♫ Please Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood ♫ (Redux)

My favourite Animals’ song is “House of the Rising Sun”, but this one runs a close second.  Overall I am not an Animals’ fan, but they did have several that made it to my playlist, and this is one of them.


This song was written by Horace Ott, Bennie Benjamin and Sol Marcus. Benjamin and Marcus were a songwriting team that had been working together since the ’40s; their compositions include “Lonely Man” by Elvis Presley and “Fabulous Character” by Sarah Vaughan. Ott is an arranger who worked on tracks for Nat King Cole and Aretha Franklin, and later gave life to most of the Village People’s material.  The story goes that a heated argument between Ott and his wife was the incentive for this song.

Nina Simone was the first to record this song, releasing an orchestrated, downtempo rendition on her 1964 album Broadway-Blues-Ballads that nicked the US chart at #131. The best-known version by far is by The Animals, who reworked it into a rock song that was released in early 1965.. Eric Burdon recalled in Rolling Stone magazine, “It was never considered pop material, but it somehow got passed on to us and we fell in love with it immediately.”

The Animals’ version charted at #3 in the UK, #4 in Canada, and #15 in the U.S.

The other two times I played this (2018 & 2020) I played only the Animals’ version, but I was curious, so I decided to play Nina Simone’s as well this time ‘round … it really sounds like two different songs, so different are their versions!  Much as I do love Nina Simone, I think the Animals is still my favourite cover.

Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood

The Animals

Baby, can you understand me now?
Sometimes I get a little mad
Don’t you know, no one alive can always be an angel
When things go wrong, I seem to go bad

I’m just a soul whose intentions are good
Oh Lord, please don’t let me be misunderstood

Yeah, baby, sometimes I’m so carefree
With a joy that’s hard to hide
Yeah, and other times it seems that
All I ever have is worry
And then you’re bound to see my other side

Oh, I’m just a soul whose intentions are good
Oh Lord, please don’t let me be misunderstood

Well If I get edgy, I want you to know
I never mean to take it out on you
Life has its problems, I get more than my share
But there’s one thing that I would never do

Oh, I’m just a soul whose intentions are good
Oh Lord, please don’t let me be misunderstood

Well If I get edgy, I want you to know
I never mean to take it out on you
Life has its problems, I get more than my share
But there’s one thing that I would never do
‘Cause I love you
Oh

Oh, now don’t you know I’m human
I got my faults just like anyone
And sometimes I lie awake, alone, regretting
Some foolish thing, some sinful thing I’ve done

I’m just a soul whose intentions are good
Oh Lord, please don’t let me be misunderstood
I said, I’m just a soul whose intentions are good
Oh Lord, please don’t let me be misunderstood
Oh, I’m just a soul whose intentions are good
Oh Lord, please don’t let me be misunderstood

Writer/s: Bennie Benjamin, Gloria Caldwell, Sol Marcus
Publisher: WARNER CHAPPELL MUSIC FRANCE
Lyrics licensed and provided by LyricFind

25 thoughts on “♫ Please Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood ♫ (Redux)

  1. A real pop classic, one of a string of hits they had here, though they had fewer over there. It’s good to remind people they did much more than House of the Rising Sun! I’d not heard Nina’s version before, but it is beautifully soulful. I still prefer The Animals though.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m glad you liked it! Nina’s is beautiful, but I’m with you … the Animals nailed it. I think much of my own preference stems from the fact that this was the only one I knew or heard for so many years.

      On another note … no post from you this week. Are you okay, my friend? Please feel free to email be or send a private message on Facebook. Thinking of you … hoping you’re okay.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Likewise. As I said, this was the first time I’d heard Nina’s version but I’ve known the Animals one for nearly sixty years.

        I haven’t felt like posting since New Year, when my Dad had just gone into end of life care. Sadly, he passed away on Sunday, peacefully in his sleep. I’m thinking of returning next week with a special Tuesday Tunes piece in his honour.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. “It was never considered pop material, but it somehow got passed on to us and we fell in love with it immediately.”
    The somehow were a number of Nina Simone albums the Animals got hold of when they asked American sailors coming to Newcastle to bring them any albums they could find by black artists. He was upset when after one show in New York Nina crashed into the Animals dressing room and accused them of ruining her music. He had been wanting to meet her, but not that way. After that he said in another interview he wanted to give her no credit.
    Obviously both singers were high strung, and angry.
    In one of your previous playing of this song, a reader mentioned they loved Nina’s version o0f Gin House Blues. I think the song might speak to why they hated each other at that time. I know little of Nina’s background, but I know Eric was drinking copious amounts of alcohol on that tour because he disliked being away from England, and the way the American press was treating them, asking them to act like animals for their cameras. Maybe Eric and Nina were both drunk when they finally met…
    Here is The Animal’s version of Gin House Blues…

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s