Sunday, 9 November 2008

Strange Fruit

Strange Fruit- Billie Holiday

Brings a salty tear to my eyeball, beautiful. There is a particularly haunting note she hits in the line 'For the sun to rot/ for the trees to drop'.

Southern trees bear 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.

I know Ms Holiday did not write the lyrics herself, it's actually based on a poem written by a Jewish teacher called Abel Meeropol and was inspired by the lynching of two black men in the deep south. as i mentioned before i'm not a lyrical fantatic, but i know a moving piece of poetry when i hear one.

No comments: