Tea For One: Some Other Spring / Billie Holiday and Her Orchestra (1939) Record Credits: Charlie Shavers, t / Tab Smith, ss, as / Kenneth Hollon, Stanley Payne, ts / Sonny White, p / Bernard Addison, g / John Williams, sb / Eddie Dougherty, d / Billie Holiday, v. New York, July 5, 1939.
I first heard this song in an antique store in Rhinebeck, NY. I heard it, left the store and then went back in to hear the rest. I sat in a rocking chair outside the shop and thought for a moment. Then I remembered the old albums and 78's that my Dad had stored in our living room. Some were on the top cabinets and some were in the wood cabinets of his tube radio 78 player. Yes, I'd heard Billie Holiday before, played around the house. This song wasn't a childhood memory coming back though, for some reason, it seemed as if I'd heard it for the first time.
On this breezy day in this artsy town, across from the cafe, Food For Thought, Billie Holiday had a certain melancholy cool that was a welcomed haunt. This is Billie Holiday's legacy and projection toward her future listeners, the old and new are timeless. To me, this song is about mourning a treasured love and wondering if that magic twilight will ever beckon your door again. Love is eternal and comes in many forms. Those with experience of true love in their hearts, understand the complexities of this. Moving beyond it can bring great pain and discovery at the same time. Can that story, unfold twice? And will the old duet be forgotten? These are individual stories that are told again and again for generations. Billie Holiday captures the edge of those moments of grief with a glimpse of skeptical hope at the end.
The title and arrangements, so pure and methodical, wrapped in the slow, beautiful instrumentation, speak to the idea that Spring will come, even if the heart is dark right now.