Appreciating all that makes America special

“I (Who Have Nothing)”

I Who Have Nothing, www.greatamericanthings.net

Though the song has been recorded and sung by numerous artists, its highest chart position ever was no. 14, by Tom Jones. Uploaded by ebay.com.

I’ve always loved this song. It’s a little melodramatic, sure. But from the time I first heard the Ben E. King original in 1963, I somehow identified with the “poor boy” who couldn’t compete with the rich man for the love of a special woman.

I Who Have Nothing, www.greatamericanthings.net

Uploaded by ebay.com.

We have to give partial credit to a pair of Italians who wrote the original version of this song. The music was by Carlo Donida with lyrics by Giulio Rapetti. It was originally recorded by Joe Sentieri. A couple of great American songwriters, Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller, heard the song and penned new lyrics to it. They then produced Ben E. King’s recording.

Considering its enduring popularity, it’s strange to know that the song has never made it higher than number 14 on the charts. That was accomplished by Tom Jones. Ben E. King’s version only made it to number 29. There have been several version sung on American Idol, and my favorite was by Jordin Sparks – then compare Tom Jones’s version.

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