Monday, December 15, 2014

Respect Yourself

Respect Yourself:

by "Pops" Staples, who died 14 years ago this coming Friday 9 days before what would have been his 86th birthday, with The Staples Singers on Soul Train.

If you disrespect anybody
That you run in to
How in the world do you think
Anybody's s'posed to respect you

If you don't give a heck 'bout the man
With the Bible in his hand
Just get out the way
And let the gentleman do his thing

You the kind of gentleman
That want everything your way
Take the sheet off your face, boy
It's a brand new day

Respect yourself, respect yourself
If you don't respect yourself
Ain't nobody gonna give a good cahoot, na na na na
Respect yourself, respect yourself

If you're walking 'round
Think'n that the world
Owes you something
'Cause you're here

You goin' out
The world backwards
Like you did
When you first come here

Keep talkin' 'bout the president
Won't stop air pollution
Put your hand on your mouth
When you cough, that'll help the solution

Oh, you cuss around women
And you don't even know their names
And you dumb enough to think
That'll make you a big ol man

Respect yourself, respect yourself
If you don't respect yourself
Ain't nobody gonna give a good cahoot, na na na na
Respect yourself, respect yourself
Respect yourself, respect yourself


  1. Enjoyed the music, have always liked the Staples Singers


    1. glad you liked it :) They recorded in Memphis some. Mavis is still active, but I don't know about the others.

  2. Ah, memories! I got my first recordplayer for Christmas in 1981 or 2, and then went out on Boxing Day to buy some records. On sale I bought a lot of colourful stuff I had no idea what it was, but this song was on one of them. I ended up with a bit of a Motown/soul/funk education on that shopping spree. I still get thrills of pleasure whenever (very very seldom) I hear that "the revolution will not be televised"... Thanks for this, it made my day! :-D

    1. Memories of the first record player! Yes, so sweet :) I wonder what the next generations will look back on fondly.

      I think it's so bizarre that these days the revolution seems to be "televised", and the days of any meaningful street action are gone. If I see one more Facebook link to a petition I may scream lol

    2. I always interpreted the song (so many of the references were over my head at the time, still are) as saying that the real change is happening without us noticing, that the truly profound turns of society and individuals can only be seen in the rear-view mirror, so to speak. Perhaps I was wrong about that. I certainly didn´t expect the recordplayer to cause such a rift between my father and I, though, he seriously believed the music would "make me mad and put me in an institution", particularly when I used headphones out of consideration for his sensibilities. I think he was just mad about loosing control...

    3. No, I think you're right, but the real change-making here that has come from the bottom up (so to speak) has happened on the street, sparked by an event and then visibly supported in large, loud street action. There's less of that now, and it seems to me that change is being bought at the top and imposed. Media reports are all we see of it, and since the media is owned by those at the top.... Well, I'm feeling kinda helpless in the face of it.