Rise and Grind: Nina Simone’s “I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel To Be Free”

It can be tough to motivate yourself to get up in the morning.  I know waking up for another day will be tough for me tomorrow, considering today, for lack of better words, totally sucked.  I won’t get in to the gory details because Lord knows no one cares but me, but it involved a broken shoe, a water-logged purse, and sprinting for (and missing) a train.  Yep, I was that hot mess you saw in North Station today.

Because of this unfortunate series of events, I got to thinking about what songs help me to rise and shine, or get me out of a wretched mood.  And bar none the first song I turn to to shake out of a funk is Nina Simone’s “I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel To Be Free.”  Most people choose her classic “Feelin’ Good” for inspiration, but this deeper cut from Simone’s repertoire speaks to me in a way no other song could.  Simone, and this song in particular, became an integral part of the Civil Rights movement.  In turn, it’s difficult to listen to the song and not feel grateful for everything you have.  Simone and her backing horns are relentlessly triumphant, and the all the hopes and wishes Nina croons for are simple, yet resonant.  Basically, I’m pretty sure that if it was my alarm clock, I’d wake up on the right side of the bed every day.  However, by one of the great unwritten laws of the universe, if I really did wake up to this song every day, I’d end up hating it.  And such is life.

What songs help you to get ‘er done?  Post your faves in the Comment box below and we’ll put together a playlist that could make even your Voldemort-status boss loosen up his tie.

Posted on by Caroline in M&T Favorites

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