Existentialism is a philosophical or aesthetical tendency, a prevalent cultural trend before and especially after World War II, a fever among the Western adolescents in late 20th century, widely reflected in the West European, American and Japanese literatures. With the development of Pop Culture in late decades of the century, it has been promptly widespread around the world and became an enormous influence among countries and areas.
The origin of the existentialism thought and philosophy was found first in Pascal, a French writer, thinker of the 17th century, or in Dostoyevsky, a Russian writer of the 19th century, especially in the novel “Crime and Punishment”. But the most immediate theory of this philosophy should be the theory about “The crimes of human beings in the the lost age” by Soren Kierkegaard, a Denmark philosopher in the first half of the 19th century. Opposing Heghen, opposing traditional philosophy, Sorren resisted all the rationalists, the logic, the sistems, missions of philosophy which he claimed to be only describing the lives of human beings as it was existing. Some people like Friedrich Nietzsche are also on the same board as Soren.
In their writings, they focus more on the humanity’s subjective experiences instead of science’s objective theories, which they believed to be too far away from the humanity’s experiences, rejecting the traditional philosophic clauses or the innate truths that related to the silent struggles of each person against the nonsensical of life.
It was not until after World War II did the theory of existentialism became popular by the name of the 2 existential philosophers Jean Paul Sartre and Albert Camus. Their works focus more on the themes like “fear, boredom, social alienation, absurd, freedom, commitment and nothingness” as the origins of human’s existence.
To summarize the purpose of existentialism, Walter Kaufmann stated: “This is this is the refuse to participate in any school of thoughts, the decline that no belief or believing system is satisfactory, and is a plain disappointment to traditional philosophy since it is shallow, academic and far away from life."
In the age of marketing, modernizing, the adolescents are the easiest to be damaged, as they always have to withstand tons of chains from society and their family. The governments, authorities and adults always shackle the flying birds by the old-fashion standards of orders and morality.
With fresh, free, broad-minded philosophical clauses, existentialism soon became popular among the youths, got supported and followed, becoming an original lifestyle - existential lifestyle (or Hippie trend). In culturology, Hippie trend is considered to be a counterculture, when the youths who became oppositive to the standards, qualities of society gathered in groups, creating their own standards, qualities to openly decine the mainstream standards.The principle for existential lifestyle is that: "Human have a side of animals that belongs to nature, so we have to bring it back to nature, not to impose it by rigid society standards".
The adolescents who follow the existential lifestyle always want to remove the living standards that society imposed on them. They like their hair long, walking on bare feets, wearing ripped, holed clothes, going luxurious places, provoking the society to look at them.
If in the 17th century, the classic doctrine is famous for the proposition "I think, therefore I am", then recently, the youths are living following the proposition that "I rebel, therefore I am". Many celebrities pioneered this proposition, such as model Jean Shrimpton who ignored all the boos toward her in the horse-race of the nobles in Australia, showed up in front of the spectators with a shorter skirt than usual which is 10 centimeters above her knees, bare hands without gloves, bare tanned legs without socks and freely hanging hair.
Or Nan Kempner who wore the suit Le Smoking (a unisex tux for women which designed by the legendary Yves Saint Laurent, creates a new era of fashion for feminity) to Paris restaurant. When she got stopped at the restaurant’s doorstep, Nan Kemper inveighed by leisurely putting off her pant and calmly walked into the restaurant, leaving the astonished crowd. Even in Vietnam, the fact that Khánh Ly took off her shoes and performed on stage in the first years of career is kind of an existential-lifestyle-support action to me.
Their living declaration is "Make love, not war", the saying taken from the song “If you’re going to San Francisco”. They oppose war, as it is a demon that brings pain and took away the humanity’s freedom. They welcome sex, consider it a means to lead freedom and rescue them from the chains of old-fashion culture.
John Lennon of The Beatles have made this declaration relastic by holding a honeymoon on a bed with his Japanese wife Yoko Ono. In the whole week, they only lie on a bed (called the Peace Bed) in Amsterdam, Netherlands and invited all the journalists and experts to come to interview and discuss like a method to protest the contemporary Vietnam War.
The Beatles was the monument of the existential lifestyle, since their music, style and fashion always reflect the contemporary states of the adolescents. From the bored, lonely, formless attitude in a society that fulls of illogicality of postmodernism, to the shades of rebel, war oppositive, freedom demand for the youths. They also have appalling statements against old-fashion thoughts such as “"We're more popular than Jesus” (propagandizing Christianity), “Pop is the new age’s opera” (propagandizing the standard, affected art of the nobles)...
In Vietnam, Trịnh Công Sơn is considered as the first one who brought existentialism into music, similar to America’s Bod Dylan. We can see some similars between Trịnh’s Để gió cuốn đi and Bob’s Blowin' in the wind, and other existential songs like Tiến thoái lưỡng nan, Phôi pha...Existentialism had strong effects to the youths, but it is not a fashion trend to imitate to show off their own characters, but a lifestyle that comes from the heart and soul. Same with the artists, only the one who have actually overcome deadlocks, loneliness, pain that caused by society and have a heart that is desperate to move forward can actually be existentially creative. There are not too many artists with those conditions. Except the aforementioned names, Nina Simone is a typical name in the existential music industry in the 20th century.
To list out the names of the artists who laid the groundwork for Jazz music and Black music, it is impossible to forget Nina Simone, an inner-forced and haunting contralto. She has an envious music career for any singer. In spite of being called Jazz’s goddess along with Etta James, she had a complicated childhood.
Nina Simone (Eunice Kathleen Waymon) was born in February 21st 1933 in Tryon, The State of North Carolina in a needy African American family. During the stage when racialism at its peak, a needy black family like Nina’s is definitely the one had to suffer the most. Nina nearly had to quit piano due to her family’s economic status. Luckily, at 6, her talent was discovered by a sponsor who later paid for all the piano lessons for her.
In her life, Nina also got a lot of problems caused by racism. When she was in school, only a few students want to hang out with her, and many music school rejected her because of her skin color. She was in a stalemate for many years because of the huge load of differentiation. But great courage and stuff made Nina take the bitter and flew it to her fire of music passion, making music the answer to her life and revolting society. Later on, she have had enough of American’s racism and moved to Europe to live and develop her career with great success.
Nina’s first ever mental stir was when she was 10, in a performance at the local library, she had to witness her parents, who were sitting on the front seats, being made to resign the seats for a white couple. Nina engraved this image on her memory and raised an existential soul which became her signature later on, making her one of the biggest human rights activists in the stage’s pop music industry.
As an artist with great art responsibilities, Nina considered music as a boat that carries her progressive way of looking at life to the masses. She sang about freedom, equality, justice, sang to change the world and bring humanity closer to each other. With her declaration: “An artist's duty, as far as I'm concerned, is to reflect the times.”, Nina turned her music into a giant mirror that reflected the stormy 60s of the 20th century - the age of existential lifestyle.
During her career, Nina released many songs with existentialism, strongly for human rights and against racism, the songs about her pride of her origin such as Wild is the wind, To be young, Gifted and Black, Ain't got no I've got life, Mississippi Goddam… She also did a lot of covers of The Beatles, Bob Dylan, the statues of existential music, such as: Here comes the sun, Revolution, All you need is love, Just like a woman, I shall be released, The times they are a changin… as a way to show her firm viewpoint in music and politics
The image of a pure-black woman with a sharp look on her face, a husky bass voice with great inner-force (the vocal music lecturers in Lysenko Conservatoria, Lviv, Ukraine,...ect. believes that if there are any pop singer that is able to do vocal-battles with an opera singer without being in a disadvantageous position, then he or she can only be Nina Simone), yet haunting, relaxing in a cigarette smoke, with a polished piano skill, singing wild, defiant songs toward lifes have become an unbreakable statue in the audiences.
Among Nina Simone’s successful songs, the most amazing and haunting song to me was Ain't got no... I've got life, the song with the boldest signs of existentialism as far as I could understand. In fact, it is a mashup, which instrumented by Nina herself of 2 small songs Ain’t go no and I’ve got life in the famous rock musical - Hair by Writer James Rado, Songwriter Gerome Ragni and Composer Galt MacDermot.
This musical was considered as an excellent work of art inspired by the Hippie lifestyle and The Sexual Revolution at the 1960s. The musical included street languages, music, swearing, naked scenes, sexual liberty (of both homosexual and heterosexual), stimulants, derisions to the national flag and the religions, living in small culture-against groups, making their own qualities (calling themselves “tribes”) as a way to express the rebellious youth against the contemporary society, against racism, sexism, ageism and environmental damage, the gap between the rich and poor, the sex, religion and lifestyle impositions, political corruption; against The Vietnam War and dignify peace and nature.
Released in 1968, when the Vietnam War is rising at its best, the musical caused a lot of controversy, but was leap to fame by the supportive adolescents in America. It promptly spread among the Western society, encouraged the burning existentialism in the adolescence, created big changes in the society. Nina Simone, as one of the audiences who was strongly influenced by this classic musical, have used it as the material for her music creativity. It was her acquirements from the “big storm” of time (object) and her burning heart for life (subject) that made her succeed in art-making.
The instrumental of the song was instrumented in Africa pop genre and a bit of folk, with acoustic drums naturally added. The Africa pop material and a wild, haunting husky bass voice have made Nina able to show her proud, the existentialism in her skin color, and bring the nature, mysteries of wild Africa into music, once again shows the principle of Existentialism: “Human have a side of animals that belongs to nature, so we have to bring it back to nature, not to impose it by rigid society standards” (the principle that is carried along the whole song).
Expectedly, the song archieved great succeed, ranked 1st place in Netherlands and 2nd place in the UK, satisfied the pickiest critics and created new premises for the contemporary pop standards.
Since there are many versions of the song lyric, I will use the live version of Nina Simone in Harlem Renaissance Festival (1969) - the free concert for the audiences - for the evaluation, since there are some lyrics that she added in by herself that had her soul and her outlook of life in it.
* Note: All the analyses or ideas about the song are only the subjective ideas of the writer.
The artistic space embracing the song is a path space motif, in which, the lyrical character was sketched in a hidden way, like a shadow that is stepping on the path to come back to nature, to the essence of themselves. The song’s content is structured into 2 symmetric parts, yin and yang, negative and positive. At the first part, the lyrical character listed all that of a human being, living in the regular society, needs to have (or is forced to have), but he doesn’t have (or refuses) it. “ Ain't got no home, ain't got no shoes”.
Ain't got no home, ain't got no shoes(Tôi chẳng có nhà, chẳng có nổi một đôi giày)
“Home” is not just about a house, it is also about family. Family is considered as a small culture, a cell of society, the most important socialise environment of each person, and the basic ladder to connect them to the society. The very first moral, behavioral principles and bonds of a person are from their family members.
The usual society always dignify the family’s role of each individual, because through family, the authorities can easily control them in both thoughts and actions. But existentialism, with a view that dignifies the original essence of each individual, elevates the whole, has little interest in the family, assumes that its existence is not important. This is also an attitude of equality, to show support for the homeless, the unmarried, and especially the youth who are struggling to escape the influence of the family and find a solitary life.
If we go to Western universities in the 1960s, we will see groups of students with long hair, torn jeans, bare feet, sat on the grass, playing guitar and humming the anti-war songs. Anti-war songs are those of the Beatnik movement (a form of anti-war movement, the forerunner of the Hippie movement), and walking on barefoot expresses the desire to return to nature and blend into the masses of intellectuals. In Vietnam, the "barefoot queen" Khanh Ly stripped her high boots, barefoot on stage was also an act in response to Beatnik movement.
In the next lines, the lyrical character continued to negate the necessary materials to an usual human.
Aint got no money, aint got no class,
Aint got no friends, aint got no schoolin,
Aint got no wear, aint got no job,
Aint got no money, no place to stay
Aint got no father, aint got no mother,
Aint got no children, aint got no sisters or brothers
Money, clothing, and employment are the suppressors that put the greatest pressure on every individual in the post-industrial age, and it is also the sinner who causes constant crimes against humanity, making them loose their way in ignorance. A young person who lives following Existentialism is always ready to throw away their dirty money, strip of his cramped clothes (such as the nude anti-war demonstrations), to live close to nature, for the soul that is not entangled in greed, hatred and delusion.
Schools are like miniature societies with all kinds of vices, the moths of its flashy appearance, only those who have been discriminated against (because of their differences) and who have suffered from school violence and witnessed extreme injustice in schools like Nina Simone (and myself) can understand the evil that it caused. Moreover, the school is also the first place that government and society use the education system to mold the thoughts of the younger generations to their own will.
Friends are something too luxurious for people with differences, no one wants to play with a supposedly abnormal (physically or mentally), just mockings, stigmas, even violences. In that situation, the word "friends" no longer exists, just the “things” that are equaled to each other gave themselves the right to distinguish the class with others.
There are those who have no father and mother, and those who do not consider their parents necessary. To them, parents are only representatives of the go-ahead, conservative and rigid generation. In fact, there are very few parents who are willing to understand their children. They often take the views and standards of their generation to impose on their children, forcing them to do so, and so on. Differences and changes are prohibited.
“That child” is an unrealistic norm that parents try to create and impose their children on, thereby loosening the personality, the hallmark of each child's individual that are aspiring to rise. The great difference in ideology has made the gap between parents and children far apart, which in turn leads to the restlessness of the youths who are desperate for life like living birds in the cages. In the '60s, girls often had to wear their mother's old clothes, and the boys were tied up in oppressive suits and high-glossy hairstyles. They expected something new that is beyond their liberty, so Hippie fashion was born.
Do not despise fashion, fashion is life, culture and revolution, when fashion changes, people change. The boys and girls then were started fighting their parents by growing long hair, wearing ribbons, flannel shorts, drawing faces, piercing, using aboriginal motifs to blend in with nature is like the principle of existentialism. Fighting against the standards of first-generation dresses is the fastest way that young people use to get away from the influence of their parents, asserting themselves.
Not only the parents, the lyrical character also denied their children, brothers and sisters, all relatives, sharing the same blood with him or her. No bloodline, no relatives, it is the ultimate loneliness of man in the postmortem society, the irrational era. This status has been portrayed in the Norwegian wood song of the Beatles.
I once had a girl, or should I say, she once had me
She showed me her room, isn't it good, norwegian wood?
She asked me to stay and she told me to sit anywhere
So I looked around and I noticed there wasn't a chair
I sat on the rug, biding my time, drinking her wine
We talked until two and then she said, "It's time for bed"
She told me she worked in the morning and started to laugh
I told her I didn't and crawled off to sleep in the bath
And when I awoke I was alone, this bird had flown
The chair disappeared without a reason, the girl disappeared only after a sleep, this scary absurd loss is the lonely, hopeless state of man in the "lost age", when we became too small, fragile, even just names, numbers, and boundaries between life and death are no longer visible. This state began to appear in arts since the World War II, when people were concentrated in concentration camps, dismissed with names, fate, identified by numbers, when hundreds of deaths could surround you with just a blink of an eye, taking away all of your relatives, and even yourself.
At that time, people can only look at life with irrational, illusory eyes, consider everything illusory, unreal. The human psyche will be accumulated, lonely, desperate, no longer as great as in the Renaissance, Classical, and Romantic period of centuries. Becket wrote in the Fin de partie about the absurdity of society, like in the Norwegian wood song: "Then you look at the wall for a moment and tell yourself".
Close your eyes, maybe just sleep for a while, it will be easier, and you close your eyes. But when you open your eyes, you will not see it anymore. In addition, this loneliness, absurdity is also portrayed in the novels of Japanese writer Haruki Murakami such as Norwegian Wood, The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, ...etc. But the existential people are not that pessimistic. They use the negative to counter negative self, are willing to deny all relationships, so as to get rid of the nihilistic constraints of life, just to assert their personal existence. Only living for their own being, they will never fall into loneliness because they have destroyed their loneliness.
Neglecting parents, denialing bloodlines, generations, and all social relationships, friends are the negative but drastic attitudes of young people who follows Existentialism in the process of rising up to show their rebellious self, help them overcome the despair, loneliness, poverty in the soul. The negativity of this attitude can be explained by Albert Camus's view: The absurdity attaches itself to the human and the world so closely that only hate can unite human beings.
Here we come across the similarities with the view of the existentialist Soren Kierkegaard, who also thinks that the task of existentialism is to describe human life as it exists, but the human only, and cut off all ties to society. Because for the existentialist, each human being is a unique, mysterious entity, a closed universe, no one can understand and can not self-disclose their own intricate inner being to anyone. Man does not need to depend on anyone else, just stand alone, cultivate and reveal their self, the self to rise and prove their existence, and everything belongs to society is too frivolous.
Existential people tend to follow mobilism, they like to trabel, enjoy themselves in nature, making the lands their home. Ordinary people need a place to stay, to anchor, but young existential people do not need that. For them, it is only the something that entangle themselves on the journey to existence. That is why the young generation of the 60s often left home for journeys, building temporary camps for fun and singing.
Aint got no earth, aint got no faith
Aint got no church, aint got no God
Aint got no love
Earth is a common metaphor in existentialism, which symbolizes human’s propitiation in society, which can be the propitiation in material or spiritual that everyone would like to have. In a precarious society, where all the physical and mental differences are increasing, not everyone has strong supports. Existentialists, however, do not need these frivolous things. The only support they need is the consciousness of their fierce self. To them, this world is nothingness, irrationality, and only the sense of their personal existence is a true existence: Survival is existence, and the eternal existence is the self, according to Martin Heidegger.
Also in this track, the lyrical character listed three nouns in the religious vocabulary terms: "faith," "church," "God." Everyone knows that religions (except for Buddhism) are forms of superlative power, but also associated with primitive, conservative and demagogism. In the history of mankind, religions have colluded with the authorities, caused various crimes, wars, discrimination, gripped human kindness, their freedom and humanity.
Therafore, denialing and against religions occurs frequently in the lives of progressive mankind, from the Renaissance to the Light of the West, and now, existentialism are refuting it the most. In the time of loosing God, when things become absurd, the myths may not need God anymore. This part shares some similarities with a part from John Lennon's song :
Imagine there's no countries
It isn't hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people living life in peace
In the next track, the lyrical character continued to negate the relationships, the normal physical conditions, in order to emphasize their resolutely existentialist attitude.
Aint got no wine, no cigarrettes
No clothes, no country
No class, no schoolin
No friends, no nothing
Aint got no God, aint one more
Aint got no earth, no water,no food, no home,
I said aint got no clothes, no job
No nothing, aint got no beleives,and aint got no love
The state of dazzle, unsettled by the calamities of mankind is reflected by the nihilistic and tragic attitude in most modernistic writings, in which existentialism is the most prominent. In this song, it is the loss of faith and love in themselves and all the people around them. When living in a society that does not have a starting and ending point, there is no living value so that one can anchor. When neither the past nor the future exist, then the destruction of beliefs is inevitable.
The interesting thing the above verse is that the lyrical character has denied their homeland, their country, which means refusing traditions, people and their roots (which the cause was the loss in faith in Social values). Everyone is born into a nation, a country, inherit the tradition and the benefits of their community. But when the government becomes corrupted, lends the masses to coerce themselves to agree with the crimes they inflict. When people are suppressed by tradition, by the past, making them the cause for their loss in freedom and selfs, then is it worth worshiping them? That is the attitude of young people in the West when they participate in the protests against the launch of hostilities of the host country.
Nationalism is a good thing, but virtually every country have been trying to selfishly anchor it in thousands of years in history to promote wars, expansion, conflict, killing peace to redeem their own community.
Nationalism is a good thing, but virtually every country have been trying to selfishly anchor it in thousands of years in history to promote wars, expansion, conflict, killing peace to redeem their own community.
In the last 3500 years, the world had only 8% of time in peace, and the rest were war and killing. Why? All countries that have waged war with other countries (even with Vietnam) did it for only one reason alone which was nationalism, wanting to take everything, trample on other nations to redeem theirs. In times of globalization, when nations are coming together, when humanity needs peace and friendship, should this old-fashion tenet exist? And so far, these things are still truths, as some states are still borrowing the traditions from the past, "beggar the past" to bribe people's trust, to cover up their degenerate.
Why should we live for the great but frivolous, lousy values when all values are false and only serving the interests of the minority? It is better to live for yourself personally, but to live well, and to live more compassionately, and it would be a thousand time better.
But what have I got?,
What have I got?,
Let me tell you what Ive got
cause nobody is gonna take away
unless I wanna to
If in the 1st part, the lyrical character negated the value of society in order to resist the old standards, the grip of freedom and the irrationality of its absurdity, then the second part is a firm assertion for the things that belong to the nature in every human being, which everyone were born with. As long as we cherish and promote its strength, we will find our selfs, and no one can take it from us.
I got my hair, and my head
my brains, my ears
my eyes, my nose
and my mouth, I got my smile
The existential young people are always proud of their unique long hair, as it is the first means for them to express themselves. From fashion, they will change the lifestyles for a whole generation, bringing in some new and richer lifestyles. Moreover, the "head" symbolizes their advancement, and the "brain" symbolizes their thoughts and thinkings.
Having your own thoughts means having your own opinions and positions, which are the qualities needed to become and existential person - a special person, not dissolved into society, and the "real self" will not be collected by the masses, and not be turned into "the masses". Only those who are ignorant and vulnerable will become the victim for social assimilation and demagogics, be brainwashed by the authorities, be turned into cards on the political game. Remember that a talented and outstanding person is not always the best person, but always a thoughtful person who is different from the rest. Their thoughts may not always be right, but it will always be special, new and unmistakable. Since then, it will create unique colors for life, society and human life.
For today's dull stage, when all the truths, values are skeptical and reconsidered, one plus one is unlikely to be two, Darwinism is not necessarily right, humans are unlikely to evolve from gibbons Ancient, ...etc., then the most needed thing is a thought, a personal opinion that is derived from the personality, experience, knowledge of each individual person. Gather knowledge and personality to create your own thoughts, in other words, be specific to not be dissolved. Most importantly, your conscience believes that it is right, not the false in thinking and thoughts.
According to the aesthetics, the eyes, nose and ears are the three most important organs for man to enjoy aesthetics, helping people to visually sense, thereby form the feelings and aesthetic thought. Aesthetic sensibility is the first element that helps create the “man” part in the word “human”, creates human values and directs people to The Beauty. But not everyone has all three of these aesthetic receptors, so the lyrics reminded people to value what nature offered them.
People often complain about the material and forget that what they own are priceless treasures. At the same time, this is also a challenge from young people to society and the governments, that we have eyes to see, have nose to smell, have ears to hear, that we know all, so do not cheat, do not cover our eyes, do not command and dispense us, because we know how to feel this life by what we have!
I got my tongue, my chin
my neck, my bubbies
my heart, my soul
and my back, I got my sex
Continued to list out with tendency the vocabulary words about body parts following the instrument’s rhythm, the lyrical character was likely to depend on all that he had (the things that were given by nature, belonged to nature, not taken or begged from the others) to completely affirm each individual person’s existence in this life from the smallests, from the language (tongue) to the burning-with-passion breathe (breast). And above all, he asserts that the two most important things that helped a person to find his or her existence were the heart and the soul. Always nourish your heart and soul, follow their call to help you keep your path in life, and from which, to find the ego, to create your life, as well as your personality.
And then, you will have a firm support (your back) to "forever lift yourself up" without having to depend on anyone. The word "sex" in the above verse can be understood in two senses which are “sex” and “gender”. Usually it is understood in the sense of sexuality, as it coincides with the manifesto of existentialism, "Make love, not war," which expresses sexual devotion and opposition to war.
In fact, the sexual devotion of hippie people is not as bad as how it was considered, it is just a way for them to demand freedom and seek peace. Say Camus, this is a radical attitude, to reject life for irrationality, but irrationality itself is what must be used to fight it. But in the second sense, the lyrical character was proud of their gender. The problem of gender equality is not new, but it has never been old, because this society has not existed for thousands of years for what is called "gender equality", and the progressive humanity has always struggled every minute of every hour for it.
Gender or sex is something that is naturally given, belongs to nature, exists naturally, God and society does not make sex, therefore they have no right to trample or reject it. Respecting sex and promoting its intrinsic qualities is the one way for us to respect the Mother of Nature who gave birth to us, as in this song Born this way by Lady Gaga:
No matter gay, straight or bi
Lesbian, transgendered life
I'm on the right track, baby
I was born to survive
I'm beautiful in my way
In the next verse, the lyrical character continued to affirm their nature self.
I got my arms, my hands
my fingers, my legs
my feet, my toes
and my liver, Got my blood
In Vietnam, there is a story about a man named Mai An Tiem who was deported to the deserted island, in which he used his hands, his bare feet and liver (bravery) to make up a whole, and even made the King jealous. The “hands” are emphasized many times to show the strength, the energy and the strong will to rise up in every person, especially the young generation with both strong spirits and tough physique.
No need for money, no need to rely on others, just by the hands, bare legs and the blood flowing throughout the body, we can do everything, go anywhere we want, and then find our freedom and ego. The attitude of adhering to the primordial identities that nature offers, from believing to upholding, is an expression of optimism, and not as tragic as it may seem.
I got life , I got life,
I got head, and two legs,
and bad times too, like you
I got my hair, my head
my brains, my ears
my eyes, my nose
and my mouth, I got my smile
and is my smile
I got life, I've got my freedom,
and my heart, I got life!
In the final chorus, harmonized with the singing of Nina is the voice of a black baritone, the two continue to revise what have been sung in the above verses. The usage of rap in the end was like a harmony of the generations, thereby encourage the emergence of the generational ego in each young person, motivating them to promote the self to find back their own life and freedom. That is precisely the call of the founder Jean Paul Sartre, to return to the subject to "rely on what we have to forever lift ourselves up", "freedom to create yourself with a meaningful action and to become what you were not before."
The word "my life" is emphasized many times and used to end the whole song as to assert the controlling will of mankind's destiny ahead of time. In today's irrational era, just finding the self, the true self, we will master our life, hold on to eternal freedom, which no one can steal.
The Vietnamese society before the Doi moi (1986) often has the contrast attitude of existentialism, claiming that it is a reactionary movement associated with evil. Through the above analysis, I would like to borrow music to clarify that existentialism is not a reactionary movement, although there are certain limitations, but it is a progressive movement, all for the human being, that brings the life for each human being, to fight vigorously against evil, to resist the manipulation of the ruling class, of the weathered social, liberation, and the human self.
Although it has gone through more than half a century, existentialism still has its original value, without being lagging behind with the times. In the present time, existentialism needs to be more and more validated and to be applied its positive aspects in social life, building new characters for the younger generation.
Nina Simone has been left us for over a decade, but her music is still valuable. The voice, the instrument is still being raised day by day in every corner of life to support, guide the soul of the youth. The image of a wild, dark-skinned woman sitting on the piano will live forever with the struggles in human rights, and live forever in each progressive human hearts. She will forever be an indispensable part of pop culture.