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Respect
Song

Respect

Aretha Franklin
Album:
I Never Loved a Man the Way I Love You

Song Meaning and Background to Respect by Aretha Franklin


American soul musician Otis Redding wrote the song "Respect" and first sang it.


Originally a ballad, Earl "Speedo" Sims brought "Respect" to Redding with the intention of recording it with his group, the Singing Demons. Nobody is entirely certain who came up with the song's original lyrics. It was a guitarist at Bobby Smith's recording studio in Macon, according to the band's leader Percy Welch.


Redding modified Sims' song by speeding up the tempo and rewriting the lyrics. Sims travelled to Muscle Shoals studios with the band but was unable to create a quality product. Sims consented to Redding's decision to sing the song himself. Sims' credit was another promise made by Redding, but it was never given. Sims didn't press Redding on the subject, perhaps because he hadn't actually written it in the first place.


When Aretha Franklin, a fellow soul singer, rewrote and reworked "Respect" in 1967, it became a larger smash and became her hallmark song. A few tweaks to the words produced various storylines around the idea of human dignity that have been understood as commentary on traditional gender roles, while the music in the two versions is noticeably different.


Franklin's rendition was adopted as the feminist anthem of the second wave of feminism in the 1970s. Franklin received two Grammy Awards in 1968 for "Best Rhythm & Blues Recording" and "Best Rhythm & Blues Solo Vocal Performance, Female," and in 1987, it was entered into the Grammy Hall of Fame. It is frequently regarded as one of the greatest R&B songs of its time.


Dobkin claims that Franklin's version was changed to read like a powerful, self-assured lady demanding her man's "respect"—in the form of proper degrees of physical attention—while believing she has all he wants.


Song Lyrics of Respect by Aretha Franklin


What you want

Baby, I got it

What you need

Do you know I got it?

 

All I'm askin'

Is for a little respect

When you come home

(just a little bit)

Hey, baby

(just a little bit)

When you get home

(just a little bit)

Mister

(just a little bit)

 

I ain't gonna do you wrong

While you're gone

Ain't gonna do you wrong

'Cause I don't wanna

 

All I'm askin'

Is for a little respect

When you come home

(just a little bit)

Baby

(just a little bit)

When you get home

(just a little bit)

Yeah

(just a little bit)

 

I'm about to give you all of my money

And all I'm askin' in return, honey

Is to give me my propers

When you get home

 

(just a, just a, just a, just a)

Yeah, baby

(just a, just a, just a, just a)

When you get home

(just a little bit)

Yeah

(just a little bit)

 

Ooh, your kisses

Sweeter than honey

And guess what?

So is my money

 

All I want you to do for me

Is give it to me when you get home

(re, re, re ,re)

Yeah, baby

(re, re, re ,re)

Whip it to me

(respect, just a little bit)

When you get home, now

(just a little bit)

 

R-E-S-P-E-C-T

Find out what it means to me

R-E-S-P-E-C-T

Take care, TCB

 

Oh (sock it to me, sock it to me

Sock it to me, sock it to me)

A little respect

(sock it to me, sock it to me, sock it to me, sock it to me)

Whoa, babe

(just a little bit)

A little respect

(just a little bit)

 

I get tired

(just a little bit)

Keep on tryin'

(just a little bit)

You're runnin' out of foolin'

(just a little bit)

And I ain't lyin'

(just a little bit)

 

(re, re, re, re) 'spect

When you come home

(re, re, re, re)

Or you might walk in

(respect, just a little bit)

And find out I'm gone

(just a little bit)

I got to have

(just a little bit)

Release Date

1967

Songwriter/s

Otis Redding

Producer/s

Jerry Wexler

Label/s

Atlantic

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