Just as true as when Billie Holiday wrote it in 1939. Holiday knew well about the harshness and unfairness of being poor, and she knew about the fair weather friends money can bring. Holiday was one of those people born to endless night, as the poet said. She had a brutish childhood, and the wealth and fame didn’t make her much happier. She was addictive, self-destructive and unlucky in love, with or without money. She wrote God Bless the Child, perhaps in resignation to living hard, and sang it with knowing sorrow. It’s become a standard since then, covered by many. One popular version, which might sound light-years away from the spirit of Billie Holiday, is Liza Minnelli’s. While Holiday crooned as if to herself, Minnelli is not given to understatement – she starts out slow but by the final verse she’s belting it to the rafters. It might seem at first a cynical song choice for a glitzy star like Minnelli. She was, after all, born to a mama and papa who had it all (except happiness) and she is a broadway baby, all showbiz and spangles. But she and Holiday have a lot in common. Like Holiday, Minnelli has been an alcoholic and an addict, which caused her health and career to suffer. She went through a series of unhappy marriages, and her early life, though financially privileged, was dysfunctional and chaotic. Maybe she can’t resist turning every number into a show tune, but she knows what she’s singing about.