♫ I Who Have Nothing ♫

It is rare that I prefer a later version to the original of a song.  And, even rarer that I prefer another over Ben E. King, for he’s a longtime favourite.  But, I have to admit that my preference for I Who Have Nothing is none other than that Welshman, Tom Jones.

King’s version, released in 1963, went to #29 on the U.S. charts, but didn’t play well elsewhere, from what I can find.  Then it was covered by:

  • 1966 Terry Knight and the Pack (who later became Grand Funk Railroad) (#46)
  • 1970 Liquid Smoke (#82)
  • 1970 Tom Jones (#14)

The song’s melody was based on an Italian song, “Uno Dei Tanti,” (English: “One of Many”), which King had heard in Italy. King’s producers Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller translated the lyrics into English.

As far as I can tell, the Tom Jones version hit #16 in the UK, but I could not verify that, so if anybody is aware of anything different, please feel free to correct me.  This wasn’t his most successful song, but since it was stuck in my head this evening, I decided it must be the song of the day!

I shall offer up both Tom Jones’ and Ben E. King’s versions …

I Who Have Nothing
Tom Jones

I, I who have nothing
I, I who have no one
Adore you and want you so
I’m just a no one with nothing to give you but, oh
I love you

He, he buys you diamonds
Bright, sparkling diamonds
But, believe me, dear, when I say
That he can give you the world, but he’ll never love you the way
I love you

He can take you any place he wants
To fancy clubs and restaurants
But I can only watch you with
My nose pressed up against the window pane

I, I who have nothing
I, I who have no one
Must watch you go dancing by
Wrapped in the arms of somebody else when, darling, it’s I
Who loves you

I love you
I love you
I love you

Songwriters: Giulio Mogol Rapetti / Carlo Donida / Mike Stoller / Jerry Leiber
I Who Have Nothing lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Songtrust Ave

14 thoughts on “♫ I Who Have Nothing ♫

  1. Both versions sound great! Slight edge goes to Mr Jones b/c he can emote the hell out of any song, one of my granny’s fav singers of all time. When Tom sings “I love youuuu” with that big brassy voice, it kinda reminds me of Moody Blues’ Nights in white satin, chorus “Oh how I love you”! Luv it ❤


  2. What a knockout song for a singer! Never heard the Ben E. King before. It is some schmaltzy song. Tom Jones definitely had some strong voice – and still does to the best of my knowledge. Hey, hope you’re enjoying the news. Can’t wait until the hearings.

    Liked by 1 person

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