I (Who Have Nothing)

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"I (Who Have Nothing)"
Single by Ben E. King
from the album Young Boy Blues
B-side "The Beginning of Time"
Released June 1963
Format 7"
Genre Soul
Length 2:30
Label Atco Records
Writer(s) Carlo Donida, Mogol, Jerry Leiber, Mike Stoller
Producer(s) Jerry Leiber & Mike Stoller
Ben E. King singles chronology
"How Can I Forget"
"I (Who Have Nothing)"
"I Could Have Danced All Night"

"I (Who Have Nothing)" (sometimes billed as "I Who Have Nothing") is a song originally released in English by Ben E. King in 1963.

"I (Who Have Nothing)" is based on the Italian song "Uno Dei Tanti" (English: "One of Many"), with music by Carlo Donida and lyrics by Giulio "Mogol" Rapetti.[1] "Uno Dei Tanti" was released by Joe Sentieri in 1961. The English lyrics for "I (Who Have Nothing)" were written by Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller, who also produced the Ben E. King record using the backing track from Joe Sentieri's record (orchestra conducted by Luis Enriquez Bacalov).

The song was included in the musical revue Smokey Joe's Cafe.


The original English Ben E. King version was released in 1963 and reached #29 on the Billboard charts. Other versions which reached the Billboard charts were performed by Terry Knight and the Pack in 1966 (#46), by Liquid Smoke in 1970 (#82), by Warhorse in 1972 and by Sylvester in 1979 (#40). The most popular version in the United States was by Tom Jones, peaking at #11 in Cashbox and at #14 in Billboard in the fall of 1970. Jones lyp-synched to the hit recording on a highly rated Raquel Welch television special that summer.

Shirley Bassey released the song (produced by George Martin) in September 1963, reaching #6 on the UK charts. She performs the song at almost every live concert she gives, and it is on many of her compilation albums, including I Am What I Am with the London Symphony Orchestra, and her 1989 album La Mujer where she sings it in Spanish ("Hoy No Tengo Nada"). She has also been instrumental in making Donida's music known to English-speaking audiences through arranging for translations from the Italian, having performed with the composer conducting his own music on Italian television.[2][3]

Other versions of "I (Who Have Nothing)" include recordings by Petula Clark, Al Kooper, The Spectres (who later became Status Quo), Roberta Flack & Donny Hathaway, Jedi Mind Tricks, Sylvester, Luther Vandross & Martha Wash, Liza Minnelli, Brook Benton, Neil Diamond, Joe Cocker, Normie Rowe, Katherine Jenkins, Ijahman Levi, Bob Guillaume, Manfred Mann's Earth Band, Haley Reinhart, Candice Glover, Donny Osmond, Jordin Sparks, Kerry Ellis and Gladys Knight. A Greek version was recorded by Marinella, titled "Agapi (Love)" on her album I Marinella Tragouda Megales Kyries in 1992.[4]A Spanish version was also recorded by Enrique Guzman, titled "Uno de tantos". CBS Records, 1963.


  1. ^ "Second Hand Songs - Song:Uno dei tanti - Joe Sentieri". Retrieved 2007-07-28. 
  2. ^ "The Songs of Shirley Bassey: Song Info". Retrieved 2007-07-30. 
  3. ^ BBC episode of Biography (ca. 2000)
  4. ^ Liner notes, Marinella - I Marinella Tragouda Megales Kyries, Minos EMI: 478135, 1992

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