“Strange Fruit”

From: Myrna Witt (keyofm aol.com)
Subject: Lynch

I’m sure that I’m not the first person this week to connect the word “lynch” with the song “Strange Fruit”. The poem was written by Lewis Allen (Abel Meeropol) in 1937 and the song was recorded by Billie Holiday in 1939.

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

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

Here is fruit for the crows to pluck
For the rain to gather, for the wind to suck
For the sun to rot, for the trees to drop
Here is a strange and bitter crop.

This song conveys the sadness and bitterness of what this word meant. It stands on its own with no other explanation.

Myrna Witt, Phoenix, Arizona

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