Best Songs by Nina Simone | TheReviewGeek Recommends

Nina Simone was a phenom whose impact on the music industry can’t be overstated. Through her work, she made a solid statement that resonates with so many people even today. More often than not, Simone’s songs weren’t just limited to entertainment, in fact, many of those aimed to unlock the closed minds and send important messages about humanity. 

With this piece here, we take a look at 10 of the best songs by Nina Simone. As usual, you can let us know your thoughts in the comments below:

Best Songs by Nina Simone 

Feeling Good

Arguably Simone’s most loved track, Feeling Good was originally written by English composers Anthony Newley and Leslie Bricusse for the musical The Roar of the Greasepaint – The Smell of the Crowd. The song has been covered by numerous singers, however, it’s best known as Simone’s song.

Her naked vocals in the start underscore the true meaning of the song, and the avalanche of instrumental music that follows takes the “Feeling Good” feel to whole another level. The song has been featured on countless shows and movies.

Best Songs by Nina Simone

Mississippi Godamm

According to Simone, Mississippi Godamm was her first civil rights song. The track highlights the craziness that racism and discrimination give birth to. A segment of the lyrics goes, “Don’t tell me, I tell you. Me and my people just about due.”

Similarly, there are more strong statements that the singer makes throughout this track. Today, Mississippi Godamm is more than just a song, it’s an anthem representing struggle and resilience in the face of oppression.

Best Songs by Nina Simone

Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood

It’s not often you happen to tap on a song of this calibre. Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood has at its core very genuine and deep lines that are true and will always remain so.

One of the lines goes, “If sometimes you see that I’m mad, Don’t you know no one alive can always be an angel.” As the line suggests, the song focuses on the fallibility of humans and that it doesn’t necessarily mean the person is bad.

Best Songs by Nina Simone

I Put a Spell on You

I Put a Spell on You was originally written and composed by Jalacy “Screamin’ Jay” Hawkins, and just a couple of weeks into its release, the song became the talk of the town.

Hundreds of artists have covered the track since its release in 1956. Nina Simone’s version which came out in 1965 treats the song seriously, and her distinct voice adds a special weight to it. The track heavily relies on the singer’s vocal ability as there is very light use of instruments. And, that’s exactly what makes this song so incredible.

Best Songs by Nina Simone


This African American traditional song has some solid lines that do more than just please the ears. Sinnerman talks about an unrighteous man who is running away from his fate on judgement day. The track that spans over 10 minutes has been extensively covered, and Nina Simone’s version is among the most popular.

As usual, Simone gives a distinct touch to the track with unassisted choruses and ragas. Undoubtedly, it’s not for everybody, but those with an understanding of music are surely going to find Sinnerman an interesting song to listen to.

Best Songs by Nina Simone

Ne Me Quitte Pas

French for “Don’t leave me”, Ne Me Quitte Pas was composed by Belgian singer Jacques Brel in 1959. Nina Simone covered the song in 1965.

It’s a peaceful track about love that radiates a sense of tranquillity. Ne Me Quitte Pas is one of Simone’s most loved songs, and as it ages, its beauty feels more refined.

Best Songs by Nina Simone

My Baby Just Cares For Me

This one is a rare entry in Simone’s discography. Unlike most of her songs where her voice is sharp and fearlessly loud, here Simone lets her vocal chords relax. And, surprisingly, the result is a beautiful song that feels wonderful to hear.

The track delivers a feel-good vibe with the help of uplifting music in the background. Simone does the rest of the magic using the versatility of her voice.

Best Songs by Nina Simone

I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel to be Free

The song in question is a highly inspirational one that urges listeners to live up to their potential no matter the situation and make the most out of their freedom. The song was written by American musician Billy Taylor for his daughter. However, it’s Simone’s version that garnered widespread attention and acclaim.

Due to its uplifting nature and message for people to do humane things, the song served as an anthem for the civil rights movement at the time. 

Best Songs by Nina Simone

Ain’t Got No / I Got Life

Nina Simone’s songs were almost invariably based on important moments of life or the life itself be it good or bad, free or captive. And this song is no exception.

 The track is about the true meaning of life, and why one should embrace it the way it is. Like many of her songs, this one talks about the significance of freedom. Nina Simone does magic with her voice as she plays with high and low beats throughout the duration of the song.

Best Songs by Nina Simone

Four Women

As the title suggests, through the song, Simone talks about four different women having African roots. With the track, the singer represents African-American stereotypes popular in American society.

The hidden meaning of the track apparently highlights the fact that race has no role to play in what one does and how one’s life turns out to be. Over the years, Four Women has become an iconic social hit that still holds true for marginalized communities in many parts of the world.

There we have it, our list of 10 best songs by Nina Simone. What do you think about our picks? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below:

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