I’m on the phone to my husband, He’s in Lithuania. We mention our Songs of Devastation.
'I think it’s time for another one.’ That’s me.
‘All right. Have we done Billie Holiday?’ That’s him.
‘Yes. Gloomy Sunday,’ I say.
‘There’s another one, of course.’
‘Then, let’s put up ‘Strange Fruit.’ This song is as devastating a song as I’ve ever heard. The lyric is unbelievable. The song was written by Abel Meeropol, under the pseudonym, Lewis Allan – a Jewish American teacher, who was also a member of the American Communist Party and taught the author and racial justice advocate James Baldwin. Billie Holiday sings it with such force. It’s completely chilling.’
‘Not for the faint-hearted.’
‘No. Not for the faint-hearted at all.’
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 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
By Lewis Allan