God Bless the Child (15:41)

Cover of All Of Me

From All Of Me and 642 other releases

“God Bless the Child” is a song written by Billie Holiday and Arthur Herzog Jr. in 1939, first recorded on May 9, 1941 under the Okeh label. Holiday’s version of the song was honored with the Grammy Hall of Fame Award in (1976). It was also included in the list of Songs of the Century, by the Recording Industry of America and the National Endowment for the Arts. In her autobiography Lady Sings the Blues Holiday indicated an argument with her mother over money led to the song. She indicated that during the argument she said the line “God bless the child that’s got his own. ” The anger over the incident led her to turn that line into a starting point for a song, which she worked out in conjunction with Herzog. In Jazz Singing Will Friedwald indicates it as “sacred and profane” as it references the Bible while indicating that religion seems to have no effect in making people treat each other better. The lyrics refer to an unspecified Biblical verse: “Them that’s got shall get, them that don’t shall lose, so the Bible says, and it still is news. . . . ” This likely refers to Matthew 25:29.

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