105+ Best Nina Simone Quotes & Lyrics: Exclusive Selection

Eunice Kathleen Waymon, known professionally as Nina Simone, was an American singer, songwriter, musician, arranger, and civil rights activist. Profoundly inspirational Nina Simone quotes will make you look at life differently and help you live a meaningful life.

If you’re searching for motivational quotes from musicians that perfectly capture what you’d like to say or just want to feel inspired yourself, browse through an amazing collection of quotes from Luke Bryan, powerful Lin-Manuel Miranda quotes and famous Layne Staley quotes.

Famous Nina Simone Quotes

I tell you what freedom is to me no fear. Nina Simone

What kept me sane was knowing that things would change, and it was a question of keeping myself together until they did. Nina Simone

You’ve got to learn to leave the table When love’s no longer being served. Nina Simone

You can’t help it. An artist’s duty, as far as I’m concerned, is to reflect the times. Nina Simone

What kept me sane was knowing that things would change, and it was a question of keeping myself together until they did. Nina Simone

Life is short. People are not easy to know. They’re not easy to know, so if you don’t tell them how you feel, you’re not going to get anywhere, I feel. Nina Simone

Life is short. People are not easy to know. They’re not easy to know, so if you don’t tell them how you feel, you’re not going to get anywhere, I feel. Nina Simone

I’ll tell you what Freedom is to me. No fear. Nina Simone

Birds flying high you know how I feel Sun in the sky you know how I feel Breeze driftin’ on by you know how I feel And this old world is a new world And a bold world For me And I’m feeling good I’m feeling good. Nina Simone

It was always Marx, Lenin, and revolution real girl’s talk. Nina Simone

You have to learn to get up from the table when love is not being served. Nina Simone

There’s no excuse for the young people not knowing who the heroes and heroines are or were. Nina Simone

Anything human can be felt through music, which means that there is no limit to the creating that can be done with music. You can take the same phrase from any song and cut it up so many different ways  it’s infinite. It’s like God you know? Nina Simone

This is the world you have made yourself, now you have to live in it. Nina Simone

It’s a new dawn, it’s a new day and I’m feeling good. Nina Simone

I am just one of the people who is sick of the social order, sick of the establishment, sick to my soul of it all. To me, America’s society is nothing but a cancer, and it must be exposed before it can be cured. I am not the doctor to cure it. All I can do is expose the sickness. Nina Simone

Slavery has never been abolished from America’s way of thinking. Nina Simone

You have to learn to get up from the table when love is no longer being served. Nina Simone

My love is like the wind and wild is the wind. Give me more than one caress, satisfy my hungriness. Let the wind blow through your heart for wild is the wind. Nina Simone

To most white people, jazz means black and jazz means dirt, and that’s not what I play. I play black classical music. Nina Simone

Talent is a burden not a joy. I am not of this planet. I do not come from you. I am not like you. Nina Simone

I have to constantly re identify myself to myself, reactivate my own standards, my own convictions about what I’m doing and why. Nina Simone

How do you explain what it feels like to get on the stage and make poetry that you know sinks into the hearts and souls of people who are unable to express it. Nina Simone

It is an artist’s duty to reflect the times. Nina Simone

There’s no excuse for the young people not knowing who the heroes and heroines are or were. Nina Simone

Greed has driven the world crazy. And I think I’m lucky that I have a place over here that I can call home. Nina Simone

Jazz is not just music, it’s a way of life, it’s a way of being, a way of thinking. Nina Simone

Sometimes I sound like gravel and sometimes I sound like coffee and cream. Nina Simone

Music is an art and art has its own rules. And one of them is that you must pay more attention to it than anything else in the world, if you are going to be true to yourself. And if you don’t do it and you are an artist it punishes you. Nina Simone

You don’t have to live next to me Just give me my equality. Nina Simone

Cause your mama’s name was lonely, and your daddy’s name was pain. And they called you little sorrow, cus you’ll never love again. You ain’t got no one to hold you. You ain’t got no one to care. if you’d only understand it. nobody wants you anywhere. Nina Simone

I know I’m different, but I don’t think about it. Nina Simone

I came to expect despair every time I set foot in my own country, and I was never disappointed. Nina Simone

I feel more alive now than I ever have in my life. I have a chance to live, as I’ve dreamed. Nina Simone

They don’t know that I’m dead, and my ghost is holding on. Nina Simone

We have ordered things so long in a certain way, we are numb. Nobody dares question it. This is what is wrong, symbolically, with America. Nina Simone

Talent is a burden not a joy. I am not of this planet. I do not come from you. I am not like you. Nina Simone

How can you be an artist and not reflect the times? Nina Simone

You use up everything you’ve got trying to give everybody what they want. Nina Simone

I do not believe in mixing of the races. You can quote me. I don’t believe in it, and I never have. I’ve never changed. I’ve never changed my hair. I’ve never changed my color, I have always been proud of myself, and my fans are proud of me for remaining the way I’ve always been. I married a white man one time, but he was a creep. Nina Simone

Don’tcha know that no one alive can always be an angel? When everything goes wrong, you see some bad But oh, I’m just a soul whose intentions are good Oh Lord, please don’t let me be misunderstood. Nina Simone

To be young, gifted and black! Nina Simone

It is a fact that I don’t get enough love, I never did get enough love. Nina Simone

The worst thing about that kind of prejudice is that while you feel hurt and angry and all the rest of it, it feeds you self doubt. You start thinking, perhaps I am not good enough. Nina Simone

Once I understood Bach’s music, I wanted to be a concert pianist. Bach made me dedicate my life to music, and it was that teacher who introduced me to his world. Nina Simone

I’m a real rebel with a cause. Nina Simone

I would like a man now who is rich, and who can give me a boat a sailboat. I want to own it and let him pay for it. My first love is the sea and water, not music. Music is second. Nina Simone

I’m just human, I have faults like anyone. Nina Simone

I flirt all the time. I like men! I don’t think we can do without them. Nina Simone

I was always a politician from the day the civil rights people chose me as their protest singer. Nina Simone

For my love is like the wind, and wild is the wind. Nina Simone

Music is one of the ways by which you can know everything which is going on in the world. You can feel through music. Whew you can feel the vibrations of everybody in the world at any given moment. Nina Simone

You have to learn to get up from the table when love is no longer being served. Nina Simone

I feel what they feel. And people who listen to me know that, and it makes them feel like they’re not alone. Nina Simone

I drink much more that I ought to drink because it brings me back you. Nina Simone

What is love but a prelude to sorrow with heartache ahead for your goal. Nina Simone

To me, we are the most beautiful creatures in the whole world. Black people. And I mean that in every sense. Nina Simone

I made wine from the lilac tree Put my heart in its recipe It makes me see what I want to see And be what I want to be. Nina Simone

To me, we are the most beautiful creatures in the whole world. Black people. And I mean that in every sense. Nina Simone

I believe in racial memory too. I’m sure I’ve got ancient African blood in me that has something to do with what I am. Nina Simone

My daughter is in more competition with me. I never wanted to be bigger than my mother or to challenge her. Nina Simone

It’s logical that people from bad times will reflect their feelings in their communication. Music is part of communication. If you lived it, you can do it. Nina Simone

I came to expect despair every time I set foot in my own country, and I was never disappointed. Nina Simone

Many times I feel different like a different person. Nina Simone

All the time, there was the weight of my community’s expectations on my shoulders. Nina Simone

Through music, you can become sad, joyful, loving, you can learn. You can learn mathematics, touch, pacing. Oh my God! Ooh. Wow. You can see colors through music. Anything! Nina Simone

To move the audience to make them conscious of what has been done to my people around the world. Nina Simone

This may be a dream, but I’ll say it anyway I was supposed to be married last year, and I bought a gown. When I meet Nelson Mandela, I shall put on this gown and have the train of it removed and put aside, and kiss the ground that he walks on and then kiss his feet. Nina Simone

I know I’m different, but I don’t think about it. Nina Simone

It’s a good time for black people to be alive. Nina Simone

I believe in racial memory too. I’m sure I’ve got ancient African blood in me that has something to do with what I am. Nina Simone

It doesn’t matter to me what is going on today because my music encompasses every kind of mood that exists in human beings. That’s my stick. Nina Simone

I think if I were over there in America, protest music would be more important. But I’m not going. Nina Simone

My people have very subtle slang, inflections and ways of saying things that has little to do with words. If you’re from the same place, you’ll feel the jargon and know exactly what’s happening. Same with any neighborhood cat. What he sees and hears and feels and lives makes him what he is. That’s what blues is. Nina Simone

You don’t know what it’s like to love somebody the way I love you. Nina Simone

That is why we fly from the inner void, since God might steal into it. It is not the pursuit of pleasure and the aversion for effort which causes sin, but fear of God. We know that we cannot see him face to face without dying, and we do not want to die. Nina Simone

For my love is like the wind, and wild is the wind. Nina Simone

I had spent many years pursuing excellence, because that is what classical music is all about. Now it was dedicated to freedom, and that was far more important. Nina Simone

I would like a man now who is rich and who can give me a boat  a sailboat. Nina Simone

I look forward to doing my own show, not someone else’s. That’s always been my dream. Nina Simone

Love me or leave me and let me be lonely, You won’t believe me, but I love you only. Nina Simone

I applied for a scholarship to Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia. I knew I was good enough, but they turned me down. And it took me about six months to realize it was because I was black. I never really got over that jolt of racism at the time. Nina Simone

You’ve got to learn to leave the table when love’ s no longer being served. Nina Simone

I think the rich will eventually have to cave in too, because the economic situation around the world is not gonna tolerate the United States being on top forever. Nina Simone

The way of pocketing your pride, Sometimes face humiliation. Nina Simone

It’s time to take a look at my failures and stop calling them successes. Now I can start working at something that can use me best. Nina Simone

As a political weapon, it has helped me for 30 years defend the rights of American blacks and third world people all over the world, to defend them with protest songs. Nina Simone

It is difficult to retain your standards with the pressure of trying to make money, which always has its rules. It’s hard to walk the tightrope of doing what you think is your best and making money at it. Nina Simone

Sometimes I sound like gravel, and sometimes I sound like coffee and cream. Nina Simone

Jazz is not just music, it’s a way of life, it’s a way of being, a way of thinking the new inventive phrases we make up to describe things  all that to me is jazz just as much as the music we play. Nina Simone

I think that the artists who don’t get involved in preaching messages probably are happier but you see, I have to live with Nina, and that is very difficult. Nina Simone

Tomorrow, I might be in a different mood and you wouldn’t recognize my voice. Nina Simone

Greed has driven the world crazy. And I think I’m lucky that I have a place over here that I can call home. Nina Simone

Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood, a song that was written for Simone, she confronted the band’s lead singer, Eric Burdon. So you’re the honky, she said, who stole my song and got a hit out of it? Nina Simone

Anything human can be felt through music, which means that there is no limit to the creating that can be done with music. Nina Simone

I’m sorry that I did not become the world’s first black classic pianist. I think I would have been happier. Nina Simone

Life is short. People are not easy to know. They’re not easy to know, so if you don’t tell them how you feel, you’re not going to get anywhere, I feel. Nina Simone

Jazz is a white term to define black people. My music is black classical music. Nina Simone

I had spent many years pursuing excellence because that is what classical music is all about. Now it was dedicated to freedom, and that was far more important. Nina Simone

The allusion was that I was actually naked. I loved that. It always, kind of shocked people enough that they became mine immediately. Nina Simone

I wasn’t a jazz player, but a classical musician, and I improvised arrangements of popular songs using classical motifs. Nina Simone

I only knew classical music, which to me was the only true music. The only way I could survive at the bar was to mix the classical music with popular songs, and that meant I had to sing. What happened was that I discovered I had a voice plus the talent to mix classical music together with more popular songs, which at the time I detested. Nina Simone

I feel more alive now than I ever have in my life. I have a chance to live, as I’ve dreamed. Nina Simone