Song of the Day #3,820: ‘Sinnerman’ – Nina Simone

‘Sinnerman’ is one of Nina Simone’s most famous songs. She turned the traditional Negro spiritual, which she had no doubt heard in her mother’s church as a little girl, into a sprawling 10-minute jazz piano epic.

Simone’s version has been sampled in modern rap songs and used in many TV shows and movies, including both the original 1968 Thomas Crown Affair and the 1999 remake. It’s easy to see why. The pulsating rhythm and raw emotional power of the track are irresistible.

Oh, Sinnerman, where you gonna run to?
Sinnerman, where you gonna run to?
Where you gonna run to?
All on that day

Well I run to the rock, please hide me
I run to the Rock, please hide me
I run to the Rock, please hide me, Lord
All on that day

But the rock cried out, I can’t hide you
The Rock cried out, I can’t hide you
The Rock cried out, I ain’t gonna hide you guy
All on that day

I said, “Rock, what’s a matter with you, Rock?”
“Don’t you see I need you, Rock?”
Lord, Lord, Lord
All on that day

So I run to the river, it was bleeding
I run to the sea, it was bleeding
I run to the sea, it was bleeding
All on that day

So I run to the river, it was boiling
I run to the sea, it was boiling
I run to the sea, it was boiling
All on that day

So I run to the Lord, please hide me Lord
Don’t you see me praying?
Don’t you see me down here praying?

But the Lord said, “Go to the devil”
The Lord said, “Go to the devil”
He said, “Go to the devil”
All on that day

So I ran to the devil, he was waiting
I ran to the devil, he was waiting
Ran to the devil, he was waiting
All on that day

I cried, power
(Power to the Lord)
Power
(Power to the Lord)
Power
(Power to the Lord)
Power

Bring down
(Power to the Lord)
Bring down
(Power to the Lord)
Bring down
(Power to the Lord)
Bring down
(Power to the Lord)

Power
(Power to the Lord)
Power
(Power to the Lord)
Power
(Power to the Lord)

Oh yeah, oh yeah, oh yeah

Well I run to the river, it was boiling
I run to the sea, it was boiling
I run to the sea, it was boiling
All on that day

So I ran to the Lord
I said, “Lord hide me, please hide me”
“Please help me”
All on that day

He said, “Child, where were you
When you ought a been praying?”
I said,”Lord, Lord, hear me praying”
Lord, Lord, hear me praying
Lord, Lord, hear me praying”
All on that day

Sinnerman you ought a be praying
Ought a be praying, Sinnerman
Ought a be praying
All on that day

I cried, power
(Power to the Lord)
Power
(Power to the Lord)
Power
(Power to the Lord)
Power
(Power to the Lord)
Power
(Power to the Lord)
Power
(Power to the Lord)
Power
(Power to the Lord)
Power
(Power to the Lord)
Power
(Power to the Lord)
Power
(Power to the Lord)
Power
(Power to the Lord)
Power
(Power to the Lord)
Power
(Power to the Lord)

Go down
(Power to the Lord)
Go down
(Power to the Lord)
Go down
(Power to the Lord)

Power
(Power to the Lord)
Power
(Power to the Lord)
Power
(Power to the Lord)

Oh woh, power, power, Lord
Don’t you knew
Don’t you know, I need you Lord?
Don’t you know that, I need you?
Don’t you know that, I need you?
Power, power, power Lord

4 thoughts on “Song of the Day #3,820: ‘Sinnerman’ – Nina Simone

  1. Dana Gallup says:

    I’m not familiar with this song, but it’s pretty epic.

  2. Peg says:

    Epic indeed! This song was used in the trailer of the recently failed movie The Front Runner She had trained as a classical pianist and her skill on the piano is amazing

  3. Doug says:

    Great commentary on a great rendition. I had no idea her stuff was so widely used in film.

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