A natural woman

Every year the Kennedy Center in Washington honors a group of people in the performing arts for their lifetime contribution to American culture. Among those honored this year was singer/songwriter Carole King.

Carole King's songs have meant a lot to me. There was a time in my 20s and 30s when her music felt like the theme song of my life. And of all her songs, probably the one that meant the most was "You Make Me Feel Like a Natural Woman."

(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman
  by Carole King

Lookin' out on the morning rain
I used to feel uninspired
And when I knew I had to face another day
Lord, it made me feel so tired
Before the day I met you, life was so unkind
But your love was the key to my peace of mind
'Cause you make me feel, you make me feel
You make me feel like a natural woman
When my soul was in the lost and found
You came along to claim it
I didn't know just what was wrong with me
Till your kiss helped me name it
Now I'm no longer doubtful of what I'm living for
'Cause if I make you happy I don't need to do more
You make me feel, you make me feel
You make me feel like a natural woman
Oh, baby, what you've done to me
You make me feel so good inside
And I just want to be close to you
You make me feel so alive
You make me feel, you make me feel
You make me feel like a natural woman 

I always liked Carole's performance of her own lyrics. The song was included on her album "Tapestry" which I bought in vinyl all those years ago. I played it over and over and I still have it. But, of course, the definitive version of the song was by the Queen of Soul herself, Aretha Franklin.

When Carole received her Kennedy Center award, they had a performance of that song, maybe her most famous, and who did they ask to sing it? Well, how could it possibly have been anyone but Aretha? The reaction of Carole King when Aretha walked on stage is just priceless and the reaction of the audience including the President and First Lady to the performance is beautiful. 

You probably have already seen this. It was televised, of course, and has been all over the Internet since. But I can't think of a better way to sing out this old year and get ready for the new. So, here it is - Aretha Franklin and Carole King, two natural women.  


  1. Fabulous! I saw the video last night. One of the good things about the internet is how fast stuff gets around, especially the good stuff. And that reminds me: I have the Carole King memoir from 2012 on my shelf, lent to me by a reading group member. Guess I better move it closer to the top of the pile!

    1. She's had an interesting life with ups and downs like most of us. Although maybe her ups were higher and her downs were lower. But through it all, her music shines through. And, of course, Aretha is Aretha!

  2. That made me tear up. It was wonderful!


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