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Plus One: Nina Simone's 'Baltimore'

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All Songs +1: 'Baltimore'

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All Songs +1: 'Baltimore'

Plus One: Nina Simone's 'Baltimore'

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/403577686/403588791" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Jazz singer Nina Simone pictured in 1978, the year she recorded and released the song "Baltimore." J. Minhan/Hulton-Deutsch Collection/Corbis hide caption

toggle caption J. Minhan/Hulton-Deutsch Collection/Corbis

When we asked listeners to tell us about a song they turned to this week — one that spoke in some way to weighty events unfolding around the world and how they felt — we weren't sure what we'd get. Would it be mostly songs of solace? Songs of grief, or anger?

While there's plenty to reflect on, the number one thing on people's minds seems to be Baltimore. And the song people mentioned most was Randy Newman's appropriately titled song, "Baltimore," or more specifically, jazz singer Nina Simone's oddly beguiling version, recorded in 1978.

For this week's Plus One Podcast we take a look at the song and why it resonates so powerfully nearly 40 years after Randy Newman first wrote it.

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