you feel, it’s about how she made the world feel. It’s about why the world calls her ‘The Queen of Soul!” That generated the question “Why does the world call her the Queen of Soul?” Again, an inner voice responds, “It’s not because she sings one genre of music called soul, it’s because she brings soul to every genre of music she sings!
I got a call the other day
It was my sister, Carolyn, sayin
Aretha, come by when you can
I’ve got somethin’ that I want to say
And when I got there she said
You know rather than go through a long drawn out thing,
I think the melody on the box, will help me explain
Gotta find me an angel, just fly away with me
Gotta find me an angel, ooh and set me free
My heart is without a whole, I don’t want to be in love
I gotta find me an angel in my life, in my life
Too long have I loved you so unattached within
So much that I know that I need somebody so
So I’ll just go on hoping that I find me someone
Find me an angel in my life
In my life
I know there must be someone, somewhere for me
Oh I lived too long without the love of someone
And there’s no misery ooh ooh like the misery
I feel in me, gotta find me an angel in (in my life)
(You’ll meet him now don’t you worry)
My life (keep lookin’ and just keep cookin’)
My life (he’ll be there, now don’t you worry)
My lifeWriter/s: FERNANDO LAMAS SAUNDERS
Publisher: AFGHAN MUSIC INC , SPRINGTIME MUSIC INC , Universal Music Publishing Group
Lyrics licensed and provided by LyricFind
Expressing Soul in her music, Aretha as the performer, and you as the listener, are able to connect with its beauty, creativeness, joy and peace. Having grown up in her father’s church, she had learned as a child to connect with a spirit outside of human consciousness … and that’s what she brought to her music! She drew upon the inspiration of Love, the government of divine Law and the honesty of truth. She did not have a professionally-trained voice, but united with a spiritually-trained voice, cemented with affection and power. That is what the listener hears and responds to. That is why tears filled the eyes of President Barack Obama … and that is why they rolled down my cheeks. It was not about me … it was about her and all that she expressed. As we as listeners, connect with the soul Aretha brings to a song, the darkness felt in our hearts turns to light–to peace and contemplation. A woman called Mary Baker Eddy, put it this way:
“Let there be light,” is the perpetual demand of Truth and Love, changing chaos into order and discord into the music of spheres (Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p, 255).
The soul of music Aretha shared with the world, came from the ultimate Soul she expressed. It embraces and lifts us above the hardships of life. The human voice is silenced, but the eternal voice lives on! Our greatest tribute to her, is to live the messages she solidified with her music.
She made all females feel like a natural woman–a woman untouched by the century old prejudices, bias and discriminatory practices that the human mind alludes to.
Stevie Wonder talks about his experiences with the super star?
Mankind strives for just a little more “R-E-S-P-E-C-T!” As an African American female, Aretha knew what it meant to have two strikes against you in a world of racism and sexism, and used her music to alert the world to the emotional impact those prejudices have on the human spirit. As we pay tribute to the life and legacy of the Queen of Soul, let us re-affirm the dignity of all men and the love and respect that unite and bind us.
A CLASSICAL VERSION . . . NOT JOSH GROBAN
Dr. Smith taught vocal music to thousands of children across America and on Okinawa, Japan. She performed in numerous choirs, operas, churches and became guest soloist for military churches on Okinawa. It is not unusual for her to be stopped on the streets of Detroit and hear, "Hi Dr. Smith! Remember me? You taught me at (name of school)!" or to be notified by a Facebook person who remembers her as the vocal teacher. Some of her students have made successful musical careers in New York.