I was searching for Billie Holiday mp3s when i chanced upon one of her songs entitled “Strange Fruit”. Being in a band that used to have that name, I proceeded in downloading it and playing it afterwards. I was looking at the lyrics when the song was playing and immeadiately understood what the song meant. It was about the terror of the racial lynching in the south. But it was Lady Day’s bitter and heart-wrenching performance of the song that eventually brought the hairs on the back of my neck stand up.

lady day

Strange Fruit

Southern trees bear strange fruit
Blood on the leaves
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
The scent of magnolia sweet and fresh
Then the sudden smell of burning 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

Actually, that was the first time that a song scared me.