♫ I Who Have Nothing ♫ (Redux)

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

26 thoughts on “♫ I Who Have Nothing ♫ (Redux)

    • I’m glad! Yes, having been mostly deaf for all my life, I find that I’ve so often either not understood lyrics to my favourite songs, or got them all wrong. For the most part, I’m only learning the lyrics to songs I’ve loved for decades when I do these music posts! I’m so glad you’re enjoying them!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I never liked Tom Jones or this song. This kind of over-emoted stuff just isn’t to my taste. To be honest I don’t remember his version – the biggest hit with it here was by Burly Chassis, who took it to #6 in 1963, hot on the heels of Ben E. King. And I don’t get the comparison with Nights in White Satin, which is a true rock/pop classic.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I think I recall you saying some time ago that you weren’t a fan of Tom Jones. Question: Is the Burly Chassis you mention and the Shirley Bassey that David and Roger mentioned one and the same person? I can kind of hear similarities between this and “Nights In White Satin” … hadn’t thought of it ’til Orca mentioned it, but now I can. Sorry you didn’t like this one … give me a day or two!

      Liked by 1 person

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