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"Strange Fruit" is a song performed most famously by Billie Holiday, who first sang and recorded it in 1939.
Written by the teacher Abel Meeropol as a poem, it exposed American racism, particularly the lynching of African Americans. In fact, the "Strange Fruit" which is spoken in the song, is the body of a black man hanging from a tree. The symbolic and emotional power of the lyrics derives from the contrast between the image evoked by a traditional rural South and the brutal reality of lynchings and racism. Such lynchings had occurred chiefly in the South but also in all other regions of the United States. Meeropol set it to music and with his wife and the singer Laura Duncan, performed it as a protest song in New York venues, including Madison Square Garden.
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.
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 your 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 your strange and bitter crop.
released June 17, 2013
Vocals & Electric Guitar: William Wilson
Bass, Keyboards, Drums & Additional Guitars: Valerio Zappulla
Recorded, Mixed & Edited @ MK Studios by Valerio Zappulla.