Comparing Nina Simone's Song And Feeling Good

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It's a new dawn,
It's a new day,
It's a new life,
For me. Wait for who? Who does “me” refer to? The singer presumably. So really, the whole tone of “Feeling Good” can be controlled by the singer. The lyrics never change, but by tweaking the arrangement through instrumentation or vocal timbre, the mood of the song can be flipped upside down and thrown onto the other side of the world. This could not be more clearly exemplified by the two covers of “Feeling Good” by Nina Simone in the 1960s and Muse in the early 2000s. “Feeling Good” is one of the most popular songs sung by Nina Simone. Arguable, it is one of the songs that made Simone a household name (Freyermuth, 2010). However, like the other songs in her album “I Put a Spell on
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Both covers kept true to the verse-chorus form. Both artist decided to scrap the last chorus and instead ended with a virtuosic vocal cadenza passage. Both covers are also framed by highlighting the voice. Simone starts off by singing the first verse-chorus of the song acapella. Bellamy does something similar. This is identical to how The Negro sung it in the original musical. Then the instrumentation kicks in and then both voice and accompaniment work together to create a homophonic texture. In Simone’s case, the classic jazz band composed of some strings, saxophones, trumpets, drums and a piano. In Muse’s case, just three instruments: a guitar, a drum set and a keyboard. Even with only three instruments the song is definitely not lacking. Even in the arrangements there are parallels. Simone’s recording had a foundation of punchy and heavy diatonic chord progressions played by brass with a subtly drone in the background played by the strings. Brass plays the same repeated descending scale over and over. This is mirrored in Muse’s recording where the drum gives the punchy heavy beats and the guitar plays the drone and the same descending scale progressions. The meter of the song is a compound time (6/8), however both covers incorporated syncopation throughout– a classic characteristic of blues …show more content…
But almost everyone today knows it as Nina Simone’s song. Simone was able to release a blues cover of a Broadway musical song that still captured the original intentions of the song sung by The Negro in the musical as well as some of her own intentions. Forty years later, “Feeling Good” was covered by a White British Boy Band – Muse. Muse definitely acknowledges Simone’s cover in their own. However, the covers made by Muse and Simone, though structurally similar, are interpreted worlds apart. From Simone’s cover to Muse’s cover, “Feeling Good” has turned from a protest song to, no pun intended, a feel-good song. When the song was just covered by Simone, life was tough especially for black Americans. But when it came time for Muse to cover the song, just as the lyrics

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