Forgive Me, Nina Simone

Forgive me, Nina Simone, for I know not what the hell I was thinking, spending, as I did, so many years ignoring your music. Well, I had my reasons. Your repertoire was just too eclectic and idiosyncratic, what with the show tunes, the jazz standards, the spirituals, the protest songs. And then there was the whole diva thing. And worse, it seemed like every person I knew who didn't actually know that much about music liked you, like they loved Aretha Franklin. But still, but still . . .

So many times I would hear some truly great singing on the radio only to learn that it was you. So finally, after much dragging of heels, I picked up a great collection of yours, and some great live recordings, too, and was hooked, enamored, devoted. It's safe to say that few sing with as much authority as you. You sing every note the way you meant to sing it. You sing with complete command. And, hey, your piano playing is first rate, too, revealing that classical training. My concerns may have had some grounding in fact, but were relegated to insignificance by your tremendous art. Again, please forgive me.

How glorious to experience the newness of something so wonderful, so late in life, when it's so easy to be jaded. My foot dragging fulfilled an unanticipated purpose then, allowing me the thrill of discovery as I move through middle age.

Nina Simone owns Gershwin's "I Loves You Porgy." Listen.


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