The April 2023 A-to-Z blogging challenge theme is resilience. her Resilience is the ability to get back on our feet and keep going after life knocks us down and kicks sand in our faces. Resilience is how the psyche survives and copes, but resilience doesn’t necessarily wear a cape of positivity.
The 26 songs I’ve chosen show us, musically, what resilience looks (sounds?) like. I’ll offer a reflection of the resilience in each song. The songs are alphabetical by the artist’s first name or the group’s name, except for M, O, U, and X.
A is for Aretha Franklin and Chain of Fools.
Aretha Franklin first released Chain of Fools as a single in 1967.
The lyrics tell a story of a woman who, after five years in a relationship with her boyfriend/husband, has found out he’s been unfaithful with a string (chain) of other women.
She confronts him. She says he’s mean. He’s treated her cruelly. He calls her bluff and tells her to leave him alone, confident she won’t leave him, because his lovin’ is much too strong. Even her father tells her to leave him and come home, and her doctor tells her the stress of remaining in the relationship is dangerous to her health.
She stays with him, because living without him would be worse than tolerating his philandering and abuse. She’s trapped emptionally and psychologically in a toxic relationship. She believes she’s too weak to break it off.
If we assume at this point she hasn’t a shred of self-respect or resilience, we’d be wrong.
While her resilience is subdued at this point in her life, for whatever reasons, it hasn’t abandoned her. Her resilience peeks through twice.
First, she warns him that some morning he’ll wake up, and she’ll be gone. That will be the day she’ll no longer play the weak link in his chain. She will be the strong link that breaks his chain of infidelity.
Second, she’s biding her time until the day she leaves him, when she cautions him that she’ll take all she can take, until she can’t take it anymore. When she reaches that point, she won’t look back.
This is resilience in waiting.
*Chain with weak link – photo by Aida L
Until next time,
writing through history one romance upon a time