Humanities › History & Culture Billie Holiday Quotes Billie Holiday (1915–1959) Share Flipboard Email Print Bill Spilka / Getty Images History & Culture Women's History Important Figures History Of Feminism Key Events Women's Suffrage Women & War Laws & Womens Rights Feminism & Pop Culture Feminist Texts American History African American History African History Ancient History and Culture Asian History European History Genealogy Inventions Latin American History Medieval & Renaissance History Military History The 20th Century View More By Jone Johnson Lewis Women's History Writer B.A., Mundelein College M.Div., Meadville/Lombard Theological School Jone Johnson Lewis is a women's history writer who has been involved with the women's movement since the late 1960s. She is a former faculty member of the Humanist Institute. our editorial process Jone Johnson Lewis Updated February 01, 2018 Billie Holiday, a popular and tragic figure in jazz, was a gifted singer with an amazing voice and talent whose personal life was chaotic and troubled. Selected Billie Holiday Quotations "I never hurt nobody but myself and that's nobody's business but my own." "I'm always making a comeback but nobody ever tells me where I've been." "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." "Somebody once said we never know what is enough until we know what's more than enough." "If I don't have friends, then I ain't got nothin'." "Don`t threaten me with love, baby. Let`s just go walking in the rain." "Love is like a faucet, it turns off and on." "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." "Sometimes it's worse to win a fight than to lose." "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." "People don't understand the kind of fight it takes to record what you want to record the way you want to record it." "I hate straight singing. I have to change a tune to my own way of doing it. That's all I know." "If I'm going to sing like someone else, then I don't need to sing at all." "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." "No two people on earth are alike, and it's got to be that way in music or it isn't music." "I never had a chance to play with dolls like other kids. I started working when I was six years old." "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." "All dope can do for you is kill you... the long hard way. And it can kill the people you love right along with you."