Oh Not My Baby
Spirit In The Dark, 1970
Before we start, I’d like to give a shout to Eddie Hinton, Jimmy Johnson and Cornell Dupree…well, at least one of them. They are all listed as playing guitar on this song and (other than Aretha’s voice, obviously) the guitar playing, although very low in the mix, totally makes the track.
This song is pretty sad. Basically the lyrics are: my friends said you were cheating, i defended you, they insisted (they were right)…i defended you…and I’m really glad I did because in the end, you wanted to marry me.
This is another gem borrowed from the Carole King / Jerry Goffin library (the most obvious being “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman”). I actually heard the Carole King version first and completely passed over it (I still agree with my assessment upon second listen) and I think the reason is because when Carole King sings it, you feel sorry for her, like she doesn’t understand that her logic is flawed. Aretha is able to carry it in such a way that the underlying message is, “hey, life ain’t perfect and I love him.” [For the record, this song dates back to at least 1964 and wasn't popularized by Carole King or Aretha.]
The funniest part of the song is when Aretha says “he may have had a last minute fling” and the background singers quickly follow with with a “wooo!”…ok, ladies, a little too excited, she didn’t win the lotto, she got cheated on.
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