Morning Song – While The Blood Runs Warm
Earlier this month, Aretha Franklin announced she’ll be retiring later this year, after recording one last album. If so, it will mark the end of a 61 year recording career that began at New Bethel Baptist Church in Detroit when she was 14 years old.
For all the breadth, depth and changes of Aretha’s talents and career, what’s startling about a song like “While The Blood Runs Warm” is how fully formed she was from the beginning—not just her unparalleled voice and uncanny ability to control time and space with her piano playing, but also her preternatural ability to take a song (in this case, one written by the great Depression-era bluesman, Josh White) and make it wholly her own.
You had better get religion, you better try and serve the Lord,
While the blood is running warm in your veins….