British songwriters Anthony Newley and Leslie Bricusse wrote this as part of their 1965 Broadway musical The Roar Of The Greasepaint - The Smell Of The Crowd. Newley and Bricusse also wrote the 1961 play Stop The World - I Want To Get Off, and music for the 1971 production of Willy Wonka And The Chocolate Factory.
In the Broadway production, this was performed by the actor Gilbert Price, but Simone's version became one of her best known songs. The message of joy and contentment after hard times translated well to Simone's vocal stylings.
The British group Muse recorded this for their 2001 album Origin Of Symmetry. Nestle used a soundalike version in an ad campaign for their Nescafe coffee when they were not able to secure rights to Muse's version.
Other artists to cover this song include The Pussycat Dolls, Michael Bublé, Traffic, Eels and John Coltrane. Mary J. Blige sampled Simone's version for her 2005 album The Breakthrough.
In the UK, Simone's version went to #40 when the song was used in a 1994 advertising campaign for Volkswagen cars. In 1997, a version by Huff & Herb charted in the UK at #31.
A soundalike version was used in a television commercial for Buick.
Suggestion credit: Bertrand - Paris, France
Muse's interpretation of this song came top in a NME poll to find the best cover version of all time. The survey was commissioned by the Channel 4 show On Track With SEAT. The Beatles' "Twist and Shout" came second and Johnny Cash's "Hurt" third.
Jay-Z and Kanye West sampled this for their collaborative album Watch the Throne in the song "New Day" in 2011. It was also sampled in Mary J. Blige's "About You" in 2005 and in Flo Rida's "How I Feel" in 2013.
This is featured in the 1993 action film Point of No Return (the American version of La Femme Nikita). Bridget Fonda plays an assassin who chooses the code name Nina as an homage to the singer. It was also used in 2006 comedy Last Holiday, starring Queen Latifah.
Viktoria Semenenko from UkraineBut what is obvious in Michael's interpretation it has contrary to emancipation meaning taking into accout a cage bird performed by Dita.
Viktoria Semenenko from UkraineIt looks like they forgot a cover by George Michael dedicated to Dita Von Teese (Heather Renee Sweet)
Elizabeth Brown from Hampton, Va Nina Simone also wrote "Turning Point" and "Consummation" and "You Can Sing a Rainbow" (a children's song)... Correct me if i'm mistaken and listen to these splendidly wonderful meaningful songs, you won't believe your ears!
Gerard from Toulouse, FranceI don't know what that Broadway production was about, and though I was only about 18 when Nina Simone's version came out and my understanding of English as a foreign language was still rather limited way back then, it was crystal-clear to me that such lyrics, sung by an African American woman right in the middle of the civil rights movement, were as eloquent and meaningful a statement as, say, the Staple Singers' A LONG WALK TO DC or Sam Cooke's A CHANGE IS GONNA COME, to name just a few. And if anyone interested should read these few lines, how about making a list available to all? I could name about 20 or 30 songs on African-American history and experience (the Blues and folksongs NOT even included!), and I'm sure there are far more than this, and lots of people around the world - students and teachers - would be interested! Finding - and giving a thought to - songs with meaningful lyrics on meaningful topics can be a most rewarding experience, and in any case it is far more interesting than lists of song lyrics with, say, "toothbrush" or "tomato" in them, or reading dozens of not-really-tear-jerking confessions like "I had sex for the first time to the sound of "Twist and flop" or else "Tough luck" was being played on the radio when that no-good, then-boyfriend of mine told me he had found another girl" - Don't you think?
Kellin from Right Here Where I Am, AlMichael Buble's version of this cannot be beat, in my opinion. :)
Sophia from El Centro, CaA nice intro with just vocals; low, soft and oh-so-calm voice really is soothing. But when the brasses go in, that's when the song becomes an anthem to "just look around and enjoy the little things and you'll Feel Good". Excellent song, I heard it the first time at a poetry recital, I looked up and was hooked immediately.
Louise from Newcastle, --Great song- I also loved Muse's version of it.
Mel from Riverbank, CaGreat song, the Nina Simone version is by far the best, in my opinion. Also, it was used in the Queen Latifah movie Last Holiday, on her journey to the Pupp hotel.