What A Little Moonlight Can Do

What A Little Moonlight Can Do


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
Would’nt 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

Song Notes

“What a Little Moonlight Can Do,” a song recorded at the beginning of her career, was written by Harry M. Woods. In 1934, Woods moved to London for three years where he worked for the British film studio Gaumont British, contributing material to several films, one of which was Road House (1934). The song was sung in the film by Violet Lorraine and included an introductory verse, not heard in the version later recorded by Billie Holiday, accompanied by Teddy Wilson & His Orchestra, on July 2, 1935.

The song later reappeared on a 1954 album titled simply Billie Holiday, released on Clef Records, despite the fact that her final contemporaneous album also had the same name prior to it being changed to Last Recordings instead. The recordings took place in 1952 and 1954. Holiday never entered the recording studio in 1953.

In a 1954 review, Down Beat magazine praises the album, saying: “The set is an experience in mounting pleasure that can do anything but increase still further no matter how often the LP is replayed. As for comparing it with earlier Teddy Wilson-Billie sessions, what’s the point? Count your blessings in having both. Speaking of time, Billie’s beat and variations thereon never cease to be among the seven wonders of jazz.”

– Wikipedia

Trav’lin’ LightWithout Your Love
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