Nina Simone, “Go Limp”

Posted September 10, 2010

In advance of the October 2 demonstration called jointly by the NAACP, AFL-CIO and others (more on the complexities of that later), I found this video of the great Nina Simone with her song “Go Limp” – a love song to the movement:

Oh Daughter, dear Daughter,

take warning from me

and don’t you go marching

with the N-A-A-C-P.

For they’ll rock you and roll you

and shove you into bed.

And if they steal your nuclear secret

you’ll wish you were dead.


Singin too roo li, too roo li, too roo li ay.

Singin too roo li, too roo li, too roo li ay.

Oh Mother, dear Mother,

no, I’m not afraid.

For I’ll go on that march

and I’ll return a virgin maid.

With a brick in my handbag

and a smile on my face

and barbed wire in my underwear

to shed off disgrace.


One day they were marching.

A young man came by

with a beard on his cheek

and a gleam in his eye.

And before she had time

to remember her brick…

they were holding a sit-down

on a nearby hay-rick.


For meeting is pleasure

and parting is pain.

And if I have a great concert

maybe I won’t have to sing those folk songs again.

Oh Mother, dear Mother

I’m stiff and I’m sore

from sleeping three nights

on a hard classroom floor.


One day at the briefing

she’d heard a man say,

“Go perfectly limp,

and be carried away.”

So when this young man suggested

it was time she was kissed,

she remembered her brief

and did not resist.


Oh Mother, dear Mother,

no need for distress,

for the young man has left me

his name and address.

And if we win

tho’ a baby there be,

he won’t have to march

like his da-da and me.