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"Ain't Got No, I Got Life"
Song by Nina Simone
from the album 'Nuff Said
B-side"Do What You Gotta Do"
RecordedRCA studios, New York City
GenrePop, soul
LabelRCA Records
Songwriter(s)James Rado, Gerome Ragni, Galt MacDermot

"Ain't Got No/I Got Life" is a single by American singer-songwriter Nina Simone. The song also featured on her 1968 album 'Nuff Said. Compared to the single, the album version has applause from the Westbury Music Fair concert crossfaded over the beginning and end, additional overdubbed drums, and towards the end of the song the vocal is double-tracked. It is a medley of two songs from the musical Hair, with lyrics by James Rado and Gerome Ragni and music by Galt MacDermot. The song peaked at number 2 in the UK and at number 1 in the Netherlands.[1] It also charted on the Billboard Hot 100, where it reached number 94.[2] The song helped Simone gain pop-popularity under a new, younger audience, and became a standard in her repertoire.[3]

The 2006 Groovefinder remix of the song rose as high as number 30 in the UK and remained on the charts for 16 weeks. In Ireland, it peaked at number 9 and remained on the charts for 15 weeks.

In 2010, research conducted by PRS for Music revealed that the song is the second most performed in UK television advertising for its use on Müller yoghurt adverts.[4]

The song was included in the book 1001 Songs You Must Hear Before you Die.[3]


The song was also recorded by a British band Red Box and released in 1986 on a B-side of the single "For America". This song is also covered on Le Volume Courbe's debut I Killed My Best Friend, and on the 2010 extended edition of Jim Guthrie's Now, More Than Ever.

The song is alluded to on the 1969 album Streetnoise by Julie Driscoll, Brian Auger and the Trinity.

In 1970 the singer Merry Clayton included a version of the song on her debut album Gimme Shelter.

German singer Patrice recorded the song for his 2010 album, One, sampling Nina Simone's original vocals.

Canadian singer Kellylee Evans included this song on her album Nina, released in 2010.

Former Spice Girls member Melanie C recorded the song for her 2012 album Stages.

The band RNDM covered the song on their tour in 2012.


Chart (1968) Peak
Netherlands (Dutch Top 40)[1] 1
UK Singles (OCC)[5] 2
US Billboard Hot 100[2] 94

External links[]


  1. 1.0 1.1 "Nina Simone - Ain't Got No-I Got Life". Dutch Top 40. Retrieved December 1, 2013.
  2. 2.0 2.1 "Nina Simone Chart History". Retrieved November 11, 2016.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Dimery, Robert (2010). 1001 Songs You Must Hear Before you Die (1st ed.). New York, New York: Rizzoli. ISBN 9780789320896. Retrieved November 11, 2016.
  4. "Sainsbury's song tops adverts playlist". Telegraph. April 19, 2010. Retrieved November 4, 2011.
  5. "NINA SIMONE | full Official Chart history". Official Charts Company. Retrieved November 27, 2016.

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