Pick of the Political Pops: Aretha Franklin “Chain of Fools”

News of the death of the “Queen of Soul” felt like a hammer blow yesterday given the state the US is in right now, and though Franklin claimed that she wasn’t a political singer, many of her best-known songs had a clear resonance with the womens and civil rights movements. She also gave the world a song originally heralded as an anthem of female independence but which soon “transformed it into an angry rejection of the chain of command” for African-American soldiers returning from the Vietnam War. As Lee Andresen wrote in Battle Notes: Music of the Vietnam War: “Although songs like ‘Chain of Fools’ and ‘Respect’ didn’t directly address the war, tapes of [Franklin’s] music became as essential a part of field kits as C-rations and morphine.” Elsewhere RS notes her 6 best country interpretations.


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About Mark Whitfield 1518 Articles
Mark Whitfield has been Editor of Americana UK for the last 20 years while also working in public health as his day job, which has been kind of busy recently.

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