Don’t Threaten Me With Love, Baby. Let’s Just Go Walking In The Rain.

“When the only sound in the empty street,
Is the heavy tread of the heavy feet
That belong to a lonesome cop
I open shop.
When the moon so long has been gazing down
On the wayward ways of this wayward town.
That her smile becomes a smirk,
I go to work.”

Billie Holiday had a difficult childhood, her mother often took what were then known as “transportation jobs”, serving on the passenger railroads. Holiday was left to be raised largely by Eva Miller’s mother-in-law, Martha Miller, and suffered from her mother’s absences and leaving her in others’ care for much of the first ten years of her life.[6] (Holiday’s autobiography, Lady Sings the Blues, first published in 1956, was sketchy about details of her early life, but much was confirmed by Stuart Nicholson in his 1995 biography of the singer.)
Some historians have disputed Holiday’s paternity, as a copy of her birth certificate in the Baltimore archives lists the father as “Frank DeViese”. Other historians consider this an anomaly, probably inserted by a hospital or government worker.[7] Frank DeViese lived in Philadelphia and Sadie Harris may have known him through her work.

“Love for sale,
Appetising young love for sale.
Love that’s fresh and still unspoiled,
Love that’s only slightly soiled,
Love for sale.
Who will buy?
Who would like to sample my supply?
Who’s prepared to pay the price,
For a trip to paradise?”

Sadie Harris, then known as Sadie Fagan, married Philip Gough, but the marriage was over in two years. Holiday was left with Martha Miller again while her mother took further transportation jobs.[8] Holiday frequently skipped school and her truancy resulted in her being brought before the juvenile court on January 5, 1925 when she was not yet 10. She was sent to The House of the Good Shepherd, a Catholic reform school. She was baptized there on March 19, 1925 and after nine months in care, was “paroled” on October 3, 1925 to her mother, who had opened a restaurant called the East Side Grill, where she and Holiday worked long hours. By the age of 11, the girl had dropped out of school.[9]

“Love for sale
Let the poets pipe of love
in their childish way,
I know every type of love
Better far than they.
If you want the thrill of love,
I’ve been through the mill of love;
Old love, new love
Every love but true love
Love for sale.”

Holiday’s mother returned to their home on December 24, 1926, to discover a neighbor, Wilbur Rich, raping Holiday. Rich was arrested. Officials placed the girl at the House of the Good Shepherd in protective custody as a state witness in the rape case.[10] Holiday was released in February 1927, nearly twelve. Holiday and her mother later lived with and worked for a madam. Shortly after working as prostitutes, both Holiday and her mother were arrested. They were released after a short stint in prison.[11] During this time, Holiday first heard the records of Louis Armstrong and Bessie Smith. By the end of 1928, Holiday’s mother decided to try her luck in Harlem, New York and left Holiday again with Martha Miller.[12]
[edit]

Appetising young love for sale.
If you want to buy my wares.
Follow me and climb the stairs
Love for sale.
Love for sale.

During her final period of separation from her mother, Holiday began to perform the songs she learned while working in the brothel. By early 1929, Holiday joined her mother in Harlem. Their landlady was a sharply dressed woman named Florence Williams, who ran a whorehouse at 151 West 140th Street. In order to live, Holiday’s mother became a prostitute and, within a matter of days of arriving in New York, Holiday, who had not yet turned fourteen, also became a prostitute for $5 a time.[13] On May 2, 1929, the house was raided, and Holiday and her mother were sent to prison. After spending some time in a workhouse, her mother was released in July, followed by Holiday in October, at the age of 14.

Source

Comments
2 Responses to “Don’t Threaten Me With Love, Baby. Let’s Just Go Walking In The Rain.”
  1. Raggedy Man says:

    Χμμμ… Γιατί πρέπει να τα διαβάζω αυτά πρωί πριν φύγω για δουλειά μου λες;

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