Strange Fruit by Billie Holiday

Shakara Short & Charles Collins

Lyrics:

Southern trees bear a strange fruit
Blood on the leaves and blood at the root
Black bodies swingin' in the Southern breeze
Strange fruit hangin' from the poplar trees

Pastoral scene of the gallant South
The bulgin' eyes and the twisted mouth
Scent of magnolias sweet and fresh
Then the sudden smell of burnin' flesh

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

Billie Holiday - Strange Fruit

Analysis

"Southern trees bear a strange fruit"- The trees in the South has "strange fruit" hanging from them which are African Americans bodies.


"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"- After a victim was lynched, his body would be left hanging for some time.


"Blood on the leaves and blood at the root"- This references the generations of African Americans being lynched which the root is the older generations and the leaves is the younger. This shows that both recent and older generations of African Americans have experienced the same sort of violent persecution.

Billie Holiday

This song started as a poem Meeropol wrote. Billie Holiday had sung the song in front of a cafe which made her version of the song popular. This song was use to prostest about the the American racism, particularly the lynching of African Americans.

Issue

The issue in this song is the lynching of African Americans. This happened in the 1960s. We agree with this message because this was when racism was really bad at this time and innocent African Americans was being lynched and no justice was being served. This song has a significant impact on this issue because it spreads the word about what is happening in the South and make people aware that these unjust crimes are happening.