Nina Simone – Ain’t Got No (I Got Life)

Nina Simone - Ain't Got No (I Got Life)

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Nina Simone - Ain't Got No (I Got Life)

Song

"Ain't Got No, I Got Life" is a 1968 single by American singer-songwriter Nina Simone, from her album 'Nuff Said.

It is a medley of two songs, "Ain't Got No" and "I Got Life", from the musical Hair, with lyrics by James Rado and Gerome Ragni and music by Galt MacDermot. The combination of the two songs was rewritten by Simone to suit her purpose. The song peaked at number 2 in the UK and at number 1 in the Netherlands.

It also charted on the Billboard Hot 100, where it reached number 94. The song helped Simone gain popularity under a new, younger audience, and became a standard in her repertoire.

Yale musicologist Daphne Brooks described the song as "a new black anthem" – a "wholly original" reimagining of the material to create a "trademark" racial protest song as powerful as Simone's earlier "Mississippi Goddam" and "Four Women". A live performance of the song by Simone serves as an emotional peak in the 2015 documentary film What Happened, Miss Simone? by Liz Garbus.

Movie

In the film, Simone performs at the piano, wearing a strapless black crocheted outfit, her long earrings swinging, and her hair styled in a short afro. She begins with the "desolation, alienation and disenfranchisement" of "Ain't Got No", then transitions to the "jubilant affirmation" of "I Got Life." Images of the Black Power movement recall the feeling of soul-searching African Americans asking the question "Who am I?"

Vanderbilt Professor Emily J. Lordi agreed that the song was an anthem, bonding the two Hair songs "in accordance with soul logic" such that Simone puts the lie to the first lyric about having nothing. Simone proves with her energy and expression that she has "multiple homes, including a home in her own body."

She asserts her racial and musical "high priestess" power to transform deprivation into abundance. In the 1969 New York City performance included on Simone's live album Black Gold, she brings the song to a false ending, inviting applause, then continues for additional minutes. Lordi said, "This is a technique from the gospel playbook, and its effect is to indicate that the rest of the performance is running on reserves of spirit—an effect she will also produce when she sings the last word."

Simone invites a call-and-response connection with the audience, then leads them to a sense of shared community, a rediscovery of their collective soul.


Album

'Nuff Said! è un album della cantante e pianista jazz Nina Simone pubblicato nel 1968. Tutti i brani, eccetto 1, 8 e 11, sono stati registrati dal vivo il 7 aprile 1968 al Westbury Music Fair in un concerto dedicato a Martin Luther King, grande amico di Nina Simone, assassinato tre giorni prima. L'album ricevette una nomination per l'Emmy Award.

Il singolo Ain't Got No, I Got Life raggiunse la seconda posizione nel Regno Unito e la prima nei Paesi Bassi.


Artist

Nina Simone, nome d'arte di Eunice Kathleen Waymon (Tryon21 febbraio 1933 – Carry-le-Rouet21 aprile 2003), è stata una cantantepianista, scrittrice e attivista per i diritti civili statunitense.

È stata soprattutto un'interprete jazz, anche se la sua formazione era incentrata sulla musica classica e il suo stile variava fra diversi generi, dal soul, al blues, al folk e al gospel.

Video Nina Simone – Ain’t Got No (I Got Life)

Lyrics

Ain't got no home, ain't got no shoes
Ain't got no money, ain't got no class

Ain't got no skirts, ain't got no sweaters
Ain't got no perfume, ain't got no love
Ain't got no faith
Ain't got no culture
Ain't got no mother, ain't got no father

Ain't got no brother, ain't got no children
Ain't got no aunts, ain't got no uncles
Ain't got no love, ain't got no mind
Ain't got no country, ain't got no schooling
Ain't got no friends, ain't got no nothing

Ain't got no water, ain't got no air
Ain't got no smokes, ain't got no chicken
Ain't got no...
Ain't got no water
Ain't got no love

Ain't got no air
Ain't got no God
Ain't got no wine
Ain't got no money

Ain't got no faith
Ain't got no God
Ain't got no love
Then what have I got
Why am I alive anyway?
Yeah, hell
What have I got
Nobody can take away

I got my hair, got my head
Got my brains, got my ears
Got my eyes, got my nose

Got my mouth
I got my...

I got myself
I got my arms, got my hands
Got my fingers, got my legs
Got my feet, got my toes
Got my liver
Got my blood
I've got life
I've got lives

I've got headaches, and toothaches
And bad times too like you
I got my hair, got my head

Got my brains, got my ears
Got my eyes, got my nose

Got my mouth
I got my smile
I got my tongue, got my chin
Got my neck, got my boobs
Got my heart, got my soul
Got my back
I got my sex
I got my arms, got my hands
Got my fingers, got my legs
Got my feet, got my toes
Got my liver
Got my blood
I've got life
I've got my freedom
Ohhh
I've got life!

Testo

non ho casa, non ho scarpe
non ho soldi, non ho classe

non ho gonne, non ho maglione
non ho profumo, non ho amore
non ho fede
non ho cultura
non ho madre, non ho padre

non ho fratello, non ho bambini
non ho zie, non ho zii
non ho amore, non ho mente
non ho paese, non ho istruzione
non ho amici, non ho nulla

non ho acqua, non ho aria
non ho fumi, non ho pollo
non ho..
non ho acqua
non ho amore

non ho aria
non ho Dio
non ho vino
non ho soldi

non ho fede
non ho Dio
non ho amore
e allora cos'ho
perchè sono comunque vivo?
beh, cavolo
cosa ho
che nessuno può portarmi via

ho i miei capelli, ho la mia testa
ho il mio cervello, ho le mie orecchie
ho i miei occhi, ho il mio naso

ho la mia bocca
ho i miei...

ho me stesso
ho le mie braccia, ho le mie mani
ho le mie dita, ho le mie gambe
ho i miei piedi, ho le miei dita
ho il mio fegato
il mio sangue
ho la vita
ho delle vite

o mal di testa, e mal di denti
e momenti difficili anche come te
ho i miei capelli, ho la mia testa

ho il mio cervello, ho le mie orecchie
ho i miei occhi, ho il mio naso

ho la mia bocca
ho il mio sorriso
ho la mia lingua, il mio mento
ho il mio collo, i miei seni
ho il mio cuore, la mia anima
ho la schiena
ho il mio sesso
ho le mie braccia, ho le mie mani
ho le mie dita, ho le mie gambe
ho i miei piedi, ho le miei dita
ho il mio fegato
il mio sangue
ho la vita
ho la mia libertà
ohhh
ho la vita




Live 1968




Hair – Ain’t Got No




Hair – I Got Life