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The Nina Simone Database
Barra
Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood
1964 Bennie Benjamin, Gloria Caldwell, Sol Marcus
"Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood" was one of five songs involving the writing of Benjamin and Marcus, presented for Nina Simone's 1964 album Broadway-Blues-Ballads. There, it is taken at a very slow tempo and arranged around harp and other orchestral elements; a backing choir appears at several points. Simone sings it in her usual hard-to-categorize style. Horace Ott's involvement did not end with his initial songwriting; he was the arranger and orchestral conductor for the entire album. Backed with "A Monster", "Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood" was released as a single in 1964, but failed to chart.

The Animals' lead singer Eric Burdon would later say of the song, "It was never considered pop material, but it somehow got passed on to us and we fell in love with it immediately." The Animals gave it one of their trademark R&B-unto-rock workups, speeding up the tempo and starting off with a memorable electric guitar-and-organ doubled riff from Hilton Valentine and Alan Price, that was picked out and expanded from an element that originally appeared in the Simone recording's intro.
-Wikipedia

Recording sessions
1964 June: New York
Baby you understand me now
If sometimes you see that I'm mad
Don't you know no-one alive can always be an angel
When everything goes wrong you see some bad
But I'm just a soul whose intentions are good
Oh Lord please don't let me be misunderstood

You know sometimes baby I'm so carefree
With the joy that's hard to hide
And then sometimes again it seems that all I have is worry
And then you're bound to see my other side
But I'm just a soul whose intentions are good
Oh Lord please don't let me be misunderstood

If I seem edgy I want you to know
I never mean to take it out on you
Life has its problems and I get more than my share
But that's one thing I never mean to do cos I love you

Oh baby I'm just human
Don't you know I have faults like anyone
Sometimes I find myself alone regretting
Some little foolish thing some simple thing that I have done
Cos I'm just a soul whose intentions are good
Oh Lord please don't let me be misunderstood

Don't let me be misunderstood
I try so hard
So please don't let me be misunderstood

(Lyrics transcription by Roger Nupie)
 
 
1967 July 1: Newport (US-RI) 13th Jazz Festival
 
1968 April 7: Westbury (US-NY) Music Fair
 
 
1968 June: London (UK) Granada TV
2008 [1:42] DVD 11 Live in '65 & '68 Reelin' in the Years 2.119014 (US)
 
 
1968 June 16: Montreux (CH) 2nd Jazz Festival
 
 
1969 November 3: Roma (IT) Teatro Sistina
 
 
Unknown recording session