Day Dreaming

Album: Young, Gifted and Black (1972)
Charted: 5

Songfacts®:

  • In her 12th #1 soul single, Aretha Franklin is day dreaming about a man who will sweep her off her feet. Not just any man, but a specific man. "'Day Dreaming' was rather personal," she told Queen of Soul biographer Mark Bego. "And I was thinking about someone who used to be a friend of mine. I'll give you a hint. Used to be with one of the hottest groups in the country, tall, dark, and fine!"

    It was a big year for mystery men in music. By the end of 1972, Carly Simon famously sang about an unnamed scarf-wearing lothario in "You're So Vain," but for song sleuths, Franklin's clues were much easier to decipher. In 1970, the soul singer recorded "You and Me," written by the tall, dark, and fine Dennis Edwards of the hot vocal group The Temptations. In a 1995 interview with Ebony magazine, Franklin revealed she and Edwards were once engaged but she got tired of waiting for him to commit: "By the time he realized the value of what he had, it was just too late. I was no longer interested. He had drop-kicked me a couple of times and I had just had enough."
  • Franklin's backing band includes Donny Hathaway on electric piano, Bernard Purdie (her then-musical director) on drums, Chuck Rainey on bass, Cornell Dupree on electric guitar, and Don Arnone on acoustic guitar. Bringing some jazz cred to the single is Grammy Award winner Hubert Laws on flute. The album version conjures a psychedelic daydream with a jazzy intro and outro, but both sections were omitted for radio play.
  • This has been recorded by Mary J. Blige, Corinne Bailey Rae, Natalie Cole, and Penny Ford. Rapper Cam'ron also covered it on his 2002 album, Come Home With Me. Rapper T.I. also used the melody in "Let's Get Away" from the 2003 album Trap Muzik.
  • The album is named for Nina Simone's 1970 Civil Rights anthem "Young, Gifted And Black," which Franklin also released as a single (and won the 1973 Grammy Award for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance).

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