I (Who Have Nothing)

"I (Who Have Nothing)"
Single by Ben E. King
from the album Young Boy Blues
B-side "The Beginning of Time"
Released June 1963
Format 7"
Genre Soul
Length 2:30
Label Atco
Writer(s) Carlo Donida, Mogol, Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller
Producer(s) Jerry Leiber & Mike Stoller
Ben E. King singles chronology
"How Can I Forget"
"I (Who Have Nothing)"
"I Could Have Danced All Night"

"I (Who Have Nothing)" (sometimes billed as "I Who Have Nothing") is a song originally released in English by singer and producer Ben E. King in 1963.

"I (Who Have Nothing)" is a cover of Italian song "Uno Dei Tanti" (English: "One of Many"), with music by Carlo Donida and lyrics by Giulio "Mogol" Rapetti.[1] "Uno Dei Tanti" was released by Joe Sentieri in 1961. The English lyrics for "I (Who Have Nothing)" were written by Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller, who also produced the Ben E. King record using the backing track from Joe Sentieri's record (orchestra conducted by Luis Enriquez Bacalov).

The song was included in the musical revue Smokey Joe's Cafe, the longest-running musical revue in Broadway history.


The original English Ben E. King version was released in 1963 and reached #29 on the Billboard charts. Other versions which reached the Billboard charts were performed by Terry Knight and the Pack in 1966 (#46), Liquid Smoke in 1970 (#82), Warhorse in 1972 and Sylvester in 1979 (#40). The most popular version in the United States was by Tom Jones, peaking at #11 in Cashbox and at #14 in Billboard in the fall of 1970. Jones lip-synched to the hit recording on a highly rated Raquel Welch television special that summer.

Shirley Bassey released the song (produced by George Martin) in September 1963, where it reached #6 on UK charts. She performs the song at almost every live concert she gives, and it is on many of her compilation albums, including I Am What I Am with the London Symphony Orchestra, and her 1989 album La Mujer where she sings it in Spanish ("Hoy No Tengo Nada"). She has also been instrumental in making Donida's music known to English-speaking audiences through arranging for translations from the Italian, having performed with the composer conducting his own music on Italian television.[2][3]

Other versions of "I (Who Have Nothing)" include recordings by Blue Mink, Brook Benton, Petula Clark, Joe Cocker, Dee Dee (nl), Neil Diamond, Patti Drew, Kerry Ellis, Roberta Flack & Donny Hathaway, Candice Glover, Bob Guillaume, Jedi Mind Tricks, Googoosh, Katherine Jenkins, Gladys Knight, Terry Knight and the Pack, Al Kooper, Ijahman Levi, Manfred Mann's Earth Band, Liza Minnelli, Donny Osmond, Status Quo as the Spectres, Normie Rowe, Haley Reinhart, Jordin Sparks, Sylvester, Mary Byrne, Luther Vandross & Martha Wash, Dee Dee Warwick, and Liquid Smoke.

The song has also been rendered in Dutch as "Nee..." recorded by Milly Scott (1964), in Finnish as "En ole mitään" recorded by Pasi & Pekka (fi) (1970) also by Lea Laven (album Se jokin 1970) and as "En ou mittään" by Esa Pakarinen (fi) (1972), in French as "Sans Toi" par Joe Sentieri himself in 1961 and as "Moi (Je Ne Suis Plus Rien)" recorded by Sylvie Vartan (1967), in German as "Du" recorded by Mary Roos (1972), in Greek as "Agapi (Love)" recorded by Marinella for her 1992 album I Marinella Tragouda Megales Kyries,[4] in Romanian as "Eu, Care Nu Am Nimic" recorded by Aurelian Andreescu for his 1974 self-titled album, and in Spanish as "Uno de tantos" recorded by Enrique Guzmán (1963).


  1. "Second Hand Songs - Song:Uno dei tanti - Joe Sentieri". Archived from the original on January 14, 2007. Retrieved 2016-05-22.
  2. "The Songs of Shirley Bassey: Song Info". Retrieved 2016-05-22.
  3. BBC episode of Biography (ca. 2000)
  4. Liner notes, Marinella - I Marinella Tragouda Megales Kyries, Minos EMI: 478135, 1992

External links

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