Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Today In 1939...

"Strange Fruit" is a song performed most famously by Billie Holiday, who released her first recording of it on April 20th 1939, the year she first sang it. It was written by the teacher Abel Meeropol as a poem, it condemned American racism, particularly the lynching of African Americans. Such lynchings had occurred chiefly in the South but also in all other regions of the United States.


Strange Fruit
Southern trees bear 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,
Then the sudden smell of burning flesh!
Here is fruit for the crows to pluck,
For the rain to gather,  for the wind to suck,
For the sun to rot, for the tree to drop,
Here is a strange and bitter crop.


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