What you gonna do? It’s Nina Simone.

Via elephant journal
on Feb 12, 2010
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I’m in love with Nina Simone.


This one’s getting played at my future-hypothetical wedding:

Verve redid the classic Sinner Man (Sinnerman). The video is remarkable, one of my favorites:

She came of age as the Civil Rights Movement came of age. What a voice, slow down, keep your eyes on the prize:

Regard silence as a part of sound. This video, too, is remarkable, one of my faves.

nina simone sinner man

Sinner Man was made famous by the beautiful, soulful, strong, deeeep heavy cold powerful as the ocean Nina Simone.

Get comfortable. Close your eyes. Get into it. Ride it:

Sinnerman is an 100-year-old folk song.

Sometimes written as “Sinner Man”, this traditional gospel song has been recorded many times. It probably originated around the beginning of the 20th century but most modern recordings are based on the 1959 recording by The Weavers. It is also one of the best known songs sung by Nina Simone. She recorded it on her album, “Pastel Blues”(1965) in a track that runs for over ten minutes. She said she learned the song as a child from her mother, a Methodist minister who used it at revival meetings. It has also been recorded by Trini Lopez and by The Seekers.”

Sinner Man crowned the 10-minute climax of The Thomas Crown Affair (1999), to brilliant effect.


Another one, this one shows her in action, this one could be a sort of American Heart Sutra anthem:

Here she peforms Four Women. It’s amazing, these treasures, so readily accessible via youtube:

If you knew how I missed you, you wouldn’t stay away:

1976. What a face. What a presence.

What you gonna do?

A reader just sent these two in. Strange Fruit, I’m going to be sick. Amazing they casually, proudly gathered to pose for such pics.

And, Wild is the Wind:


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8 Responses to “What you gonna do? It’s Nina Simone.”

  1. via http://www.facebook.com/elephantjournal

    Lauren K
    i love SinnerMan….i use the best sinnerman mix in my classes….i think i have that 10 min version !!

    ♥ Nina for life!!

    Love Nina. Love Sinnerman. Did know the background. Great mini-anthology here! Thanks.

    well, this music is used in alvin aileys famous ballet revelations – not this version but the song itself… FABULOUS

    Swati Jr Sarah
    hands down!!

    Yes! Thank you Way for these Jewels – Engaged Spiritual Life – El Nina!!!

    Rod Meade Sperry
    hands down indeed.

    100% agreeable!!!!!

  2. Farnoosh says:

    Oh thank you for this. I loved Nina Simone first when she was played in "Point of No Return", a great movie that I watched in college – oh I love her voice. Thank you for these videos!

  3. Jess says:

    Nina's version of "I Shall Be Released" is amazing, too… Great video collection 🙂

  4. Love Nina Simone – her voice just guts me. My Baby Just Cares for Me, Little Sugar in My Bowl, Love Me or Leave Me, her version of Ev'ry Time We Say Goodbye, Feelin' Good = all on my writing playlist for when I need some inspiration…she is wonderful.

    Do I Move You is amazing too…

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  7. Brett Young says:

    Nina Simone is truly, truly lovely. Sugar In My Bowl makes me swoon with longing. Add in a little moonlight and I’m beyond all repair.

  8. Ashley says:

    What a force! Check out this amazing cover of Nina Simone’s Be My Husband http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pZ0otvVrSfk