my baby just cares for me//nina simone

i love nina simone for all that she was and still is--the artist and artistry, the politics and her tortured soul. this is one of my all time favorite recordings of hers. i watch and remember back to when i studied classical piano, as a little girl, longing to feel the keys under my fingers again. i watch and marvel at the incredible talent of this woman. i watch and wonder whether such genius eventually drives one mad, wish she could have found a way out of the blackness to the joy she gave to so many.

a friend of mine was developing a play around nina's life and found it difficult to process the rage and disillusionment that drove her away from the u.s. to europe, estranged her from her family. i think artists are difficult people to love; their lives depend on having an intimate relationship with their work, on offering perfect strangers the most benevolent gifts of generosity and love. in my experience, i know i'm doing it right when everything else in my life goes to absolute shit.

it is a child's wish to hit pause, rewind, and do it over again--to make things right in life, in love, in art. but perhaps, if she could do it again, nina wouldn't do anything differently and it is only we who suffer without her. at least i can watch this moment of beauty and love, again and again, to lessen the pain of losing her. --AL.

"This song was popular all over France with Chanel No. 5 parfum--unfortunately, of which, I have none, and not the money either--and in England. It's from our first album, the very first album we made in this world, which is at least 25-years-old. I only wish I could have been as wise then as I have become now. I have suffered. But there's a Bösendorfer [piano] here, so we'll see what happens." --Nina Simone



Update: This post got some love over at the neo*griot blog for writers. Check it out here.

2 comments:

{ LetsGoDeeper } | January 10, 2011 at 2:52 AM said...

Nice piece, this is a great song. I love that artists like Common have the courage to sample her and introduce her legend to younger generations.

{ Afolabi } | January 11, 2011 at 3:54 PM said...

I can never stop loving Nina Simone.
Her music is just up there.

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