Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Billie Holiday's "All Or Nothing At All"




Billie Holiday was one of the greatest singers of plaintive music. Her interpretation of these type of bluesy songs came from a personal soul searing life dating to her childhood where she was abandoned by both parents, to working in a brothel as a teenager to a drug filled adulthood. So when she sang songs such as "All Or Nothing At All" one heard her soul crying out from personal experiences. The lyrics are following but I invite the reader to go to uTube and experience the joy of listening to a great artist pour out her heartache for a love affair that couldn't survive on half a love:


All or nothing at all
Half a love never appealed to me
If your heart never could yield to me
Then I'd rather have nothing at all
All or nothing at all
If it's love there is no in between
Why begin, then cry
For something that might have been
No, I rather have nothing at all
But please, don't bring your lips so close to my cheek
Don't smile or I'll be lost beyond recall the kiss in your eyes
The touch of your hand makes me weak
And my heart may grow dizzy and fall
And if I fell under the spell of your call
I would be caught in the undertow
So you see, I've got to say no, no
All or nothing at all
All or nothing at all
Half love never appealed to me
If your heart never could yield to me
Then I'd rather have nothing at all
All or nothing at all
If it's love there is no in between
Why begin, then cry
For something that might have been
No, I rather have nothing at all
So please, don't bring your lips so close to my cheek
Don't smile or I'll be lost beyond recall the kiss in your eyes
The touch of your hand makes me weak
And my heart may grow dizzy and fall
And if I fell under the spell of your call
I would be caught in the undertow
So you see, I've got to say no, no
All or nothing at all
All or nothing at all


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