Strange Fruit

The poem was written by Abel Meeropol, and the performance here is by Billie Holiday. A film telling the story of the song is here.

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.

Hat-tip to Azra Raza at 3 Quarks Daily, whose item there reminded me that Black History Month is coming to a close for this year.

For more along this line, listen to Neil Young‘s Southern Man from his album After the Gold Rush here.


About Santo D'Agostino

I have taught mathematics and physics since the mid 1980s. I have also been a textbook writer/editor since then. Currently I am working independently on a number of writing and education projects while teaching physics at my local university. I love math and physics, and love teaching and writing about them. My blog also discusses education, science, environment, etc. Further resources, and online tutoring, can be found at my other site
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2 Responses to Strange Fruit

  1. hakea says:

    That song is too sad. I find that period in history very disturbing.

  2. Santo says:

    Yes, me too.

    Unfortunately, it seems to be the way of the world, as the same sort of thing (in some variation) has been repeated elsewhere in the world, and even exists today.

    What can we do about this? I guess the key is to start in our own communities, and make sure that we create a life in which all are treated humanely. And we can also do the same with our internet communities.

    If I don’t think about some positive actions we can take, and then do some small thing, it is all too easy to fall into despair.

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