Wednesday, February 18

Strange Fruit


This probably would be more appropriate for "Throwback Thursdays," but this song has been on my heart for a few days now, and I had to get it off... In 1937 Abel Meeropol, a Jewish schoolteacher from New York, saw a photograph (above) of the lynching of Thomas Shipp and Abram Smith. Meeropol later recalled how the photograph "haunted me for days" and inspired the writing of the poem, "Strange Fruit", After seeing Billie Holiday perform at the club, Café Society, in New York, Meeropol showed her the poem. Holiday liked it and after working on it with Sonny White turned the poem into the song, "Strange Fruit". The record made it to No. 16 on the charts in July 1939. Although the poem by itself is daunting, listening to Holiday sing it will literally almost bring you to tears. Below, you'll find the lyrics to the poem a rare video of the legend

Billie Holiday performing "Strange Fruit" Live... The "strange fruit" metaphor in the poem/song represents the mauled bodies of African Americans hanging from trees after being tortured and lynched...