LYRIC

[Verse 1]
Southern trees bear a strange fruit
Blood on the leaves and blood at the root
Black bodies swinging in the southern breeze
Strange fruit hanging from the poplar trees

[Verse 2]
Pastoral scene of the gallant south
The bulging eyes and the twisted mouth
Scent of magnolias, sweet and fresh
Then the sudden smell of burning flesh

[Verse 3]
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 the tree to drop
Here is a strange and bitter crop

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About "Strange Fruit"

Originally written in 1937 by Abel Meeropol, “Strange Fruit” is a dark and profound song centered around the lynching of African Americans in the Southern United States during the Jim Crow Era.

The ominous lyrics portray Black victims as fruits that hang from a tree before rotting and decomposing; a similar narrative to the lynching and subsequent disposal of victims.

Though covered by a plethora of artists, “Strange Fruit” gained popularity and attention following Billie Holiday’s 1939 cover. The song very quickly transcended into a protest song, which Holiday continued to perform live despite the grave threats she received from angry detractors. Her adamancy to continue performing the song, disregarding the personal stakes at hand, landed her in prison, banned her from select nightclubs, and played a large factor in her untimely passing in 1959.

Strange Fruit Track info

Vocals By Billie Holiday

Video