Billie Holiday

Don’t Explain

Written by jazz singer Billie Holiday and Arthur Herzog Jr. It is said Billie wrote “Don’t Explain” after her husband, Jimmy Monroe, came home one night with lipstick traces on his collar.

“Lyin’ to me was worse than what he could’ve done with any bitch. I cut him off just like that. Take a bath man, I said, don’t explain,” Lady recounted in her autobiography.

Released in 1945, it would become one of her best known tunes.

Recording Session: Session #52: New York, November 8, 1944, Decca, Toots Camarata and His Orchestra, with Russ Case (trumpet), Hymie Schertzer, Jack Cressey (alto saxophone), Larry Binyon and Dave Harris (tenor saxophone), Dave Bowman (piano), Carl Kress (guitar), Haig Stephens (bass), George Wettling (drums), Billie Holiday (vocals), and six strings.

– Wikipedia & Donald Clarke’s “Wishing On The Moon” & “lady Sings The Blues by Lady & William Dufty

Billie Holiday, Don't Explain, Decca 73006, Arthur Herzog Jr.

Spotify_IconListen to the 1944 Version on Spotify


Hush now, don’t explain
Just say you’ll remain
I’m glad your back, don’t explain

Quiet, don’t explain
What is there to gain
Skip that lipstick
Don’t explain

You know that I love you
And that love endures
All my thoughts are of you
For I’m so completely yours

Cry to hear folks chatter
And I know you cheat
Right or wrong, don’t matter
When you’re with me, sweet

Hush now, don’t explain
You’re my joy and pain
My life’s yours love
Don’t explain