God Bless the Child

From Wind Repertory Project
Billie Holiday
Arthur Herzog Jr.

Billie Holiday and Arthur Herzog Jr. (arr. Dave Becker)

General Info

Year: 2019
Duration: c. 5:00
Difficulty: (see Ratings for explanation)
Original Medium: Jazz song
Publisher: Manuscript
Cost: Score and Parts – Unknown


Full Score
Flute I-II
Oboe I-II
Bassoon I-II
B-flat Soprano Clarinet I-II-III
B-flat Bass Clarinet
E-flat Alto Saxophone I-II
B-flat Tenor Saxophone
E-flat Baritone Saxophone
B-flat Trumpet I-II-III
Horn in F I-II-III-IV
Trombone I-II
Bass Trombone
Bass Guitar
Percussion, including:

  • Drum Set

Solo Voice
Solo B-flat Tenor Saxophone


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

God Bless the Child is a song written by Billie Holiday and Arthur Herzog Jr. in 1939, being first recorded in 1941. In her autobiography, Lady Sings the Blues, Holiday recalled that an argument with her mother over money led to the song. She states that during the argument her mother said, "God bless the child that's got his own." The anger over the incident led Holiday to turn that line into a starting point for a song, which she worked out in conjunction with Herzog.

In his 1990 book Jazz Singing, Will Friedwald indicates that the work is both "sacred and profane," as it references the Bible while at the same time suggesting that religion seems to have no effect in making people treat each other better.

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 Association of America and the National Endowment for the Arts. California saxophonist Dave Becker arranged this version for wind band and vocalist.

- Program Note adapted from Wikipedia


(Needed - please join the WRP if you can help.)

State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

Works for Winds by This Composer