Don't Explain (song)

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"Don't Explain"
Single by Billie Holiday
B-side "What Is This Thing Called Love?"
Released 1946
Format 78 rpm
Recorded November 8, 1944
Genre Jazz
Length 2:53
Label Decca
Songwriter(s) Billie Holiday, Arthur Herzog Jr.
Billie Holiday singles chronology
"Lover Man (Oh, Where Can You Be?)"
"Don't Explain"
"Lover Man (Oh, Where Can You Be?)"
"Don't Explain"

"Don't Explain" is a song written by jazz singer Billie Holiday and Arthur Herzog Jr.[1]


It is said Billie wrote "Don't Explain" after her husband, Jimmy Monroe, came home one night with lipstick traces on his collar.

Lyrics from "Don't Explain" was sung by Carlo Marx (portrayed by actor Tom Sturridge) in the 2012 film adaptation by Walter Salles of the novel by Jack Kerouac, On the Road, which premiered at the Cannes Film Festival.[2]

Recording session[edit]

Session #52: New York City, November 8, 1944, Decca, Toots Camarata and His Orchestra, with Russ Case (trumpet), Hymie Schertzer, Jack Cressey (alto saxophone), Larry Binyon and Dave Harris (tenor saxophone), Dave Bowman (piano), Carl Kress (guitar), Haig Stephens (bass), George Wettling (drums), Billie Holiday (vocals), and six strings.[3]

Notable cover versions[edit]

Etta James (1994)


  1. ^ Jacobs, Dick & Harriet. Who Wrote That Song?, Writers Digest Books (1994), page 57 - ISBN 0-89879-639-3
  2. ^ Alagna, Magdalena. Billie Holiday, The Rosen Publishing Group (2003), page 61 - ISBN 0-8239-3640-6
  3. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-09-10. Retrieved 2008-01-30. 
  4. ^ "Mariah Carey Don't Explain live in japan 2014 the elusive chanteuse show". YouTube. 2014-11-07. Retrieved 2016-07-26. 
  5. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2010-12-15. Retrieved 2012-01-26. 

External links[edit]