Reading

"Respect" and "Respect Yourself" Lyrics

“Respect” by Otis Redding

What you want
Honey you’ve got it
And what you need
Baby you’ve got it

All I’m asking
Is for a little respect when I come home

Do me wrong
Honey if you wanna
You can do me wrong
Honey while I am gone

But all I’m asking for
Is for a little respect when I come home

Hey little girl, you’re so sweeter than honey
And I am about to just give you all my money

But all I’m asking, hey
Is a little respect when I come home

Hey little girl, you’re sweeter than honey
And I am about to give you all of my money

But all I want you to do just give it, give it
Respect when I come home

Respect is what I want
Respect is what I need
Respect is what I want
Respect is what I need

Got to, got to have it
Got to, got to have it
You got to, got to have it
Got to, got to have it
Give it, give it

Give it, give it
Give it, give it
Give it, give it
Give it
Give it to me baby, everything I need
Give it to me baby, everything I want
Give it to me1

“Respect Yourself” by The Staple Singers

If you disrespect anybody
That you run into
How in the world do you think
Anybody’s s’posed to respect you?

If you don’t give a heck ’bout the man
With the Bible in his hand
Just get out the way
And let the gentleman do his thing

You the kind of gentleman
That want everything your way
Take the sheet off your face, boy
It’s a brand new day

Respect yourself, respect yourself
If you don’t respect yourself
Ain’t nobody gonna give a good cahoot, na na na na
Respect yourself, respect yourself

If you’re walking ’round
Thinkin’ that the world
Owes you something
’Cause you’re here

You goin’ out
The world backwards
Like you did
When you first come here

Keep talkin’ ’bout the president
Won’t stop air pollution
Put your hand on your mouth
When you cough, that’ll help the solution

Oh, you cuss around women
And you don’t even know their names
And you dumb enough to think
That’ll make you a big ol’ man

Respect yourself, respect yourself
If you don’t respect yourself
Ain’t nobody gonna give a good cahoot, na na na na
Respect yourself, respect yourself
Respect yourself, respect yourself2

Citations

  • 1 : Lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc., Universal Music Publishing Group. Reproduced with permission.
  • 2 : Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group. Reproduced with permission.

Connection Questions

These text-dependent questions are based on the Common Core Anchor Standards for Reading and Literacy in Social Studies:

  1. In “Respect” by Otis Redding, whose respect does the singer want?
  2. In “Respect Yourself” by the Staple Singers, what is the main idea of both the first and fourth stanzas?
  3. What lines in “Respect Yourself” demonstrate the narrator’s belief that people in all walks of life have the power to make a difference?
  4. Which verse of each song best shows the narrator’s point of view?
  5. Which verse of each song reflects the two narrators’ differing points of view?
  6. How are the tempos different? The rhythm? How do these affect the songs’ tones and messages?
  7. Compare and contrast the type of respect described in each song. How are they similar? How are they different?

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