Home / Essay Samples / Music / Song / Analysis Of The Song “Strange Fruit” By Billie Holiday. Such lynchings had reached a peak in the Southern United States at the turn of the 20th century, and the great majority of victims were black. Billie Holiday (born Eleanora Harris April 7, 1915 – July 17, 1959) was an American jazz singer and songwriter. Influence Of Music On People's Health & Intellect Essay, Analysis Of Trap And Pop Music Genres Essay, Comparison Of The Lyrics Of Troubadours’ And British Pop Artists’ Love Songs Essay, Review Of We Didn’T Start The Fire By Billy Joel Essay, The Analysis Of Kiran Desai’S "Hullabaloo In The Guava Orchard" Essay. It does not reflect the quality of papers completed by our expert essay writers. They had not — but, like many New York teachers in his day, Meeropol was a Communist. The song has been called "a declaration of war" and "the beginning of the civil rights movement". Popular Song Lyrics. Billie Holiday was introduced to the song by Meeropol himself in 1939, and took to performing it during her residency at Cafe Society in New York’s Greenwich Village. 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 Writer/s: Abel Meeropol Lyrics … Billie Holiday (born Eleanora Harris April 7, 1915 – July 17, 1959) was an American jazz singer and songwriter. Shmoop guide to Strange Fruit lyrics. Request writing assistance from a top writer in the field! And there were hundreds of them. To get a custom and plagiarism-free essay hide caption. The lyrics are correct on Billie Holiday's lyric list. Blood on the leaves and blood at the root. He and his older brother, Michael, were raised by Abel and his wife, Anne Meeropol, after the boys' parents — Ethel and Julius Rosenberg — were executed for espionage in 1953. He eventually quit the Communist Party. Just insert your email and this sample will be sent to you. Pastoral scene of the gallant South. As recounted in the work of author David Margolick (Strange Fruit: Billie Holiday and the Biography of a Song), Joel Katz’s 2002 documentary Strange Fruit, and … from album: At Jazz At The Philharmonic (1954) 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. Billie Holiday – Strange Fruit Lyrics. I needed to find a social justice issue in song or art form, so i decided to choose this song because to me it has to be one of the most powerful songs. There are dozens of them. Lyrics to "Strange Fruit" on Lyrics.com. Southern trees bear strange fruit Blood on the leaves and blood at the root Black bodies swinging in the southern breeze Strange fruit hangi. "Things like that weren't talked about. What A Little Moonlight Can Do: 8. The singer is an African American, female Jazz singer called Billie Holiday. Billie Holiday. They both begin at Dewitt Clinton High School, a public high school in the Bronx that has an astonishing number of famous people in its alumni. Strange Fruit is a terrifying protest against the inhumane acts of racism. “Strange Fruit” was released during 1939 in the time where segregation was still pretty big in the south. The contrast in the first two lines sets the stage for the message of the song by contrasting the life and ripeness of “fruit” to the gruesome deaths as illustrated by the word “blood”. Herbie Hancock and Marcus Miller did an instrumental version, with Miller evoking the poem on his mournful bass clarinet. Many people know that the man who wrote the song was inspired by a photograph of a lynching. The juxtaposition of the beautiful serene landscape and the “scent of magnolia, sweet and fresh”, with “bulging eyes” and “burning flesh”, gives a strong emotional feeling to the song and again contrasts life with death, positive with negative, and peaceful with grim. In fact, there is a way to get an original essay! "Strange Fruit" was originally a poem. Lyrics to 'Strange Fruit' by Billie Holiday: 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. But they might not realize that he's also tied to another watershed moment in America's history. It protests the lynching of Black Americans, with lyrics that compare the victims to the fruit of trees. Billie Holiday - Strange Fruit Lyrics. God Bless the Child (1956 Version) 3. Abel Meeropol watches as his sons, Robert and Michael, play with a train set. The song begins with “southern trees bear strange fruit. was inspired by a photograph of a lynching, Looking For Lady Day's Resting Place? Courtesy of Robert and Michael Meeropol One of Billie Holiday's most iconic songs is "Strange Fruit," a haunting protest against the inhumanity of racism. In the lyrics, black victims are portrayed as “strange fruit,” as they hang from trees, rotting in the sun, blowing in the wind, and becoming food for crows upon being burned. Billie Holiday, “Strange Fruit” Source: William P. Gottlieb “Strange Fruit” was written by Abel Meeropol, a white English teacher from New York City, as a protest against the horrors of lynching. 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. "They're these little boys and they're wearing these caps, and they look so young and so vulnerable. The pleasing nature of the one half of the contrasting pair is outweighed by the devastating nature of the other half. Lyrics. However, the specific reference to black people indicates the song is about racial discrimination and the violence against black people. Analysis Of The Song “Strange Fruit” By Billie Holiday. I believe Billie sang it originally, too. Blood on the leaves and blood at the root”. When Holiday decided to sing "Strange Fruit," the song reached millions of people. Lyrics to "Strange Fruit" on Lyrics.com. Recently Added. Billie Holiday. The song uses metaphors and juxtapositions to fully illustrate the violence and racism of South America in that time. The song was first written as a poem by Abel Meerpol and was published in 1937. hide caption. Holiday may have popularized "Strange Fruit" and turned it into a work of art, but it was a Jewish communist teacher and … In its title, Strange Fruit refers to the song of a lynching made famous by Billie Holiday and to the malign persecution that drove Kamau Brathwaite from his New York home to resettlement in his native Barbados. The Rosenbergs had also been Communists. And that's where the second part of Meeropol's story begins. Found a great essay sample but want a unique one? Strange Fruit (1956 Version) 7. Black bodies swingin’ in the Southern breeze. The song was "Strange Fruit," a haunting critique of lynching and race terrorism in the American South. Anne Meeropol plays a song on guitar for her sons, Robert and Michael. God Bless The Child: 2. He liked to tell silly jokes and play word games, and he would put on these comedy shows that would leave me rolling.". His sons, Robert and Michael, both became college professors. Julius and Ethel Rosenberg are taken to prison after being found guilty of nuclear espionage. Good Morning Heartache: 4. "The '60s hadn't happened yet," he says. In 1940, Meeropol was called to testify before a committee investigating communism in public schools. "I was the official lawnmower," Robert says, "and I was going to mow over them, and he said, 'Oh, no, you can't kill the seedlings!' … We are glad that you like it, but you cannot copy from our website. But American Communism, one point it had in its favor was that it was concerned about civil rights very early.". But he couldn't bring himself to just kill them. The man behind "Strange Fruit" is New York City's Abel Meeropol, and he really has two stories. 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. Du Bois, the boys were introduced to Abel and Anne Meeropol. hide caption. Robert Meeropol says that in the months following his parents' execution, it was unclear who would take care of him and his brother. "Strange Fruit," he says, took extraordinary courage both for Meeropol to write and for Holiday to sing. The Library of Congress put it in the National Recording Registry. There is something else about Abel Meeropol that seems to connect the man who wrote "Strange Fruit" to the man who created a loving family out of a national scandal. He was a white Jewish communist man who wrote the poem after seeing photographs of the horrific lynching of black men which haunted him for days. In the late 1930s, Pellison says, Meeropol "was very disturbed at the continuation of racism in America, and seeing a photograph of a lynching sort of put him over the edge.". I said, 'What are you going to do with them, Dad? The extreme imagery, deep emotional lyrics, and slow melancholic tone creates a powerful message that forces the listener to face the reality of racial injustice. Scent of magnolias sweet and fresh Strange Fruit: 6. BILLIE HOLIDAY Strange Fruit Lyrics. The words “strange” and “bitter crop” implies that something in the picture, as vividly portrayed by the lyrics, does not belong and begins to illustrate the point that lynching was a disgrace to humanity and that it did not belong in society. image caption April Shipp has … The lyrics are simple, yet they paint a vivid picture of the horrendous brutality many black people faced in that time. Analysis Of The Song “Strange Fruit” By Billie Holiday “Strange fruit” as sung by Billie Holiday, is a protest song about the lynching of black people and uncovers the brutality of racism and violence in South America. We recall Holiday’s “Strange Fruit”, a musical protest against this country’s white supremacist violence. It was just something he couldn't do.". New York lawmakers didn't like "Strange Fruit." And he says that even after all these years, he still finds himself unable to kill things in his own garden. The use of the words “strange fruit” is used as a metaphor comparing the fruit and the lynched bodies hanging from the tree. The club's founder had heard a powerful new protest song written by Lewis Allan, the pen name of Jewish high school teacher and left-wing activist named Abel Meeropol. July 17 marks the 59th anniversary of Billie Holiday’s death. Billie Holiday's version eventually sold more than a million copies. Meaning to "Strange Fruit" song lyrics (18 meanings) Privacy statement. The government’s reaction is also a … The bulgin’ eyes and the twisted mouth. Strange Fruit by Billie Holiday and Abel Meeropol Summary of Strange Fruit Lyrics Meaning 2 “Scent of magnolias, sweet and fresh,Then the sudden smell of burning flesh.” Those lyrics mean to me like everything smells nice but then they start burning the african americans, Also Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were sentenced to death for conspiring to give atomic secrets to the Soviet Union. Detour Ahead. The link is the pseudonym he used when writing poetry and music: Lewis Allan. "He was incredibly softhearted," Robert says. It’s quick and easy! We will occasionally send you account related emails. Meeropol left his teaching job at Dewitt Clinton in 1945. The next line reveals the subject and underlying meaning of the song. There is a good explanation there, but basically it is a protest against lynchings. Robert founded the Rosenberg Fund for Children. click here. Strange fruit hangin’ from the poplar trees. Top Lyrics of 2011. Billboard Hot 100. Then, at a Christmas party at the home of W.E.B. They wanted to know whether the American Communist Party had paid him to write the song. Want to receive original paper on this topic? The song is comparing black people to the strange fruit, calling them a “bitter crop”. In 1999, Time magazine voted Strange Fruit the Song of the Century. The lyrics were so chilling that Holiday later said "The first time I sang it, I thought it was a mistake. James Baldwin went there. Interpretation and context of Strange Fruit lyrics, analyzed by PhD and Masters students from Stanford, Harvard, Berkeley Journalist David Margolick, who wrote Strange Fruit: The Biography of a Song, says, "There are a million reasons to disparage communism now. One of Billie Holiday's most iconic songs is "Strange Fruit," a haunting protest against the inhumanity of racism. ⚠️ Remember: This essay was written and uploaded by an average student. In 1939, at the height of the Jim Crow era, a … BILLIE HOLIDAY LYRICS – STRANGE FRUIT Southern trees bear a strange fruit. He played it for a New York club owner — who ultimately gave it to Billie Holiday. A few weeks later, they were living with them. Feel free to use our essay and paper samples. Keystone/Getty Images Get inspiration for your writing task, explore essay structures and figure out a title and outline for your paper. Meeropol graduated from Dewitt Clinton in 1921; he went on to teach English there for 17 years. News accounts described it as "the first husband and wife to die in the electric chair.". In the song “Strange Fruit” the singer of the song sings about some rather strange fruit. News photographs of the boys show them dressed in suits visiting their parents in prison. The author appeals to the senses by describing the beautiful scenery with attractive, gentle words followed by the use of strong loaded words, such as “burning flesh” and “bulging eyes” which illustrates the shocking and terrifying sight of the lynched bodies hanging in the trees and adds to the overall impact of the song. Anne Meeropol plays a song on guitar for her sons, Robert and Michael. 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. Upcoming Lyrics. Thanks! So did Countee Cullen, Richard Rodgers, Burt Lancaster, Stan Lee, Neil Simon, Richard Avedon and Ralph Lauren. Courtesy of Robert and Michael Meeropol “Black bodies swinging in the southern breeze”, begins to create an image of the violence towards black people. A routine evolved where she would close her set with ‘Strange Fruit’, while all the lights were turned off save for a lone spot shining on her face. Music was a powerful and effective tool to protest racial discrimination. Just send us a request “Write my paper”. There is a deeper meaning to this song, so those of you who know it, please reply! It's been recorded dozens of times. Terms of service and  ', "Well, he dug them up and put them in coffee cans and lined them up along the side of the house. Billie Holiday - Four By Four Album Lyrics; 1. He was also a poet and a social activist, says Gerard Pelisson, who wrote a book about the school. By clicking “Send”, you agree to our In 1999, Time magazine named "Strange Fruit" the "song of the century." Our free knowledge base makes your writing task easier. Strange Fruit. While the lyrics never mention lynching, the metaphor is painfully clear: 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. "Strange Fruit" is a song recorded by Billie Holiday in 1939, written by Abel Meeropol and published in 1937. "One of the most remarkable things was how quickly we adapted," Robert says. 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! An amateur composer, Meeropol also set his words to music. At the time, the Rosenberg sons, Robert and Michael, were 6 and 10, respectively. The couple's trial and execution made national headlines, and there was also something of a salacious element, given that the Rosenbergs were a married couple. "First of all, Abel, what I remember about him as a 6-year-old was that he was a real jokester. For example, there was an old Japanese maple tree in their backyard, which sent out many new seedlings every year. “Strange Fruit” was a definitely an effectively powerful song. They were subsequently executed. They certainly weren't sung about.". Abel Meeropol watches as his sons, Robert and Michael, play with a train set. So he wrote a poem about it, which was then printed in a teachers union publication. Lynching was a practice that involved mob-style execution without trial, most often by hanging, and most often of … Courtesy of Robert and Michael Meeropol They were subsequently executed. Good Morning Heartache (1956 Version) 5. The "strange fruit" referred to in the song are the bodies of African American men being hanged during a lynching. Order custom paper and save your time for priority classes! The song was first written as a poem by Abel Meerpol and was published in 1937. "Abel Meeropol's pen name 'Lewis Allan' were the names of their children who were stillborn, who never lived," says his son, Robert Meeropol. Strange Fruit by Billy Holiday 1351 Words | 6 Pages. What a … Julius and Ethel Rosenberg are taken to prison after being found guilty of nuclear espionage. Even family members were fearful of being in any way associated with the Rosenbergs or Communism. Meeropol once said the photograph "haunted" him "for days." Meaning. “Strange fruit” as sung by Billie Holiday, is a protest song about the lynching of black people and uncovers the brutality of racism and violence in South America. Billie Holiday first performed “Strange Fruit” in 1939 at Café Society, New York City’s first integrated jazz club, after reportedly being introduced to the song by the club’s founder. Samplius is for students who want to get an idea for their own paper. “Strange Fruit” is a testament to the power of music as an impetus for social change. It was the height of McCarthyism. They contrast the pastoral scenes of the South with the ugliness of racist violence. They're also both involved in social issues. Abel Meeropol died in 1986. Turn to our writers and order a plagiarism-free paper. Her name was Billie Holiday. Billie Holiday made history when she sang a denunciation of racial violence, well ahead of the Civil Rights movement: "Strange Fruit." Miller says he was surprised to learn the song was written by a white Jewish guy from the Bronx. Billie Holiday first performed the song in 1939 in Café Society even though she was fearful of retaliation. It's really a very poignant image," says Margolick. The lyrics: 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. LittleBriddie on April 20, 2004 Link Strange Fruit Break Down Strange fruit is an amazing dark poem that was sung by Billie Holiday as a very powerful deep meaning song. If the historical background of the song was not known and the words “black bodies” were removed from the lyrics, the song may have appeared to be a song merely against violence. Holiday later said `` the '60s had n't happened yet, '' he says are going! 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