Strange Fruit by Billie Holiday

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Strange fruit is and amazing dark poem told by Billie Holiday as very powerful song. Strange Fruit is a terrifying protest against the inhumane acts of racism. Strange Fruit was about the murders and lynching going on in the south at the time from public hangings to burnings. The south has a cruel and terrifying past that haunts the very people who still live down there and remind them that only a short time ago was no one prosecuted for killing someone of dark skin since whole towns were involved in it.

While the lyrics never mention lynching, the metaphor is painfully clear:

Southern trees bear a strange fruitBlood on the leaves and blood at the rootBlack bodies swingin' in the Southern breezeStrange fruit hangin' from the poplar treesPastoral scene of the gallant SouthThe bulgin' eyes and the twisted mouthScent of magnolias sweet and freshThen the sudden smell of burnin' fleshHere is a fruit for the crows to pluckFor the rain to gather, for the wind to suckFor the sun to rot, for the tree to dropHere is a strange and bitter crop

The second and third line "Blood on the leaves and blood at the root/Black bodies swingin' in the southern breeze" Is a symbol to resemble how people in the south would brutishly beat down black people and then hang them in a tree and watch them swing back and forth when a wind blew. In line eight and nine "the sudden smell of burnin flesh/Here is a fruit for the crows to pluck" were both lines if imagery identifying that not only did they burn the bodies in the trees but most times people would try to get rid of crows but the people who were hung were practically hung for the crows to feed on instead of crops. Strange Fruit is a song that strikes pain and fear in many hearts and memories of ...

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... with children standing next to the corpse. Times were definitely scary back then and have changed over the years but the racism still exists within many communities.

Works Cited

Phillips, Caryl. "Blood at the Root." The Guardian. Guardian News and Media, 18 Aug. 2007. Web. 03 May 2014.

Blair, Elizabeth. "The Strange Story Of The Man Behind 'Strange Fruit'" NPR. NPR, 05 Sept. 2012. Web. 30 Apr. 2014.

Heft, Harold. "'Strange' Evolution of Legendary Song." The Jewish Daily Forward. The Jewish Daily Forward, 27 Mar. 2012. Web. 03 May 2014.

Daniels, Peter. "World Socialist Web Site." "Strange Fruit" The Story of a Song. International Committee of the Fourth International, 8 Feb. 2002. Web. 04 May 2014.

PBS. "The Murder of Emmett Till." PBS. PBS, n.d. Web. 02 May 2014.

Strange Fruit by Billie Holiday

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