Song of the Day : I Want A Little Sugar In My Bowl by Nina Simone

“I Want a Little Sugar in My Bowl”, based on a song by Simone’s great example, Bessie Smith, but with somewhat different lyrics.

Lyrics:

I want a little sugar in my bowl
I want a little sweetness down in my soul
I could stand some lovin’, oh so bad
I feel so funny, I feel so sad
I want a little steam on my clothes
Maybe I can fix things up so they’ll go
What’s the matter Daddy? Come on, save my soul
I need some sugar in my bowl, I ain’t foolin’
I want some sugar in my bowl
You been acting different, I’ve been told
Sue me, I want some sugar in my bowl
I want some steam on my clothes
Maybe I can fix things up so they’ll go
What’s the matter Daddy? Come on, save my soul
I want some sugar in my bowl, I ain’t foolin’
I want some sugar in my bowl

……

Throughout her career, Simone assembled a collection of songs that would become standards in her repertoire. These songs were self-written tunes, tributes to works by others with a new arrangement by Simone, or songs written especially for Simone. Her first hit song in America was her rendition of George Gershwin’s “I Loves You, Porgy” (1958). It peaked at number 18 in the pop singles chart and number 2 on the black singles chart. During that same period Simone recorded “My Baby Just Cares for Me”, which would become her biggest success years later, in 1987, after it was featured in a 1986 Chanel No. 5 perfume commercial. A music video was also created by Aardman Studios.

Well known songs from her Philips albums include “Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood” on Broadway-Blues-Ballads (1964), “I Put a Spell on You”, “Ne me quitte pas” (a rendition of a Jacques Brelsong) and “Feeling Good” on I Put a Spell On You (1965), “Lilac Wine” and “Wild Is the Wind” on Wild is the Wind (1966). Especially the songs “Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood”, “Feeling Good”, and “Sinner Man” (Pastel Blues, 1965) have great popularity today in terms of cover versions (most notably a version of the former song by The Animals), sample usage, and its use on soundtracks for various movies, TV-series, and video games. “Sinnerman”, in particular, has been featured in the TV series ScrubsPerson of Interest, and Sherlock, and on movies such as The Thomas Crown AffairMiami Vice, and Inland Empire, and sampled by artists such as Talib Kweli and Timbaland. The song “Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood” was sampled by Devo Springsteenon “Misunderstood” from Common’s 2007 album Finding Forever, and by little-known producers Rodnae and Mousa for the song “Don’t Get It” on Lil Wayne’s 2008 album Tha Carter III. The song “See-Line Woman” was sampled by Kanye West for “Bad News” on his album 808s & Heartbreak.

Simone’s years at RCA-Victor spawned a number of singles and album tracks that were popular, particularly in Europe. In 1968, it was “Ain’t Got No, I Got Life”, a medley from the musical Hairfrom the album ‘Nuff Said! (1968) that became a surprise hit for Simone, reaching number 4 on the UK Singles Chart and introducing her to a younger audience. In 2006, it returned to the UK Top 30 in a remixed version by Groovefinder. The following single, the Bee Gees’ rendition of “To Love Somebody” also reached the UK Top 10 in 1969. “House of the Rising Sun” was featured onNina Simone Sings the Blues in 1967, but Simone had recorded the song in 1961 and it was featured on Nina at the Village Gate (1962), predating the versions by Dave Van Ronk and Bob Dylan. It was later covered by The Animals, for whom it became a signature hit.

Simone’s music has been featured in soundtracks of various motion pictures and video games, including but not limited to, The Big Lebowski (1998), Point of No Return (AKA The Assassin, 1993),”La Femme Nikita” (film) Notting Hill (1999), Any Given Sunday (1999), The Thomas Crown Affair (1999), Six Feet Under (2001), The Dancer Upstairs (film) (2002), Before Sunset (2004), Cellular (2004),Inland Empire (2006), Miami Vice (2006), Sex and the City (2008), The World Unseen (2008), Revolutionary Road (2008), Watchmen (2009), The Saboteur (2009), Repo Men (2010). Frequently her music is used in remixes, commercials, and TV series including “Feeling Good” featured prominently in the Season Four Promo of Six Feet Under, 2004. Singer-songwriter Tom Russell’s homage to Nina Simone appears on his 2009 album, “Blood and Candle Smoke.”

Nina Simone

Birth name Eunice Kathleen Waymon
Born February 21, 1933
Tryon, North Carolina, United States
Died April 21, 2003 (aged 70)
Carry-le-Rouet, Bouches-du-Rhône,France
Genres Jazz, blues, R&B, folk, gospel
Occupations Singer, songwriter, pianist,arranger, activist
Years active 1954–2003
Labels Bethlehem, Colpix, Philips, RCA Victor, CTI, Legacy Recordings
Website http://www.ninasimone.com

image by huebucket

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