NINA SIMONE / “Pirate Jenny”

This entry was posted on Sunday, November 6th, 2005 at 4:30 am and is filed under Classic. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

11 Responses to “NINA SIMONE / “Pirate Jenny””

Paranoid Mod Says:
November 6th, 2005 at 3:09 pm

I never knew Pirate Jenny was by Brecht & Weill. I always figured it was a Nina original. I’ve only been listening to it for a decade!

Superb site. Keep it going.


Lynn Pitts Says:
November 7th, 2005 at 7:26 am

In the email you said the Nina stuff will be here for a limited time. Why? Why can’t you just add another section? “Classic.” “Contemporary.” “Cover.” “Nina.”

Just go ‘head and do it.

New York

Brandon Says:
November 7th, 2005 at 8:14 am

This is a wonderful site! I LOVE Nina! She is a god!

ras kagiso Says:
November 7th, 2005 at 10:04 am

this site and all that you do is blessed.

the occasion of nina simone’s transition a few years ago allowed my eyes to see beyond the 2 percent to which i had been exposed

a similar situation to rosa parks

and i know you know this, but i need to tell you that your work provides some of the missing elements in people’s lives which is consistently left out by currently dominant media..

just needed to say thanks.

AumRa Says:
November 8th, 2005 at 1:00 pm

I recall a couple of weeks back someone questioned the definition of “Black music.” I love the fact that the moderators chose to address the situation not from an academic standpoint but from a “let me show you better than I can tell you” approach. If you don’t know, it don’t get no Blacker than Nina Simone, now you know.

I once saw Nina cuss out Babatunde Olatunji at the Mahalia Jackson Theatre for the Performing Arts in New Orleans during a performance at Jazz Festival. Nina was trying to get Baba to accompany her on stage. Baba was ill and had barely made it through his opening set.

After struggling with body aches and fever trying to change from sweat drenched clothes, the spent Nigerian master drummer was standing in the wings waiting to pay respects to the preeminent culture bearer, Simone. Now mind you, Baba was visibly miserable and could barely walk and talk because of the effects of flu symptoms so after that bangin Drums of Passion set my man was fit for the bed.

Half way through the first number Nina spotted her dear friend, Olatunji and immediately demanded he join her on stage. The former Morehouse College SGA president and football star did his best, using hand gestures and facial expressions, to decline. Well, Nina lit into Baba like a spurned lover. That shit was hotter than the bluest flame and it was all said in the microphone. A murmur rose from the shocked and confused audience. And what did Baba do? He stood there and took that shit like a man.

I suppose my man’s Euro Ba was telling him to be all hurt and shit but Nina was havin none of it. Now, I am ready to accept the fact that there are those who may not agree with what Nina said and did to this humble, Yoruba priest. The brother just smiled and walked off nodding his head. Baba explained to me later that Nina is the only one who can do that and get away with it. Now, this man who was deep into traditional African culture and Nina who was – well I really don’t know what Nina was into – had reached a very personal understanding, a knowing of one another, a very ‘rootical’ level of kinship. Olatunji knew exactly where Nina was commin from. Nah see, that’s one of them hard to explain phenomenon of Blackness. It has to deal with the differing levels of Blackness: God, deities, wo/man, African, Negroid, nigger, Negro, Black, Afro-(insert), Black, god, nigga. Black people can, at the drop of a dime, manifest any one of these attributes at any given point in space and time. The audience was shocked and confused by how Nina was talking to Baba. But not the fact that Baba had white women playing drums in the band. There was a very subtle dynamic going on there. Nina was saying I know you ain’t gone so far as to think you can play with them and not play with me. To put this in more Gershwinesque terms, Nina was saying “you is mines, Porgy!” This is proof positive that pimpin ain’t easy and though sometimes Black love can be tough, there’s nothing else like it in the world. I know y’all feel me. And if you don’t know what I’m sayin, you might have to be born again, Godspeed.

Marian Says:
November 8th, 2005 at 3:42 pm

Your description of listening to “Pirate Jenny” reminded me of my initial delight at hearing Sondheim’s “Sweeny Todd”. Now I want to see a real production of ” The Threepenny Opera “, not the tepid one that I saw at a community dinner theatre.

Tiaji Says:
November 9th, 2005 at 9:16 am

I’ve NEVER been a Nina Simone fan. I guess you have to have lived a bit to get her. This is my first time listening to her since college (when I taped her out of a joke — like who is this man singing in the flatest of all F’s. :o) Anyway, the songs are actually comical, witty, and biting. I dare say I kinda like them. The songs make me think about how art is missing out of alot of music today. The artists have been replaced with ?

Thanks for reintroducing me to Nina Simone.

kathy Says:
November 11th, 2005 at 10:23 pm

I first heard Pirate Jenny when I was about 12. Loved her ever since.

Blue Says:
February 4th, 2007 at 6:58 pm

Pirate Jenny is one of my favorite songs of all times. I love Nina — have done since I was about 5 when I heard my mom’s vinyl records… One of the first recordings I bought once I left home was my own copy of Nina Simone’s Best of.

As for your thoughtful writing about history. The history we normally get to read is that which the winners have edited to create their vision of the past and of themselves. It often bears only a passing resemblance to reality.


andrea Says:
January 23rd, 2008 at 1:05 pm

wel i’ve never even heard her music!
me i’m more into mexican music, durangense, hip hop n r&b and of course country(depends on what the music is n if i likey!) but she’s a great person for standing up in what she belives maybe i’l try her music sometime! =p lataz

Nic Says:
August 31st, 2008 at 6:09 pm

Advocating the death of the bourgeois minority isn’t so shocking.
The play from which pirate jenny is taken was performed in the 20’s, at a time when utopia was on the map.
These old relics roll idly around our minds, its another way to say, capitalism rules, Nina was wrong, and play ‘my baby just cares for me’.

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