And He was asking him, "What is your name?" And he said to Him, "My name is Multitude; for we are many."
“I bet you thought I was kidding, didn’t you?”
This is the first recording there is of the tune, and the second time ever it was sang publicly. “The name of this tune is Mississippi Goddamn. And I mean every word of it.” the audience laughs. I think they are laughing because it’s funny to mean ‘every word’ of a two-word sentence. but that’s not it: they are laughing because ‘goddamn’ is not the same word it is nowadays, it is swearing. the following months after the album Nina Simone in Concert was released, the music was censored in several southern states, and everywhere the name would appear codified, the second word unwritten. promotional records sent to radio stations all over the U.S. were sent back with the disc cracked in half.
‘This song is a show tune, but the show hasn’t been written for it yet.’
She once said, in an interview, that when writing this song she was just not being able to control herself. ‘I don’t trust you anymore, you keep on saying go slow.’ it was after the murder of Medgar Evers in Mississippi and the bombing in a church in Birmingham, that killed four black girls.
This recording marks an amazing moment in the period of the Civil Rights Movement; not only because of its profoundly radical content (we ain’t taking it no more), but because it is being sang in front of an almost all white audience, in the prestigious Carnegie Hall, by the first Afro-American woman who ever performed there. As the music develops, you can almost hear some of them freezing.