Song of the Day #4,064: ‘Baltimore’ – Nina Simone

It took Nina Simone 35 years from her initital eligibility in 1983 to enter the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. She made it in the first time she was nominated.

Simone’s long wait has nothing to do with her talent or influence — she is without question one of music’s greatest legends — but rather the Rock Hall’s evolving concept of “rock & roll.” Over time, the Hall has strayed from traditional definitions of the genre to make room for artists of all kinds.

Simone was certainly a versatile talent, her music credibly categorized as jazz, soul, blues, folk and classical. In other words, her music defies categorization, making her one hell of a rock star.

Beat-up little seagull
On a marble stair
Tryin’ to find the ocean
Lookin’ everywhere

Hard times in the city
In a hard town by the sea
Ain’t nowhere to run to
There ain’t nothin’ here for free

Hooker on the corner
Waiting for a train
Drunk lying on the sidewalk
Sleeping in the rain

And the people hide their faces
And they hide their eyes
Cause the city’s dyin’
And they don’t know why

Oh, Baltimore
Ain’t it hard just to live?
Oh, Baltimore
Ain’t it hard just to live?
Just to live

Get my sister Sandy
And my little brother Ray
Buy a big old wagon
To haul us all away

Live out in the country
Where the mountain’s high
Never gonna come back here
Till the day I die

Oh, Baltimore
Ain’t it hard just to live?
Oh, Baltimore
Ain’t it hard just to live?
Just to live

2 thoughts on “Song of the Day #4,064: ‘Baltimore’ – Nina Simone

  1. Dana Gallup says:

    A well-deserved induction to the Rock Hall, one particularly supported by your parents.😄

    Incidentally, for those who may not know, “Baltimore” was written by 2013 inductee Randy Newman. Here’s his version, which appeared on the great album Little Criminals:

  2. Peg says:

    Thanks for featuring one of our favorites. Did not know she was inducted. She certainly deserves to be!

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