Sun Dec 15, 2013, 06:13 PM
BainsBane (34,493 posts)
I decided Nina Simone needed her own thread
Last edited Sun Dec 15, 2013, 07:49 PM - Edit history (1)
Nina Simone, Four Women
A powerful song.
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I decided Nina Simone needed her own thread (Original post)
Response to BainsBane (Original post)
Mon Dec 16, 2013, 12:22 AM
DreamGypsy (2,179 posts)
2. Nina Simone, 1933-2003 High Priestess and Sister Sadie
From The Village Voice, Tuesday, Apr 29 2003, eight days after Nina's death:
"She gave 'em hell till the end," said my friend Arnim last week when Nina Simone passed. The first time he saw her perform was in the late 1960s when he had just reached the legal drinking age and ventured into the Village Gate. She came onstage and announced to the audience that she was "feeling it" and intended to play until she got tired, no matter how long it took. She said she hated being disturbed when she was playing, so if anyone thought they might want to leave, "I suggest you leave now." She then stepped into the wings, fetched her bottle of cognac, put it on the piano, and began to play, moving, he said, "from the sacred to the profane." She played some gospel and then railed against how puritanical she found American society. "Sex is a sacrament," she lectured and then returned to the spirituals. At 6 a.m. she announced she was tired, and he went to make an eight o'clock biology lab at college. Hostage of that transcendent one-night stand, he became a devotee.
My skin is black/My arms are long/My hair is wooly/My back is strong/Strong enough to take the pain/Inflicted again and again/What do they call me?/My name is Aunt Sara.
But it was "Four Women," an instantly accessible analysis of the damning legacy of slavery, that made iconographic the real women we knew and would become. For African American women it became an anthem affirming our existence, our sanity, and our struggle to survive a culture which regards us as anti-feminine. It acknowledged the loss of childhoods among African American women, our invisibility, exploitation, defiance, and even subtly reminded that in slavery and patriarchy, your name is what they call you. Simone's final defiant scream of the name Peaches was our invitation to get over color and class difference and step with the sister who said:
My skin is brown/My manner is tough/I'll kill the first mother I see/ My life has been rough/I'm awfully bitter these days/Because my parents were slaves.
May the High Priestess's cult widen to take in the unwise who made her as outrageous as she was.
A few years ago Tom Russell released a tribute song for Nina...and for the loss of love...
Yeah we’ve been to hell and back
Thanks for the post BainsBane, and for the memories of this great woman and musician.