Ain't Got No, I Got Life

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"Ain't Got No, I Got Life"
Single 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 1968 single by American singer-songwriter Nina Simone, from her album 'Nuff Said. It is a medley of two songs, "Ain't Got No" and "I Got Life", 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 popularity under a new, younger audience, and became a standard in her repertoire.[3]

Differences between masters; alternate mixes[edit]

"Ain't Got No, I Got Life" was recorded in two versions:

  • Version 1 starts with a repeated piano hook, and is a smoothly played jazz number.
  • Version 2 starts with a guitar and horn section riff, and has a strong rock beat.

Both versions made their way into modern-day ad campaigns, the former a few years after the latter. Unlike the single, the album version has applause from Simone's Westbury Music Fair concert crossfaded over the beginning and end, and additional overdubbed drums; and towards the end of the song, the vocal is double-tracked.

A "Groovefinder remix" of the song appeared on the 2006 album Remixed and Reimagined, an album of remixes of Simone's songs. The remix reached 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 was the second most performed in UK television advertising due to its use in Müller yoghurt adverts.[4]

"Ain't Got No, I Got Life" was included in the book 1001 Songs You Must Hear Before you Die.[3]


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


  1. ^ a b "Nina Simone - Ain't Got No-I Got Life". Dutch Top 40. Retrieved December 1, 2013.
  2. ^ a b "Nina Simone Chart History". Retrieved November 11, 2016.
  3. ^ a b 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.