Listen & Learn: Billie Holiday


Billie Holiday is considered one of the greatest jazz singers ever.

She was born in 1915.

Her real name was Eleanora Fagan.

She grew up in Baltimore, U.S. and had a painful childhood.

She dropped out of school when she was 11-years old.

Later, she was raped by a neighbor and removed from her mother’s custody.

However, after a year she returned to her mother’s custody.

In 1927, her mother and her moved to a brothel and both worked as prostitutes .

Then she began singing in clubs in Harlem、(suburb of New York City).

She was very successful in the 1930s and had many hit songs.

In 1947, she stared in a movie with Louie Armstrong.

The movie title was “New Orleans”.

In the 1950s, she began abusing alcohol and drugs.

Her career and health declined quickly.

Sadly, in 1959 she died from cirrhosis of the liver.

You can hear her pain in her voice.

I think sometimes some artists need pain to create art.

They create art to have therapy in their life.

“Lover Man”


I don’t know why but I’m feeling so sad

I long to try something I never had

Never had no kissin’

Oh, what I’ve been missin’

Lover man, oh, where can you be?

The night is cold and I’m so alone

I’d give my soul just to call you my own

Got a moon above me

But no one to love me

Lover man, oh, where can you be?


{Repeat: x2}

I’ve heard it said

That the thrill of romance

Can be like a heavenly dream

I go to bed with a prayer

That you’ll make love to me

Strange as it seems

Someday we’ll meet

And you’ll dry all my tears

Then whisper sweet

Little things in my ear

Hugging and a-kissing

Oh, what I’ve been missing

Lover man, oh, where can you be?


“The Blues Are Brewin”


When the moon’s kinda dreamy

Starry eyed and dreamy

And nights are luscious and long

If you’re kinda lonely

Then nothin’ but the blues are brewin’

The blues are brewin’

When the wind through the window

Blows across your pillow

And tells you sleepin’ is wrong

If love goes a thirsting

Till you feel like bursting

Then nothing but the blues are brewin’

The blues are brewin’

Suppose you want somebody

But you ain’t got nobody

You only get a gleam in your eyes

Till somebody’s found you

And put their lovin’ arms around you

You got the feelin’ you want to die

But when the Lord up above you

Send’s someone to love you

The blues are something you loose

You’re so busy doing

The things that you’re doing

That love ain’t got no time

For brewin’ the blues


“My Man”


It’s cost me a lot

But there’s one thing that I’ve got 

It’s my man

Cold and wet, tired you bet

But all that I soon forget 

With my man

He’s not much for looks 

He’s no hero out of books 

But I love him


Yes, I love him

Two or three girls has he 

That he likes as well as me

But I love him

I don’t know why I should

He isn’t true

He beats me too

What can I do?

Oh, my man I love him so

He’ll never know

All my life is just despair

But I don’t care 

When he takes me in his arms 

The world is bright, all right

What’s the difference if I say

I’ll go away, When I know

I’ll come back on my knees some day?

For whatever my man is 

I am his forever more


“Strange Fruit”


Southern trees bear strange fruit

Blood on the leaves and blood at the root

Black bodies swinging in the southern breeze

Strange fruit hanging from the poplar trees

Pastoral scene of the gallant south

The bulging eyes and the twisted mouth

Scent of magnolias, sweet and fresh

Then the sudden smell of burning flesh

Here is fruit for the crows to pluck

For the rain to gather, for the wind to suck

For the sun to rot, for the trees to drop

Here is a strange and bitter crop


“God Bless The Child”


Them that’s got shall have

Them that’s not shall lose

So the Bible said and it still is news

Mama may have, Papa may have

But God bless the child that’s got his own

That’s got his own


Yes, the strong gets more

While the weak ones fade

Empty pockets don’t ever make the grade

Mama may have, Papa may have

But God bless the child that’s got his own

That’s got his own


[Repeat: x2]

Money, you’ve got lots of friends

They’re crowding round your door

But when you’re gone, and spending ends

They don’t come no more

Rich relations give

Crust of bread and such

You can help yourself

But don’t take too much

Mama may have, Papa may have

But God bless the child that’s got his own

That’s got his own

He just worry ‘bout nothin’

Cause he’s got his own

Yes he’s got his own


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