Okay, two quick confessions. First off, I really wanted to write this post in Spanish because it’s Cinco De Mayo but unfortunately, other than a few phrases I picked up from my mom, I don’t speak Spanish. Secondly, I’ve done some research and I’ve discovered that the band featured here (Santa Esmeralda) is actually a French group. So, despite the fact that Santa Esmeralda’s cover of Don’t Let Me Misunderstood is obviously influenced by Latin music, it’s still not exactly ideal for Cinco De Mayo.
But you know what? When I first heard this song on the soundtrack for Kill Bill Volume One, I immediately fell in love with it and I forced my mom to listen to all 10 minutes of it and she loved it too. And unlike me, my mom grew up speaking Spanish and actually had a very pretty singing voice. She was also very proud of her heritage. So, if this song was good enough for her, it’s good enough for me.
I have to admit, as well, that when I first heard Santa Esmeralda’s version, I assumed that the cover had been recorded specifically for the Kill Bill soundtrack. Well, turns out I was not only wrong, I was way wrong. This cover version was actually recorded way back in 1977.
I also thought, before I started writing this post, that the song was originally performed by the Animals. Wrong again. The song was first written in 1964 by Bennie Benjamin, Gloria Caldwell, and Sol Marcus and it was originally performed by Nina Simone. Then, in 1965, the Animals did their famous cover. The Animals’ version of the song is the one that got stuck in my head when I was dating this guy who worked at Mervyn’s because, oh my God, it was playing all the freaking time in that store!
But the Santa Esmeralda version is my favorite and it is today’s song of the day.