Talk:Billie Holiday

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Unsourced[edit]

Wikiquote no longer allows unsourced quotations, and they are in process of being removed from our pages (see Wikiquote:Limits on quotations); but if you can provide a reliable, precise and verifiable source for any quote on this list please move it to Billie Holiday. --Antiquary 19:19, 14 August 2009 (UTC)

  • A kiss that is never tasted, is forever wasted.;
  • Booby skins are for chums
  • Don't threaten me with love, baby. Let's just go walking in the rain
  • Dope never helped anybody sing better or play music better or do anything better. All dope can do for you is kill you — and kill you the long, slow, hard way.
  • I hate straight singing. I have to change a tune to my own way of doing it. That's all I know.
  • I never had a chance to play with dolls like other kids. I started working when I was six years old.
  • If I don't have friends, then I ain't nothing.
  • If I'm going to sing like someone else, then I don't need to sing at all.
  • If you copy, it means you're working without any real feeling.
  • In this country, don't forget, a habit is no damn private hell. There's no solitary confinement outside of jail. A habit is hell for those you love. And in this country, it's the worst kind of hell for those who love you.
  • Love is like a faucet, it turns off and on.
  • No two people on earth are alike, and it's got to be that way in music or it isn't music.
  • Singing songs like "The Man I Love" or "Porgy" is no more work than sitting down and eating Chinese roast duck, and I love roast duck.
  • Sometimes it's worse to win a fight than to lose.
  • You can be up to your boobies in white satin, with gardenias in your hair and no sugar cane for miles, but you can still be working on a plantation.
  • You can't copy anybody and end with anything. If you copy, it means you're working without any real feeling. No two people on earth are alike, and it's got to be that way in music or it isn't music.
  • You've got to have something to eat and a little love in your life before you can hold still for any damn body's sermon on how to behave.
  • You can be up to your boobies in white satin, with gardenias in your hair and no sugar cane for miles, but you can still be working on a plantation.
    • Source: Jazz Quotations
  • I've been told that nobody sings the word 'hunger' like I do.
    • Source: Jazz Quotations
    • A collection on somebody's blog is not an adequate source.
  • I can't stand to sing the same song the same way two nights in succession. If you can, then it ain't music, it's close order drill, or exercise or yodeling or something, not music.
    • Source: Jazz Quotations
  • I think I copied my style from Louis Armstrong. Because I used to like the big volume and the big sound that Bessie Smith got when she sang ... So I liked the feeling that Louis got and I wanted the big volume that Bessie Smith got. But I found that it didn't work with me, because I didn't have a big voice. So anyway between the two of them I sorta got Billie Holiday.
    • Source: Jazz Quotations
  • You've got to have something to eat and a little love in your life before you can hold still for any damn body's sermon on how to behave.
    • Source: Jazz Quotations
  • You can't copy anybody and end with anything. If you copy, it means you're working without any real feeling.
    • Source: Jazz Quotations
  • They think they can make fuel from horse manure - now, I don't know if your car will be able to get 30 miles to the gallon, but it's sure gonna put a stop to siphoning.
    • Source: Jazz Quotations
  • There's no damn business like show business - you have to smile to keep from throwing up.
    • Source: Jazz Quotations
  • People don't understand the kind of fight it takes to record what you want to record the way you want to record it.
    • Source: Jazz Quotations
  • Singing songs like 'The Man I Love' or 'Porgy' is no more work than sitting down and eating Chinese roast duck, and I love roast duck.
    • Source: Jazz Quotations
  • Love is like a faucet, it turns off and on.
    • Source: Jazz Quotations
  • In this country, don't forget, a habit is no damn private hell. There's no solitary confinement outside of jail. A habit is hell for those you love. And in this country it's the worst kind of hell for those who love you.
    • Source: Jazz Quotations
  • I never had a chance to play with dolls like other kids. I started working when I was six years old.
    • Source: Jazz Quotations

citation validity seems questionable[edit]

I am not sure that a high school newspaper *{{cite web|url=http://www.jameslogancourier.org/index.php?itemid=252|title=The James Logan Courier |accessdate=2006-05-15 |work=Billie Holiday}} should be used as a valid and verifiable source for a quote of Billie Halliday, unless of course she was at the school at the time (which seems rather unlikely). sDrewth 12:25, 28 December 2011 (UTC)

The high school journalism is largely copied from Wikipedia which, at the time, misattributed the quote to Holiday. The quote is associated with her because it appears in the song "Crazy He Calls Me" by Carl Sigman and Bob Russell, which she recorded in 1949. It was not original to that song: it is a minor variant of a U.S. military motto from WWII, identified in Respectfully Quoted: A Dictionary of Quotations (1989, Library of Congress, ed. Suzy Platt, item 1183, p. 225) with attestations at least as early as 1943. ~ Ningauble 18:02, 28 December 2011 (UTC)