Today would have been Miss Nina Simone’s 85th birthday, so we thought, to celebrate, we’d take a little trip down memory lane and revisit a London performance of one of her highest charting records ever ‘Ain’t Got No, I Got Life’. The singer died in 2003 from cancer.

The song came in on the UK Charts of the time at no. 2 and represents one of her highest positions ever on the chart, which considering Mr Blobby once got to number one, is a little disgusting.

However, to celebrate her birthday take a look at this wonderful performance of the track, which is truly unmistakable as Miss Simone in the prime of her life. Powerful, precise and poignant she delivers each note with the reserved energy of an athlete taking a jog across the park.

Filmed in London in 1968 the soul singer permeated every note she sang with a darkened steel that lent itself not only to powerful notes but powerful messages.

Take a look at the performance below and read the lyrics to ‘Ain’t Got No, I Got Life’ below that for a poignant poetic message.

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

I 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 …

I 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 ticket

Ain’t got
Ain’t got no water
Ain’t got no love
Ain’t got no faith
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

And what have I got
Why am I alive anyway
Yeah what have I got
Nobody can take away

I got my hair I got my head
got my brains got my ears
got my eyes got my nose got my mouth
I got my I got my self

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 life
I’ve got headache an toothache
and bad times too like you

I got my hair I 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 boobies
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
I got life

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