“I (Who Have Nothing)” (sometimes billed as “I Who Have Nothing”) is a song originally released in English by 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. “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.
Shirley Bassey released the song (produced by George Martin) in September 1963, reaching #6 on the 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.