Music Monday: Nina Simone – “Ain’t Got No, I Got Life”

If you haven’t seen What Happened, Miss Simone? on Netflix, I strongly suggest it. Contained within some of the rare footage featured in the documentary is a performance of “Ain’t Got No, I Got Life.” Like a lot of live art, the song changes from performance to performance to emphasize different aspects of the message. I found this version to rely heavily on the n0n-religious proclamations “ain’t got no faith” and “ain’t got no god.” However, as intended, the song travels from a feeling of despair brought on by reflecting what she doesn’t have to a liberating realization of what she does have.

As hinted at above, the lyrics below do not line up 100% with this specific rendition of the song. More information about the history of the song can be found on this wikipedia page.