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Billie Holiday singing Strange Fruit as she recorded the song in 1939
Southern trees bear a strange fruit,
blood on the leaves and blood at the root,
black body 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,
and 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 a tree to drop,
here is a strange and bitter crop.
Written by Abel Meeropol (pseudonym: Lewis Allan)
Performed by Billie Holiday
World Copyright (excluding USA) Edward B Marks Music Company US copyright © 1939 (renewed) by Music Sales Corporation (ASCAP) All rights reserved.