Give Me Five…featuring Aretha Franklin

It’s Monday, but it doesn’t quite feel like a Monday. It is Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday (or really the day to observe it), and it is the first time in my working life that I’ve had it off as a paid holiday.

I’m sitting here listening to music and drinking my first cup of coffee. I’ve been writing more lately. Writing always helps me so much. Music, too.

Music is my oxygen.

So, let’s breathe in today’s Give Me Five songs. Inhale. Exhale. Press Play.

In the Morning” by Aretha Franklin – from the album, A Rose Is Still A Rose (1998)

“I wanna know,
will you love me?
I wanna know,
will you care –
in the morning?”

A new Aretha song-discovery for me this morning. Lyrically, I’m reminded of The Shirelles’ “Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow”. Style-wise/sound-wise it is very ’90s R&B. I love the soul in her voice on this track.

Aretha is one of my all-time favorite voices. I love that there is still music of hers that I haven’t heard yet, that there is still music of hers to discover.

“Woncha Come On Home” by Joan Armatrading – from the album, Show Some Emotion (1977)

“Every light is on,
but all the rooms,
are empty –
except one.
Oh babe don’t stay too late.
You know I hate to be alone.
And I’m alone.
Baby woncha come on home?”

I love Joan’s voice. There’s a little Nina Simone in it, and a little Janis Joplin – to me. I’m digging into her albums a lot lately, discovering and re-discovering songs. This is the one that I’m stuck on today – hitting replay, listening again.

If you want to hear more Joan and support her and her music – click here.

Stellar” by Jamila Woods – from the album, HEAVN (2017)

“Meet me in outer space.
We could spend the night.
I’ve grown tired of this place.
We could start again.”

Jamila is a new discovery of mine. I love her voice and lyrics, the newer R&B sounds/style. The state of the world lately definitely makes meeting someone in outer space a dreamy option – don’t you think?

If you want to dig in to Jamila’s sound, and help support her and her music – click here.

“L8r Boi” by Ashnikko – from the album, DEMIDEVIL (2021)

“He was a skater boy,
she said, “See you later, boy”,
he wasn’t good enough for her.
She’s not a therapist,
don’t wanna take care of him –
she’s an independent girl.”

I’m kinda obsessed with Ashnikko’s take on “Sk8er Boi” (Avril Lavigne, 2002). I mean…yeah. I’m all kinds of here for this.

Check out Ashnikko’s new album and other songs, and support her and her music by clicking here and checking out merch and music.

“Sorrow” by The National – from the album, High Violet (2010)

“Sorrow found me when I was young.
Sorrow waited.
Sorrow won.”

I’m currently reading Tiffanie DeBartolo’s new book “Sorrow”, which she has said was partially inspired by The National. This song was featured in the book towards the beginning – the lyrics above.

I’ve been a fan of The National for years now. Some of their songs have inspired some of my writing, too. This is a beautifully sad song, one that hits deep and fits right in with not only the book “Sorrow”, but the last book I read, Joan Didion’s “The Year Of Magical Thinking”.

I love when art inspires art.

Check out Tiffanie DeBartolo’s book (and her others, including my favorite book of all-time, “God-Shaped Hole”) by clicking here.

Hear more from The National and help support the band and their music by clicking here.


Check back frequently to see what 5 songs will be added next to the Give Me Five Playlist for January 2021. You can listen as it grows on Spotify and YouTube.

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