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started off as a music blog hence the name. but, it is now my any and everything blog.
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Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Cover VS Original: Jennifer Bynum VS Nina Simone - If he changed my name

"If he changed my name/Changed Mah name" is an example of an old Negro spiritual, it has been around forever so neither Jennifer nor Nina are the original singers of the this song.

 I tried tracing the source of this song, but Negro spirituals originated with slaves and this could date as far as back as 20 or 200 years ago.

The meaning of the song is up for debate. Negro spirituals are sometimes said to be coded and have double meanings. For instance, the name change could be a reference to slaves being made to change their African names to names sanctioned by their "masters". It could also be a reference to Saul's  name change to Paul. Whatever the meaning might be, it is still a beautiful song and both versions have a lot of merit.

Jennifer Bynum

Some people might remember this version from the movie 'Hustle and flow'.

Nina Simone

For more on negro spirituals: http://www.localdial.com/users/jsyedu133/Soulreview/Understandingpages/coded.htm