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"
Released 1968
Recorded RCA studios, New York City
Genre Pop, soul
Length 2:17
Label RCA 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 the two masters/Alternate mixes[edit]

The song was recorded in two versions. Version 1 starts off with a repeated piano hook and is a smoothly played jazz number. Version 2 starts off with a guitar and a horn section riff In this version, the drums are played with much speed. Both versions made their way into modern-day adverts, the former a few years apart from the latter. 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.

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 on Müller yoghurt adverts.[4]

The song 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.