Video: Aretha Franklin Sang 'My Country 'Tis of Thee' at Barack Obama's Inauguration

January 21, 2009 03:29:16 GMT

Aretha Franklin performed Samuel Francis Smith-penned track 'My Country 'Tis of Thee' during Barack Obama's presidential inauguration on January 20.

Video: Aretha Franklin Sang 'My Country 'Tis of Thee' at Barack Obama's Inauguration
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During the ceremony of Barack Obama's presidential inauguration, Aretha Franklin took the stage, delivering Samuel Francis Smith-written patriotic song "My Country 'Tis of Thee". She sang the track in front of millions of people in Washington D.C.

Following Franklin's live appearance, Vice-President Joe Biden took his sworn-in. Then, a work entitled "Simple Gifts" composed by arranger John Williams, the same musician who crafted "Star Wars" soundtracks, was performed by violinist Itzhak Perlman, cellist Yo-Yo Ma, pianist Gabriela Montero and clarinetist Anthony McGill.

Just after that, Barack Obama took the Oath of Office from Supreme Court Chief Justice John Robert. During the January-20 momentous moment, the 44th president of The United States was joined by his wife Michelle and his two daughters, Sasha and Malia.

Aretha Franklin performing "My Country 'Tis of Thee":

© AceShowbiz.com

Post Your Comments

posted by Kitty on Aug 10, 2010
What were they thinking! There's to many things to pick apart.
posted by food4thought on Jun 21, 2010
Maybe it's the editor in me, but am I the ONLY person on this God's Earth who didn't like where she split the word "country" (especially with such a long pause netween the syllables)?
posted by Scott on Jul 05, 2009
Awful. She lost track of the words, had trouble staying on key, took pauses for breath at the wrong places, and in general made it a complete embarrassment to watch. What happened to her??? She still has the vocal cords and the power but the song was a mess. Even the orchestra had trouble keeping with her.
posted by aliciahotties on Mar 27, 2009
My country tis of thee, Sweet land of liberty, Of thee I sing. Land where my fathers died! Land of the Pilgrim's pride! From every mountain side, Let freedom ring! My native country, thee, Land of the noble free, Thy name I love. I love thy rocks and rills, Thy woods and templed hills; My heart with rapture fills Like that above. Let music swell the breeze, And ring from all the trees Sweet freedom's song. Let mortal tongues awake; Let all that breathe partake; Let rocks their silence break, The sound prolong. Our father's God to, Thee, Author of liberty, To Thee we sing. Long may our land be bright With freedom's holy light; Protect us by Thy might, Great God, our King!
posted by Theresa on Feb 02, 2009
She totally destroyed it.. It should have been sung more appropriate YUCK
posted by tessie on Feb 02, 2009
I thought it was awful, should have had someone that made since.. Jennifer Hudson would have done a much better job.
posted by terivle on Jan 30, 2009
sounded like the 90 year old hag she is should have sang it like intended
posted by xenan2 on Jan 24, 2009
aretha sang from an experienced black womans perspective something these young people just won't ever understand you go aretha and god bless the obama family
posted by progress on Jan 23, 2009
aretha is still great and we sould respect her!love u aretha;)
posted by CarlosQC on Jan 23, 2009
Listening to Aretha is nothing but a pleasure. I was there at the ceremony and I must say, the sound system was bad, the speakers were very scarce, not enough. But still, the Queen of Soul gave the nation a beautiful gift of her amazing talent. I love you Aretha!
posted by Realistic on Jan 23, 2009
"A black rendition of the song!!??" The problem was the VOICE, or lack thereof. I know she is an icon, but if Beyonce sang that same rendition, it would have been moving and awe-inspiring--instead of just confusing and disappointing.
posted by sissy7 on Jan 22, 2009
Sorry, but I too thought Franklin's rendition of such a patriotic and touching song, was totally brutalized and ruined by that woman. Just being honest. Her voice is nothing special, and she sounded like she had food in her mouth while enunciating...which she didn't. She's over rated.
posted by Plcman on Jan 22, 2009
Absolutely awful
posted by most_average on Jan 22, 2009
I thought the song was perfect! Apparently you that are posting negative about her and her performance can't sing...so until you are asked..keep your opinions to yourself. Keep singing Aretha~
posted by rsnyder on Jan 21, 2009
I thought Aretha's rendition was AWFUL! I would have much rather seen a group of elementary students in a choir. That song is meant to be sung very simply and honorably and without all that crap added in!
posted by molière on Jan 21, 2009
Did she totally tell someone to 'shut up' toward the end of that song without missing a beat? heheh if so.
posted by Eddy on Jan 21, 2009
La performance par un froid pareil, Bravo. Prendre son inspiration pour ce chant par - 6 degré, alors Chapeau Aretha Franklin. Ce n'est plus la voix qui chante, c'est l'âme. The soul sing in place of the voice. A great lesson of song !
posted by lisa on Jan 21, 2009
posted by happy on Jan 21, 2009
I liked her version but I think she lost her voice for this performance of a life time.I still get the chills every time I hear it. she should record it in the studio -
posted by barit1 on Jan 21, 2009
Sing two syllables, stop for breath. Sing two more syllables, stop for breath. Give me a break!
posted by Less1leg on Jan 21, 2009
Did you hear what she said? She seemed to drop part of the word, and had a brain cramp and ended at the female genilia. Sorry for the word country, but Aretha stopped or dropped the "ry" off country. So anything that rhimes with "runt" that start with "c" will suffice. Sorry, but aging singing stars are better left watching from the crowd.
posted by ngamoko on Jan 21, 2009
I am normally a Aretha fan.However, I do not live in America and would have lked to have understood the words.Unfortunately, I only could make out about 50% of them.I find it sad that us oldies (and I am one of them)sometimes do not know when we should call it a day and turn down gigs when offered to us no matter how important they may be. I am a musician and after listening to Aretha I am going to pick very carefully my gigs.If I face reality I am not as good as I once was and nor is Ms Franklin. This does not take way in anyway her past. She was great. But the swearing in of a President is one of the most important occassions in America therefore at least I should be able to understand the words.
posted by GEMI@AOL.COM on Jan 21, 2009
posted by NWesterner on Jan 21, 2009
I thought it was GREAT! She is in her seventies, vocal cords not what they used to be, but why not a black rendition of this song, well deserved!
posted by BOP.SA on Jan 21, 2009
the whole thing was unbeliveable, that song should be sang all over the world,"SING YOUR SONG SISTER, AND YOU GO MR PRESIDENT".
posted by Motanyane on Jan 21, 2009
thay say a man aint suppose to cry but That song took the man out of me.
posted by mimi on Jan 21, 2009
She sang so well, I cried, thought I was American for a moment, Just Proud that human can achieve so much, props to the Americans, you really are a big deal, Mimi S.Africa

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