Tag Archive: billie holliday



In a Lady Day mood.  Nuff said.




UNITED STATES - MARCH 27: CARNEGIE HALL Photo of Billie HOLIDAY (Photo by William Gottlieb/Redferns)

I don’t listen to ‘gospel’ the way the genre is defined by radio and popular music, but as much as I’m a child of hip hop…

Jazz and the blues clearly move my soul like nothing else.




For the newer visitors, this is one of my theme songs.  One reason is I just think it’s a great ‘storytelling’ song…

But to amplify that point, as it’s evolved over the years, it’s almost become the singer’s version of ‘the Aristocrats’.  In other words, the only way to ‘mess up’ the song (besides being a bad singer) is to not put your own signature on it.

The Sinatra version is usually considered ‘the standard’.  But Billie Holliday sings it in a way that makes it a Billie Holliday song.  Sammy Davis Jr. did it in a way that made it a Sammy Davis Jr. song.  I sing it (for those of you who’ve heard it) in the Rat Pack vein, but amping up the actor/storyteller element (cause that’s who I am).

Speaking of storytellers, when Cab Calloway sang it…well…

(and on a side note, THAT. IS. A. CONK!!!!)




My world it moves so fast today, The past it seems so far away

And I squeeze it so tight, I can’t breathe

And every time I try to be, What someone has thought of me

So caught up, I wasn’t able to achieve

But deep in my heart, the answer it was in me

And I made up my mind to find my own destiny

I look at my environment, And wonder where the fire went

What happened to everything we used to be?

I hear so many cry for help, searching outside of themselves

Now I know His strength is within me

And deep in my heart, the answer it was in me

And I made up my mind to find my own destiny

‘The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill’

I dedicate this to the lovers.  The company you keep says a lot about how you see yourself.  My friends and allies are male, female, hoodrats, Ivy League grads, hardcore players, happily married folks, straight, gay, Christian, Muslim, Jewish, black, white, Hispanic, Asian, Republicans, Democrats, unemployed, multi-millionaires…and I’m sure I’m leaving a few folks out.  There is a saying that no man has worshipped perfectly until he wishes for his brother what he wishes for himself.  I know some of the people I love still deal with major sources of unhappiness in their lives.  I’ve been down that road; I pray that in time you’ll have the peace of mind that I’ve come to have.

I also dedicate this to the haters.  You failed to stop me from living in a city I love, you failed to stop me from making films, you failed to stop me from surrounding myself with great friends, you failed to destroy my belief in the power of love.  But I appreciate the fact that you tried, I sincerely do.  Billie Holliday once said famously, “You don’t know what enough is until you’ve had more than enough.”  Without your hate at certain points, I wouldn’t be so driven to prove you wrong.  Without your hate at certain times, I would be apt to forget that trust, like respect, can only be earned.  Without your hate I would be…well, I would be you.

People have always take me to be ‘smart’.  Everything I take credit for knowing though, I had to learn it.  More often than not, I had to learn it the hard way.  I’ll do my best to describe my journey for you…