Heard : Nina Simone's "Four Women"

When : Wednesday evening

Where : In my car while crossing the Columbia River, surrounded by fog

My appreciation

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I Heard This

Heard: Nina Simone's "Four Women"

When: Wednesday evening

Where: In my car while crossing the Columbia River, surrounded by fog

My appreciation for Simone began ten years ago, when a roommate gave me a "best of" compilation for Christmas, explaining that she wanted to give me something I would never buy for myself. It was a pretty great gift on a number of levels, but primarily because it first introduced me to this song. "Four Women" was Simone's way of honoring the life stories of four different generations of black women, all of whom had pretty bleak lives. The final character addressed is "Peaches", who clearly has the most rage and resentment, but also a great deal of grace and strength. Listening to the last line of the song is probably the most direct route to understanding why Simone was such a invaluable artist and an utterly entrancing performer.

Every time I hear this song, it breaks my heart that I wasn't able to see her live. It's at moments like this that I'm especially grateful to the creators of Youtube, because there's all sorts of great footage of her out there--especially the clip below of her performing the song in question:

Now that's something to be thankful for.

 
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