“I run to the sea, it was bleedin’… I run to the sea, it was boilin’.”

1965, Pastel Blues

Lyrics from the African American traditional spiritual song “Sinnerman”.  The lyrics describe a “sinner” continually thwarted, with no place to hide from divine justice on Judgement Day. Nina Simone’s powerful 10 minute version has been repeatedly borrowed in media since its release in 1965. Art Quotes Art. Song lyrics. See Sinnerman in other media below.

“Does this song continue to reflect modern man’s increasing inability to hide?

He seems surprised by the concept of accountability. He’ll compromise as a last resort. But first there must be a some way out of here, right?”

— Douglas


“Sinnerman” excerpt

So I run to the river, it was bleedin’
I run to the sea, it was bleedin’
I run to the sea, it was bleedin’
All along dem day
So I run to the river, it was boilin’
I run to the sea, it was boilin’
I run to the sea, it was boilin’
Along dem day
So I run to the lord, please hide me lord
Don’t you see me prayin’?
Don’t you see me down here prayin’?
But the lord said, go to the devil

complete lyrics

Art Quotes Art

“Sinnerman” in other Media


The Crimson Pirate (1952)
The Young One (1960, played at the beginning, version by Leon Bibb)
The Thomas Crown Affair (1999, during the climax)
Crime and Punishment in Suburbia (2000—two different versions)
High Crimes (2002, Felix da Housecat remix, during ending sequence.)
Cellular (2004, Felix da Housecat remix, during a chase and the ending sequence)
Miami Vice (2006, Felix da Housecat remix, during the opening scene in the nightclub)
Inland Empire (2006, played over the end credits)
Déjà Vu (2006)
Golden Door (2007)
Sharkwater (2007)
The Windsurfing Movie (2007)
A Very British Gangster (2007)
Forgetting Sarah Marshall (2008)
Les regrets (2009)
Casino Jack and the United States of Money (2010)
The Dark Valley (2014)
Кухня в Париже (2014)
What Happened, Miss Simone? (2015)
Hunt for the Wilderpeople (2016)


Apple Watch series 2 commercial, 2016
Scrubs (Episode called “My Own Personal Jesus”)
Homicide: Life on the Street (Season 6, Episode 10 – “Sins of the Father”)
Life on Mars (Season 1, Episode 7. Played over finale/end credits.)
Nash Bridges (Episode titled “Jackpot Part 1” played during the scene that Nash called the chief of police to warn him of an assassination plot.)
Judge John Deed (Trailer)
Entourage (Credits of Season 4 Episode 06 “The WeHo Ho”)
Mad Men (During a Promo for season 2)
“Verbotene Liebe” (English title: Forbidden Love)
Top Gear (UK) (Series 9, Episode 3 – “America Special” – Initial Miami Beach scene (Felix da Housecat Mix))
Boomtown (2.6 “The Big Picture”)
Sociedade Civil (RTP2 Portugal intro song)
Shameless (UK) (Season 8 – Episode 7)
Person of Interest (Season 1 – Episode 7)
Sherlock (Season 2 Episode 3 – “The Reichenbach Fall”)
Love/Hate (Irish TV Series)” (Season 2 – Episode 1)
The Blacklist (Season 1 – Episode 2)
The Great Train Robbery (Episode 1 – The Robber’s Tale)
Lucifer (Season 1 – Episode 6)
Vinyl (Season 1 – Episode 4)
O.J.: Made In America (Used in the trailer and promo)