What's All This Then?

Well this is what am doing to make my month more challenging. Challenge me in the comment section either here or on YouTube in the last week of the month, you'll be able to vote from a short list of challenges to decide what I'll be doing next month!

JUNE 2011 : Photos

AUGUST: Re-run

JULY: ??

JUNE: Listen to Nina Simone

MAY: Learn about the emotion fear

APRIL: Find an object and take a photo of it every day in different locations

MARCH: Create a stop motion animation

FEBRUARY: Keri Smith's 'This Is Not A Book' book

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Mississippi Goddam

After noticing a lot of covers on all the Nina Simone albums I've come across I decided to search out which were originals. I came across one song that I hadn't taken enough notice of. Clearly, not enough notice of because it damn near broke my heart when I listened to lyrics. Nina Simone was a passionate activist of Civil Rights and this passion was easily thrown into her music. In fact, at one concert, Nina Simone refused to play as her parents were not allowed to sit in the front, the front being for white people only. She refused to play until they were moved to the front. (I LOVE THAT STORY) Songs like To Be Young, Gifted and Black an inspiring song emphasising the beauty of the young, gifted and black people. And Why The King Of Love Is Dead written in memory of Dr Martin Luther King, and was first performed 3 days after he died.

However, Mississippi Goddam, is a little different to other civil rights songs. For starters, it is easy to overlook (or overhear?) because the music itself is a happier tune than the lyrics let on. You find yourself tapping your toe and joining in with 'go slow!' but when hear Simone's cry 'goddam!' you can hear the pain and exasperation behind the word. Even the line 'everybody knows about Mississippi Goddam' is so true, we all know it, the inequality and degradation we all know about it. And yet, these opinions still exist because inequality and degradation still exists. And don't think I'm just throwing stones at the USA because there is plenty in Australia too. In fact, just this week, an assistant coach from one of a major state football teams was fired over racist remarks, the incident has forced a player to resign from one of the year's biggest games and the press have been all over it.

Anyway, I've gone off on a tangent, sorry. But honestly, have a read through the lyrics below, they are well worth the read. They are so heavy and so heart breaking when you actually put yourself into the situation of being forced to feel it.


Mississippi Goddam (Nina Simone):

Alabama's gotten me so upset

Tennessee made me lose my rest

And everybody knows about Mississippi Goddam


Alabama's gotten me so upset

Tennessee made me lose my rest

And everybody knows about Mississippi Goddam


Can't you see it

Can't you feel it

It's all in the air

I can't stand the pressure much longer

Somebody say a prayer


Alabama's gotten me so upset

Tennessee made me lose my rest

And everybody knows about Mississippi Goddam


This is a show tune

But the show hasn't been written for it, yet


Hound dogs on my trail

School children sitting in jail

Black cat cross my path

I think every day's gonna be my last


Lord have mercy on this land of mine

We all gonna get it in due time

I don't belong here

I don't belong there

I've even stopped believing in prayer


Don't tell me

I tell you

Me and my people just about due

I've been there so I know

They keep on saying "Go slow!"


But that's just the trouble

"do it slow"

Washing the windows

"do it slow"

Picking the cotton

"do it slow"

You're just plain rotten

"do it slow"

You're too damn lazy

"do it slow"

The thinking's crazy

"do it slow"

Where am I going

What am I doing

I don't know

I don't know


Just try to do your very best

Stand up be counted with all the rest

For everybody knows about Mississippi Goddam


I made you thought I was kiddin' didn't we


Picket lines

School boy cots

They try to say it's a communist plot

All I want is equality

for my sister my brother my people and me


Yes you lied to me all these years

You told me to wash and clean my ears

And talk real fine just like a lady

And you'd stop calling me Sister Sadie


Oh but this whole country is full of lies

You're all gonna die and die like flies

I don't trust you any more

You keep on saying "Go slow!"

"Go slow!"


But that's just the trouble

"do it slow"


"do it slow"

Mass participation

"do it slow"


"do it slow"

Do things gradually

"do it slow"

But bring more tragedy

"do it slow"

Why don't you see it

Why don't you feel it

I don't know

I don't know


You don't have to live next to me

Just give me my equality

Everybody knows about Mississippi

Everybody knows about Alabama

Everybody knows about Mississippi Goddam

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Oh Nina...

The one thing that is standing out more than anything else at the moment. Is the fact that Nina Simone was an amazing pianist. Seriously, amazing. She is more well-known for the voice and song writing and the activist side of her career. But seriously, so good.