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The Nina Simone Database
Mississippi Goddam
1963 Nina Simone
When I heard about the bombing of the church in which the four little black girls were killed in Alabama, I shut myself up in a room and that song happened. Medgar Evers had been recently slain in Mississippi. At first I tried to make myself a gun. I gathered some materials. I was going to take one of them out, and I didn't care who it was. Then Andy, my husband at the time, said to me, 'Nina, you can't kill anyone. You are a musician. Do what you do.' When I sat down the whole song happened. I never stopped writing until the thing was finished.
-Nina Simone I Got Thunder

Unlike Simone's earlier work ... "Mississippi Goddam" was a political anthem. The lyrics were filled with anger and despair and stood in stark contrast to the fast-paced and rollicking rhythm. Over the course of several verses Simone vehemently rejected the notions that race relations could change gradually, that the South was unique in terms of discrimination, and that African Americans could or would patiently seek political rights. "Me and my people are just about due," she declared. Simone also challenged principles that are still strongly associated with liberal civil rights activism in that period, especially the viability of a beloved community of whites and blacks.
-Ruth Feldstein "I Don't Trust You Anymore": Nina Simone, Culture, and Black Activism in the 1960s

Nina wrote this song in response to the murder of civil rights leader Medgar Evers in Jackson, Mississippi on 11 June 1963, and also to the bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama, which killed 4 black girls on 15 September 1963 (in the disturbances that followed, two more black people were killed).

Nina has also performed this song as medley with "Moon over Alabama". See
The song was also recorded by Esquerita in 1965 on LP Sock It to Me.

Recording sessions
1964 April 4-6: New York
standard studio version
The name of this tune is Mississippi Goddam
And I mean every word of it

short studio version with "beep"
Alabama's got me so upset
Tennessee made me lose my rest
And everybody knows about Mississippi beep beep
1965 July 24-25: Antibes (FR) 6th Jazz á Juan Festival
1965 December 25: Loenersloot (NL) Mickery Theater
2008 [5:28] DVD 6 Live in '65 & '68 Reelin' in the Years 2.119014 (US)
1968 April 7: Westbury (US-NY) Music Fair
original unedited
1968 June: London (UK) Granada TV
2002 DVD 7 The Legend Quantum Leap QLDVD 0342 (UK) fragment
1977 December 4: London (UK) Theatre Royal Drury Lane
1980 July 18: Montreal (CA) Place Des Arts Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier
Remember Dr. Martin Luther King and Malcolm X
Hejira Brown Quami Touré
Paul Robeson Lorraine Hansberry
1985 May 19: London (UK) Savoy Theatre
2002 DVD 13 A Nightingale Sang... Cascade 60008 (DE)
1985: USA Theatre tour
Alabama's got me so upset
Tennessee made me lose my rest
And everybody knows about
1987: Hollywood (US-CA) Vine Street Bar and Grill
Mississippi Goddam

Alabama's got me so upset
1987 [5:02] CD 11 Let It Be Me Verve 831 437-2 (US) bonus track
1988 May 6: Hamburg (DE) Fabrik
1988 September 20: Barcelona (ES) Mercat del Born
1989 October 23: Hamburg (DE) 14th Jazz Festival in der Fabrik
1990 April 10: Paris (FR) Olympia
1990 July 13: Montreux (CH) 24th Jazz Festival
1990 [4:50] CD 13 Madame Nina Simone TS RRC 019 (NL)
1992 May 13-16: Pointe-à-Pitre (GLP) Musiques créoles
1992 June 4: Reykjavik (IS) Háskólabíó Arts Festival
Unknown recording session
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