I have developed a recent obsession with Nina Simone’s music. It’s so pure. A little odd though. But real. The way heartache and joy seem to unite into something bittersweet and necessary in Simone's songs is a dynamic I see and have felt all through my life.
One song in particular fascinated me, from the very title to the words. The name of the song is Four Women. It tells the story, an essentially bitter story, of four different women. I was n't interested really in the historical aspects of the song. What caught me was the fact that this woman was singing a song about women; different kinds. That appealed to me; I’m a girl who draws girls. I saw them in my head as she sang and I felt it necessary to put them on paper in all their richness, sorrow and strength.
I will admit that I laughed, snickered, when the crescendo at the end came and after such deep, soulful music she shouts “MY NAME IS PEACHES!” I was a little bewildered – it didn’t really seem to fit the gravity of the song but then again, her reality would have been one I couldn’t understand and perhaps it all made sense; perhaps the juxtapositioning of harsh realities and almost trivial names is the soul of the song. Maybe I should feel bad for finding that oddly funny. Maybe I should have known from the second verse, when and the way she said “Siffronia”, that something else would come to break the bittersweet spell her voice cast. With all that in mind, I was very pulled in by this song. I’m still giggling though.
This isn't Peaches or Siffronia or Aunt Sarah and she certainly isn't Sweet Thing. She's an indignant one -- she's me in a bind. She's me when I'm down but too proud to let my back bend.