I can no longer remember when I first heard this song but I am blown away whenever I listen to it – by the power in Nina Simone’s voice, the swelling of the horns, quiet moments with the light patter of her piano.
Nina Simone didn’t write this song but she performed it at a time when she had rejected the music industry’s expectations of what kind of tracks she should be playing and immersed herself wholly in the Civil Rights movement. It was a decision that fed her soul but took its toll. The self-assured lyrics of the song are so much more striking when you think of the heartbreakingly painful life that she sang through with determination, intelligence and sparkle. For me, it’s a song for beginnings, for endings and for every single day.