Strange Fruit: One Of The Most Powerful Antiracism Songs Of The 20th Century

1 Posted by - March 19, 2018 - LATEST POSTS

Billie Holliday’s haunting tune, Strange Fruit, remains one of the most powerful antiracism songs of the 20th century. The lyrics describe the horror of lynchings, when black men and women were brutalized and murdered, hanging on trees for sometimes days. The lyrics are just as powerful as they were in 1959, when the video below was recorded. In this live performance, Holliday sings beautifully, capturing the pain of blacks in the racist South in the time.

 

Southern trees bear 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

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

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 trees to drop

Here is a strange and bitter crop

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