Editorials

editorial

Aretha Franklin: Giving new life to an old anthem

Aretha Franklin performs the national anthem during Harvard University commencement ceremonies Thursday.

Associated Press

Aretha Franklin performs the national anthem during Harvard University commencement ceremonies Thursday.

Fifty years from now, as they make their way through the reunion tent, the Harvard Class of 2014 will reminisce about an extraordinary capstone to their undergraduate years: Watching Aretha Franklin’s soulful, heartfelt version of the national anthem at Thursday’s graduation. Her crimson gown flowing like a choir robe, Franklin looked entirely at home sitting alone in front of a piano and singing in a minimalist vocal style, as if imagining the song afresh. She proved that there is still new life to be found in as old an anthem as “The Star-Spangled Banner,” and taught her adoring audience — including her fellow honorary-degree recipients George H.W. Bush and Michael Bloomberg — that great achievements can come in many forms.

Loading comments...
You're reading  1 of 5 free articles.
Get UNLIMITED access for only 99¢ per week Subscribe Now >
You're reading1 of 5 free articles.Keep scrolling to see more articles recomended for you Subscribe now
We hope you've enjoyed your 5 free articles.
Continue reading by subscribing to Globe.com for just 99¢.
 Already a member? Log in Home
Subscriber Log In

We hope you've enjoyed your 5 free articles'

Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.

  • High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
  • Convenient access across all of your devices
  • Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
  • Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
  • Less than 25¢ a week
Marketing image of BostonGlobe.com
Marketing image of BostonGlobe.com
Already a subscriber?
Your city. Your stories. Your Globe.
Yours FREE for two weeks.
Enjoy free unlimited access to Globe.com for the next two weeks.
Limited time only - No credit card required!
BostonGlobe.com complimentary digital access has been provided to you, without a subscription, for free starting today and ending in 14 days. After the free trial period, your free BostonGlobe.com digital access will stop immediately unless you sign up for BostonGlobe.com digital subscription. Current print and digital subscribers are not eligible for the free trial.
Thanks & Welcome to Globe.com
You now have unlimited access for the next two weeks.
BostonGlobe.com complimentary digital access has been provided to you, without a subscription, for free starting today and ending in 14 days. After the free trial period, your free BostonGlobe.com digital access will stop immediately unless you sign up for BostonGlobe.com digital subscription. Current print and digital subscribers are not eligible for the free trial.