Music: Billie Holiday’s “Strange Fruit”

26 Oct

Billie Holiday’s “Strange Fruit”

STRANGE FRUIT

Southern trees bear a strange fruit

Blood on the leaves and blood at the root

Black body swinging in the southern breeze

Strange fruit hanging from the poplar trees

Pastoral scene of the gallant south

The bulging eyes and the twisted mouth

Scent of magnolia sweet and fresh

And the sudden smell of burning flesh!

Here is a fruit for the crows to pluck

For the rain to gather, for the wind to suck

For the sun to rot, for a tree to drop

Here is a strange and bitter crop.

— Music and lyrics by Lewis Allan, copyright 1940

 

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