Do not Let Me Be Misunderstood is a song written byBennie Benjamin,Gloria CaldwellandSol Marcusfor pianist / singerNina Simone, who recorded it for the first time in 1964. Do not Let Me Be Misunderstood was recorded and Performed by many artists, she is best known for her version ofThe Animalsreleased in 1965. In 1977, thedisco/LatinversionofSanta Esmeraldawas also a hit.

Original version of Nina Simone

The debut of Do not Let Me Be Misunderstood comes from the composer and arranger Horace Ott, who composed the melody and lyrics of the choir after a temporary break with his girlfriend (and future wife) Gloria Caldwell 1 . He then finished the writing with the help of the partnership of Bennie Benjamin and Sol Marcus . However, the rules of the day prevented BMI writers (Horace Ott) from collaborating with ASCAP members (Bennie Benjamin and Sol Marcus). As a result, Ott decided to inscribe Gloria Caldwell’s name instead of his own 1 , 2 .

Do not Let Me Be Misunderstood is one of five songs involving the writing of Benjamin and Marcus, present on the album Broadway Blues, Ballads of Nina Simone . It takes a very slow tempo here and is organized around orchestral elements such as the harp , a choir also appears at several times. Nina Simone sang it with her unclassifiable style, giving a particular tone to the song. It should also be noted that Horace Ott’s involvement in this album does not stop with the initial writing. He was the arranger and conductor of all the songs on the album. Don’

For many writers, Do not Let Me Be Misunderstood implicitly dealt with the African-American Civil Rights Movement , which involved a large part of the work of Nina Simone then 2 . For others, it was more personal and this song and this phrase represented the best career and the life of Nina Simone 3 .

Decades later, an advertisement for the perfume J’adore de Parfums Christian Dior starring Charlize Theron , used the version of Nina Simone this song, then an advertisement of H & M starring David Beckham (the version of The Animals) in 2012. This was also the final scene of the Polish drama Rewers released in 2009.

Version of The Animals

Do not Let Me Be Misunderstood
Single by The Animals
Face B Club A Go-Go
Exit January 1965 (UK)
February 1965 (US)
Checked in 1964?
duration 2:28
Kind Rock
Format 7 “single
Author Bennie Benjamin
Sol Caldwell Marcus
Producer Mickie Most
Label Columbia Graph. (UK)
MGM Records (US)

Singles of The Animals

I’m Crying  (in)
(1965)Bring It On Home to Me  (in)


Eric Burdon , the leader of the group The Animals later say of this song that “she had never been considered as belonging to the pop but something was transmitted in us when we listened and we immediately fell in love with her » 4 . They also worked on it by increasing its tempo and getting it started with a memorable orchestral electric guitar / organ organization by Hilton Valentine and Alan Price . This was copied and expanded from an item from the final (outro) song of Nina Simone’s recording. These instruments immediately plunge the sound into Burdon’s impressive and deep voice :

Baby, do you understand me now?
If sometimes, you see that I’m mad …
Do not you know no angel,
When everything goes wrong, you see some bad.
(group harmony) But I’m just a soul whose intentions are good:
(just Burdon) Oh Lord! Please do not let me be misunderstood …

The group achieved a transatlantic success in early 1965 thanks to this very personal interpretation. He climbed in E instead of UK Singles Chart in 15 th place of the US pop singles chart and th place in Canada.

This single was ranked 315 th on the list of the 500 greatest songs of all time Rolling Stone magazine .

During his concerts, the group kept the same arrangement as at the recording, but Burdon sometimes lowered his vocal lines until he was almost speaking, which gave back some of the flavor that Nina Simone breathed into this song.

Version of Santa Esmeralda

A disco version of this song was also a success in the 1970s. This piece was a duet Santa Esmeralda / Leroy Gomez , it took over the arrangement of Animals with the addition of Latin music such as disco , salsa , etc.

The first release dates from the summer of 1977, it was a 16-minute epic that took a whole face from their album Do not Let Me Be Misunderstood . This piece was taken up by many international distributions of their Casablanca Records label . A 33 rpm remix was very popular and ranked number one in the US Billboard Club Play Singles as well as in many European countries. The single reached highs in being ranked th of Hot Dance / Disco-Club Play chart 5 . A pop version released later in the same year also won a good reception, she was ranked 15 th on the Billboard Hot 100 in the beginning 78.

The version of Santa Esmeralda became popular a generation after its release with its presence in the movie Kill Bill Vol. 1 from Quentin Tarantino, where the instrumental part passes during the Bride / O-Ren Ishii duel . In the soundtrack is incorporated a complete vocal version that lasts about ten minutes. A Santa reissue titled Do not Let appears in the Korean Western Good, Bad and Bad , played in a chase sequence in the desert of the Manchurian plains .

The song Do not Let was also used as the opening theme of the American game show Bullseye as well as in the movie trailer Kiss Kiss Bang Bang .

Alabina , and her singer Ishtar , have also made a version close to that of Santa Esmeralda.

Other versions

  • Lyambiko
  • Jess & James: on the album Move , 1968
  • Ginette Reno : on single, 1969
  • Joe Cocker : on the album With a Little Help from My Friends , 1969 (the version sung by Joe Cocker accompanies the final scene of the film Layer Cake of the British Matthew Vaughn released in 2004 with Daniel Craig )
  • Kirka  (in) : on the album Saat Kaiken , 1970 (under the title Sä Tiedät Yksin, Mistä Aloittaa )
  • Santa Esmeralda : Do not Let Me Be Misunderstood , 1977
  • Taiska  (en) : on the album Saat Kaiken , 1978 (under the title Sä Tiedät Yksin, Mistä Aloittaa )
  • Elvis Costello : on the album King of America , 1986
  • King Kong & D. Jungle Girls  (en) : on the album Boom Boom Dollars , 1987
  • Gary Moore : on the album And Then the Man Said to His Guitar , 1988
  • The Doug Anthony All Stars: on the album Bottle , 1990
  • Lou Rawls : on the album The Legendary Lou Rawls , 1992
  • Robben Ford : on the album Handful of Blues , 1995
  • Mauri Antero Numminen : on the album MA Numminen Goes Tech-No – In tahdo olla prinsessa , 1995 (under the title Et Kai Ymmärrä Minua Väärin )
  • Cyndi Lauper : on the album At Last , 2003
  • Yusuf ( Cat Stevens ): on the album An Other Cup , 2006
  • John Legend : on the album Once Again , 2006
  • Juliana Aquino: on the album DISCO [meets] BOSSA , 2008
  • The Lucky Devils : on the album Goin ‘Mad! , 2008
  • Emily Loizeau : on the album Pays sauvage , 2009
  • The Triabolics: on the album Rivermudtwilight , 2009 (the full title is Hora Anicuta Draga / Do not Let Me Be Misunderstood )
  • Kellylee Evans : on the album Nina , 2010
  • Chico and the Gypsies featuring mixed group , 2012
  • Mick Hucknall : on the album American Soul , 2012
  • Paola Casella: on the album Paola Casella Trio – EP , 2012
  • Jamie Cullum (featuring Gregory Porter ): on the album Interlude , 2014
  • Lana Del Rey : on the album Honeymoon 2015

Other artists have also interpreted this title, including The Moody Blues , Arthur Brown , Cat Stevens, Place of Skulls, Uthanda, Julie Driscoll and Brian Auger , Mike Batt, Trevor Rabin , Dwight Adams, No Mercy, Alabina (renamed Lolole ), OffBeat, New Buffalo, Farhad Mehrad , The Killers , Lyambiko, Paul Di’Anno , Savage Circus or Mutoid Man (renamed Manimals ).


This song has been sampled in several tracks, among which 6 :

  • Karma of Mood  (in) on the album Doom  (in) 1997
  • Te Ne Accorgerai by Bassi Maestro on the album The Micragnous EP , 1997
  • Black Zombie by Nas on the album The Lost Tapes , 2002
  • Misunderstood of Drapht  (in) on the album Culture of Kings Volume 3 2003
  • Keep Moving by DJ Mehdi on the album Sweet treats for your mouth , 2005
  • Incredibles of Devil’z Rejects featuring Quite Nyce and Se7en on the album Necronomicon , 2006
  • De Braços Abertos Pra Vida by Bob Da Rage Sense featuring Mundo and Maze on the album Menos, Pão, Luz E Água , 2007
  • First They Love You by Bishop Lamont featuring Indef and Pr1me on the album N * gger Noize , 2007
  • Misunderstood from Common on the album Finding Forever , 2007
  • Misunderstood by Cookie Monsta on the album Maryland Chocolate Chip Mix , 2008
  • Dontgetit of Lil Wayne on the album Tha Carter III , 2008
  • Rising of Ark on the album Arkpocalypse Now , 2010
  • Let Me Be Misunderstood by Crown and Nefast featuring eMCee Killa on the album Just Listen , 2010
  • Understand Me Now of the Pretty Lights on the album Making Up a Changing Mind , 2010
  • Boma Yeh by Dooz Kawa on the album 3rdLab 03 , 2012
  • Magic of Criss Blaziny & Skizzo Skillz on the album Rasaritul Apus , 2012
  • Oh, Marcello of Regina Spektor on the album What We Saw from the Cheap Seats  (in) , 2012
  • Please Do not Let Me by Apollo Brown & Ras Kass on the album Blasphemy , 2014

See also

External links

  • Eric Burdon Version  [ archive ]
  • The Animals’ version on  [ archive ]

Notes and references

  • In ) This article is partially or entirely from the article in English entitled ” Do not Let Me Be Misunderstood ” ( see the list of authors ) .
  1. ↑ a and b ( in ) Hilton Valentine, “Stories”  [ archive ] ,, 2001-04-28. Accessed 2007-09-06.
  2. ↑ a and b ( in ) “Songwriter, Arranger Horace Ott”  [ archive ] , Jazzmen. Accessed 2007-09-06.
  3. ↑ ( in ) Margaret Busby, “Books: Do not let her be misunderstood”  [ archive ] , The Independent , 2004-04-16. Accessed 2007-09-06.
  4. ↑ Rolling Stone , “The Animals”  [ archive ] , Accessed 2007-09-06.
  5. ↑ Joel Whitburn , Hot Dance / Disco: 1974-2003 , Record Research,p.  227
  6. ↑ ( in ) ” Nina Simone Do not Let Me Be Misunderstood ”  [ archive ] , Who Sampled (accessed 29 November 2014 )