James Brown – I Got You (I Feel Good) | Lyrics Meaning Explained

James Brown may have been known as the ‘Godfather of Soul’ music, however, he was no stranger to funk music, and he did it best. One of the most iconic feel-good songs in the history of music is “I Got You (I Feel Good)” by James Brown. After over a half-century since its release, the whole world still grooves to this song.

James Brown released “I Got You (I Feel Good)” in October 1965. Initially, the song was recorded for his ninth studio album ‘Out of Sight’ (1964), however, an alternate version released as a single later on became James Brown’s best hit to date. James Brown wrote the lyrics to the song. It became so popular around the world that the term ‘i feel good’ became synonymous with James Brown.

“I Got You (I Feel Good)” is James Brown’s highest-charting track on Billboard Hot 100 at #3. However, the song peaked at #1 on Billboard R&B Chart. In the UK, the song reached #29.

However, the song’s highest honor would be being inducted into Rolling Stone magazine’s ‘The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time‘ list at #78. Further, in 2001, RIAA announced its list of ‘Songs of the Century,’ in which “I Got You” was ranked at #152.

Listen to “I Got You (I Feel Good)” by James Brown

Buy ‘Best of James Brown’ Album on Apple Music and Amazon


James Brown “I Feel Good (I Got You)” Lyrics Meaning and Song Review

I feel good
I knew that I would, now
So good, so good, I got you

Most great songs are open to different interpretations. So, is “I Feel Good” by James Brown. The lyrics are simple and open-ended enough to be associated with many topics. James Brown sings “when I hold you in my arms” that he feels so good. The first thought that pops into our heads is that he is talking about a love affair.

However, the song can be talking about the love and affection of the singer’s parents, holding his child in his hands, using drugs, and many other topics.

Wow, I feel nice
Like sugar and spice

These lyrics refer to a nursery rhyme from the early 19th Century titled ‘What Are Little Boys Made Of?.’ The original lines go as “What are little girls made of? / Sugar and spice / And everything nice.” Since these lines refer to girls, we can argue that James Brown may be alluding to a woman in his life in his song. Generally, women were referred to as “sugar and spice,” alluding to their sweetness and fierceness.

And when I hold you in my arms
My love won’t do you no harm

James Brown continues to sing about his love for this person or thing. He knows he feels special about her or it when he holds them in his hands. He can’t do wrong when he is with her. Maybe drugs do make him feel this way, too. James Brown did struggle with drug abuse towards the end of his career and life.

Leaving the world with one of the most iconic feel-good songs ever, James Brown did not have the stellar ending to his life that this song sings of. However, none of that takes away from the fact that this song has helped and uplifted the moods of millions of people around the world.

Watch this iconic live performance of “I Got You” by James Brown from 2005

Just imagine, James Brown was 72-years-old at the time of this live performance. He was born to be a performer! He passed away a year later due to a congestive heart arising from pneumonia. Rest in peace, Brown!

If you are the ultimate fan of the legendary James Brown, this Funko Pop figure might look so good…so good on your table.

Let us hear what you think about this classic by James Brown in the comments below. Do you feel good listening to this track?

Check out the complete lyrics on Genius.

Adam McDonald

Hi! I am the founder and lead author and editor of Justrandomthings music community. A vast range of personal interests from Hip-Hop to Country to Hard Rock and Punk music will keep you entertained.

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