December 16, 2009

Angels We Have Heard On High--Aretha Franklin

Rachael Ray is playing in the waiting room. Her guest today is Aretha Franklin. As usual (remember the 2009 Inauguration?), her appearance anywhere is an interesting one.

Aretha is wearing a long brown wig that apparently has come off the head of a 15 year old. It is not a hairstyle generally worn by a woman who is almost 70 years old. I guess maybe when you buy your hair you can afford more hits and misses. It's not cheap polyester hair or anything, it's just not a style women her age usually go for. She is also wearing what appear to be maroon pajamas from the Hugh Hefner collection.

The thing that caught my attention the most about her stint on Rachael Ray was her butchering of the song "Angels We Have Heard On High". I'm lucky I know the words to this song because otherwise I would have had no idea what she was singing! After deciding which song she was singing (and staring at the TV open-mouthed in disgust), I heard the people in the waiting room trying to decide which song she was "singing".

Don't get me wrong, the lady still has some major pipes. It was the sheer volume of runs she used that ruined her performance. The phrase, "Angels we have heard on high," became "Aaaangels we've heeeard on hiiiigh." The tempo, tune, phrasing, everything about the song was changed until it was unrecognizable.

The use of runs in music today has become ridiculous. To my knowledge, runs were invented by slaves to make songs more interesting without music, since they didn't have access to many instruments.

My advice to Aretha, save my ears the strain. Get a guitar.

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