Friday Music: Thisbe’s Choice

In honor of my daughter’s first birthday,  I’m posting one of Thisbe‘s favorite performers, Aretha Franklin.  This is a nice performance of Rock Steady (from Soul Train, circa 1971):

The whole time Jennifer was pregnant, we had a running joke that the baby loved listening to Aretha Franklin.  We had observed that the foetus “danced” whenever we played Aretha, but this was probably due to some sort of observer bias.

Jennifer’s labor lasted about 20 hours; somewhere around hour 17 I thought it might help draw the baby out if we played my iPod mix of Aretha.  Pretty soon, everybody in the labor and delivery room (except Jennifer and me) was dancing to Aretha.  Sure enough, around hour 20, Thisbe arrived.  Aretha stayed on during the examination and clean up.

All of this would be nothing except that Aretha Franklin now has a weird hypnotic effect on Thisbe.  A particular favorite is Chain of Fools:

Chain of Fools has been known to stop even her worst meltdowns, the ones that threaten to go nuclear.  Jennifer would teach her seminar on media in Africa Wednesday evenings, and I was left on Thisbe watch.  Thisbe early on decided that the bottle was not for her, so I usually just have to wait out her inevitable Wednesday evening meltdown as stoically as possible.  Thank goodness for Chain of Fools!  The opening swamp guitar riff would immediately transfix her and Aretha singing “chain, chain, chain…” would send her.  I don’t know what I would have done without Chain of Fools, Rock Steady and Think:

I keep hoping that Ms. Franklin will record some of Thisbe’s favorite songs, like the ABC song or Six Little Ducks.


About robinlclark

I am Professor of linguistics at the University of Pennsylvania. My interests include a microeconomic approach to linguistic meaning, game theory as applied to linguistic pragmatics, language and strategic interaction, and a neuroeconomic approach to linguistic decision-making.
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