Yes, she knows what she's singing about.
It's a brilliant re-interpretation of the song with Martin Luther King's I HAD A DREAM serving as it's point of view. It is MLK by whose side she stood in Summer (in the great Civil Rights Marches) and who was gone (assasinated) when Autumn came.
Clinton was the first President who seemed connected to the teachings of MLK, and her singing this song with this concept as his inauguration was a thrilling choice.
It's not a re-interpretation, r2, she sings different words.
There is nothing in I Dreamed a Dream that pertains to MLK but the word "Dream."
She changes "He slept a summer by my side" to "He walked a summer by my side." She probably heard the song once, and I doubt her fatass would fit into a theater seat to see a production of Les Mis and see how "I Dreamed a Dream" is NOT a song you want to associate with MLK.
Aretha is just a narcissistic loudmouth who thinks she owns the world. She may as well have a sang "Don't Cry for Me, MLK Jr."
Aretha should have sang "One Day More", doing all the different characters.
Yes, R3, a re-interpretation would include CHANGING THE LYRICS.
Aretha passes wind with more feeling and more harmonious notes than Beyonce, The Singing Wig could ever hope to reach.
Barbra Streisand really upstaged Aretha that night. I remember she was wearing a masculine power suit but her clevage was ample.
WTF if the point of singing a song if you have to change the lyrics to fit your agenda?
Aretha is lazy.