Billie Holiday (01939)

Nina Simone (01965)

The story behind “The Song of the Century” (02015)

01937 poem and song written by Abel Meeropol entitled “Bitter Fruit” about a photograph captured on 01930 August 07. 01939 song first recorded and performed at CafĂ© Society, an integrated nightclub in Greenwich Village by Billie Holiday entitled “Strange Fruit“:

Southern trees bear 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.