“I hate to see the evening sun go down,” she says, in the song “St. Louis Blues.” Billy Holiday establishes this grief in the two first lines, but the second line is sung a little differently. By doing so, Holiday emphasizes her feelings, and the little adjustments to her vocals adds an empowering emotion, especially when she raises her voice to say, “I.” The A A’ B blues form is duplicated in the second verse, the approach of which is reminiscent of the first verse. Yet noticeably, Holiday leaves the A A’ B form just when she is divulging personal information about her man and their situation. The background musical arrangement infuses more instruments, its structure more complicated but vibrant. Moreover, it matches the range of emotions expressed in the 3rd and 4th verses since they contain very expressive words and thoughts, such as “the man I love wouldn’t go nowhere” and “He’s got a heart like a rock.”
At first, it seems that she is only complaining about some boy and how hard she has to work to keep him around. Angela Davis, however, urges us to look more into the lyrics of these women. In this Billie Holiday song, there is a social commentary about the sex roles of men and women during that period of time, which is that women are ridiculously expected to dress a certain way by their men.