Billie Holiday

Billie’s Blues [ aka "I Love My Man" ]

According to an article in Melody Maker, 1 August 1936, this blues song, Billie’s first copyright, was largely improvised just before or at the session.”Billie Holiday has her first solo recording at Brunswick last week…Bernie Hanighen,…suggested making a blues, so the blues it was”. This blues was Billie’s Blues.

Recorded July 10, 1936 with Arty Shaw/cl, Joe Bushkin/po, Dick McDonough/gtr, Arthur “Pete” Peterson/bs, Bunny Berigan/tr, Cozy Cole/dr.

A slower, more sorrowful version was recorded April 8, 1944 with Eddie Heywood & His Orchestra.

– Wikipedia and Donald C. Clarke’s “Wishing On The Moon

Vinyl record 78, Billie's Blues, I Love My Man, Vocalion

Billie Holiday, Commodore, I Love My Man, 78, Eddie Heywood, vinyl

Spotify_IconListen to 1936 Version on Spotify

Spotify_IconListen to 1954 Live Version on Spotify

LYRICS ::

I love my man
I’m a liar if I say I don’t
I love my man
I’m a liar if I say I don’t
But I’ll quit my man
I’m a liar if I say I won’t

I’ve been your slave, baby
Ever since I’ve been your babe
I’ve been your slave
Ever since I’ve been your babe
But before I’ll be your dog
I’ll see you in your grave

My man wouldn’t give me no breakfast
Would’nt give me no dinner
Squawked about me supper then he put me outdoors
Had the nerve to lay a matchbox on my clothes
I didn’t have so many
But I had a long, long way to go

I ain’t good-looking
And my hair ain’t curled
I ain’t good-looking
And my hair ain’t curled
But my mother, she gave me something
That’s gonna tear me through this world

Some men like me ’cause I’m happy
Some ’cause I’m snappy
Some call me honey
Others think I got money
Some tell me “Billie,
Baby you’re built for speed.”
Now if you put that all together
It makes me everything a good man needs