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Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Fine and Mellow

By Billie Holiday
1939

Fifty-four years ago today, Billie Holiday, the greatest jazz singer of her time or perhaps any, died of heart failure in a hospital bed to which she had been handcuffed due to narcotics possession. But 20 years before that tragic day, she composed this sublime song--one of only a handful she wrote herself. Typical of her cynical and mournful nature, the song is a blue whose lyrics describe poor treatment at the hands of an unworthy man, who is loved nevertheless. It truly epitomizes the pain at the heart of this great artist's work. She initially recorded it in 1939, but also performed it during a 1957 TV special, The Sound of Jazz. Today Standard of the Day remembers the song, as we remember the passing of this unparalleled legend of music.

AND, with this month bringing the FIFTH anniversary of Standard of the Day on July 21, I'll be devoting the rest of the month to vocalists' signature songs, like this one. Stay tuned!

Lyrics:

My man don't love me

Treats me oh so mean
My man he don't love me
Treats me awfully
Hes the, lowest man
That Ive ever seen

He wears high trimmed pants
Stripes are really yellow
He wears high trimmed pants
Stripes are really yellow
But when he starts in to love me
Hes so fine and mellow

Love will make you drink and gamble
Make you stay out all night long repeat
Love will make you drink and gamble
Make you stay out all night long repeat
Love will make you do things
That you know is wrong

But if you treat me right baby
Ill stay home everyday
But if you treat me right baby
Ill stay home everyday
But you're so mean to me baby
I know you're gonna drive me away

Love is just like the faucet
It turns off and on
Love is just like the faucet
It turns off and on
Sometimes when you think it's on baby
It has turned off and gone.

Recorded By:

Nina Simone
Eva Cassidy
Ella Fitzgerald
Lou Rawls
Dee Dee Bridgewater

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