Billie's Blues

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Carmen McRae

Carmen Mercedes McRae (April 8, 1920 – November 10, 1994) was an American jazz singer, composer, pianist, and actress. Considered one of the most influential jazz vocalists of the 20th century, it was her behind-the-beat phrasing and her ironic interpretations of song lyrics that made her memorable. McRae drew inspiration from Billie Holiday, but established her own distinctive voice. She went on to record over 60 albums, enjoying a rich musical career, performing and recording in the United States, Europe, and Japan. more »


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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
Wouldn't 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

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