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rightous
Apr 12th, 2005, 01:34 PM
I was watching a docu on the history of the song (made famous by Billie Holiday) called strange fruit. Its about the lynching of african americans in the 1930-50's, it proved very popular as an anthem for the african american stuggle for equal rights. The song is so powerful and desribes the issue very profoundly. But what stroke me was how relevant it is today??? I was wondering if people have heard of it, and also the impact it had on african americans and others. The song goes as follows:

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 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.

kabuki
Apr 12th, 2005, 01:38 PM
An absolute classic. The rare song that is truly transcendent.

Hot 92 Jamz
Apr 12th, 2005, 01:53 PM
Here's (http://mfile.akamai.com/3164/wm2/muze.download.akamai.com/2890/us/uswm2/422/411422_1_05.asx?obj=v11129) a snippet. I wasn't familiar with the song but I do have my occasional Billie Holiday Sunday. :)

rightous
Apr 12th, 2005, 03:53 PM
Billie Holiday's version is haunting, I heard a Cassandra Wilson version last week and she makes it her own with so much feeling and emotion.

I never knew that there was so much lynching in the USA

Pengwin
Apr 12th, 2005, 04:06 PM
http://www.blackcommentator.com/85/85_images/lynching_2.gif

Here is the picture that the song was inspired by. Such powerful imagary. Such an amazing song.

CC
Apr 12th, 2005, 09:59 PM
That song gave me the creeps: at first I didn't realize what she was singing about and I was just haunted by the way she sang those two last lines. Needless to say, when I finally learned the true meaning it was even worse. I can listen to it now with no problem because I'm used to it.

Pengwin
Apr 12th, 2005, 10:05 PM
For me the worst part (as in creepiest) is the introduction. It's so long and it's very haunting as it brings up those images.

Dana Marcy
Apr 12th, 2005, 10:23 PM
The song just makes me sad and gives me an unsettling feeling.

Billie Holiday's version is haunting, I heard a Cassandra Wilson version last week and she makes it her own with so much feeling and emotion.

I never knew that there was so much lynching in the USA

I don't know how common it is now but it still makes the news every now and again. You probably would've heard more about lynching if it was white people that were being lynched.

Andy Mac
Apr 12th, 2005, 10:27 PM
:scared: :sad: (at the picture)

Pengwin
Apr 12th, 2005, 10:41 PM
The most disturbing part about the pictures it that we have them becuase they were taken by the lynchers and the spectators as trophies to hang up on walls as a memory of the event.

rightous
Apr 13th, 2005, 10:24 AM
Yeah the docu shows the paintings etc that the lynchers made apparently using the ashes of the burning victims, its crazy man.

I have to agree with so many fo you, the first two lines Billie Holiday makes sound just beyond creepy

spartanfan
Apr 13th, 2005, 02:26 PM
Well the truly sad part is that its not a topic of discussion ever discussed in US schools in history class. It's a topic that most school history book writers conveniently leave out. I guess it does not figure well into the image of America: home of the free land of the brave and democracy. But we do learn about the atrocities that took place during WWII. Go figure.

Cariaoke
Apr 13th, 2005, 07:27 PM
^ because Americans didn't commit those atrocities. ;)

The song made me cry the first time I heard it. But now it makes me just really sad and takes me back. It shouldn't because we aren't that far removed from it.

Jakeev
Apr 14th, 2005, 12:05 AM
Billie Holiday's version is haunting, I heard a Cassandra Wilson version last week and she makes it her own with so much feeling and emotion.

I never knew that there was so much lynching in the USA

I actually find Cassandra's version much more haunting. It's an enchanting yet very sad even spooky song about racial evils.