Listen & Learn: Billie Holiday

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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?

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“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

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“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

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“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

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“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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