There are dozens of them. News photographs of the boys show them dressed in suits visiting their parents in prison. In 1999, Time magazine voted Strange Fruit the Song of the Century. Pastoral scene of the gallant South. The man behind "Strange Fruit" is New York City's Abel Meeropol, and he really has two stories. Abel Meeropol died in 1986. What a … God Bless The Child: 2. 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. 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 Lyrics. Billie Holiday – Strange Fruit Lyrics. When Holiday decided to sing "Strange Fruit," the song reached millions of people. Billie Holiday (born Eleanora Harris April 7, 1915 – July 17, 1959) was an American jazz singer and songwriter. 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. Blood on the leaves and blood at the root. Terms of service and  Popular Song Lyrics. There is a deeper meaning to this song, so those of you who know it, please reply! “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. Feel free to use our essay and paper samples. “Strange Fruit” was released during 1939 in the time where segregation was still pretty big in the south. It does not reflect the quality of papers completed by our expert essay writers. One of Billie Holiday's most iconic songs is "Strange Fruit," a haunting protest against the inhumanity of racism. Even family members were fearful of being in any way associated with the Rosenbergs or Communism. hide caption. To get a custom and plagiarism-free essay 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. Blood on the leaves and blood at the root”. The song was first written as a poem by Abel Meerpol and was published in 1937. They wanted to know whether the American Communist Party had paid him to write the song. 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. BILLIE HOLIDAY Strange Fruit Lyrics. The song was "Strange Fruit," a haunting critique of lynching and race terrorism in the American South. Southern trees bear strange fruit Blood on the leaves and blood at the root Black bodies swinging in the southern breeze Strange fruit hangi. It's been recorded dozens of times. His sons, Robert and Michael, both became college professors. Billie Holiday's version eventually sold more than a million copies. And that's where the second part of Meeropol's story begins. 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. The bulgin’ eyes and the twisted mouth. hide caption. "Things like that weren't talked about. Top Lyrics of 2011. 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. "Strange Fruit" was originally a poem. They're also both involved in social issues. Du Bois, the boys were introduced to Abel and Anne Meeropol. At the time, the Rosenberg sons, Robert and Michael, were 6 and 10, respectively. In 1939, at the height of the Jim Crow era, a … He was also a poet and a social activist, says Gerard Pelisson, who wrote a book about the school. Black bodies swingin’ in the Southern breeze. … 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. 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. He eventually quit the Communist Party. "First of all, Abel, what I remember about him as a 6-year-old was that he was a real jokester. A few weeks later, they were living with them. Julius and Ethel Rosenberg are taken to prison after being found guilty of nuclear espionage. So did Countee Cullen, Richard Rodgers, Burt Lancaster, Stan Lee, Neil Simon, Richard Avedon and Ralph Lauren. Strange Fruit by Billy Holiday 1351 Words | 6 Pages. The song is comparing black people to the strange fruit, calling them a “bitter crop”. Detour Ahead. Keystone/Getty Images Meeropol graduated from Dewitt Clinton in 1921; he went on to teach English there for 17 years. "The '60s hadn't happened yet," he says. New York lawmakers didn't like "Strange Fruit." The next line reveals the subject and underlying meaning of the song. 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. We recall Holiday’s “Strange Fruit”, a musical protest against this country’s white supremacist violence. 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. In the song “Strange Fruit” the singer of the song sings about some rather strange fruit. click here. "They're these little boys and they're wearing these caps, and they look so young and so vulnerable. However, the specific reference to black people indicates the song is about racial discrimination and the violence against black people. “Strange Fruit” was a definitely an effectively powerful song. Holiday may have popularized "Strange Fruit" and turned it into a work of art, but it was a Jewish communist teacher and … Billie Holiday - Four By Four Album Lyrics; 1. 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.". The use of the words “strange fruit” is used as a metaphor comparing the fruit and the lynched bodies hanging from the tree. hide caption. 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 Miller says he was surprised to learn the song was written by a white Jewish guy from the Bronx. Strange Fruit (1956 Version) 7. Good Morning Heartache: 4. ⚠️ Remember: This essay was written and uploaded by an average student. The song was first written as a poem by Abel Meerpol and was published in 1937. For example, there was an old Japanese maple tree in their backyard, which sent out many new seedlings every year. Want to receive original paper on this topic? Strange fruit hangin’ from the poplar trees. But he couldn't bring himself to just kill them. 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. Strange Fruit. Julius and Ethel Rosenberg are taken to prison after being found guilty of nuclear espionage. 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”. Strange Fruit Break Down Strange fruit is an amazing dark poem that was sung by Billie Holiday as a very powerful deep meaning song. 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. Courtesy of Robert and Michael Meeropol 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 Recently Added. Abel Meeropol watches as his sons, Robert and Michael, play with a train set. The lyrics were so chilling that Holiday later said "The first time I sang it, I thought it was a mistake. 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. image caption April Shipp has … was inspired by a photograph of a lynching, Looking For Lady Day's Resting Place? The lyrics are correct on Billie Holiday's lyric list. 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. The song uses metaphors and juxtapositions to fully illustrate the violence and racism of South America in that time. 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. They certainly weren't sung about.". The lyrics are simple, yet they paint a vivid picture of the horrendous brutality many black people faced in that time. Turn to our writers and order a plagiarism-free paper. What A Little Moonlight Can Do: 8. The Library of Congress put it in the National Recording Registry. There is a good explanation there, but basically it is a protest against lynchings. Good Morning Heartache (1956 Version) 5. "Abel Meeropol's pen name 'Lewis Allan' were the names of their children who were stillborn, who never lived," says his son, Robert Meeropol. And there were hundreds of them. 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 … The "strange fruit" referred to in the song are the bodies of African American men being hanged during a lynching. 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. 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 … Many people know that the man who wrote the song was inspired by a photograph of a lynching. In 1999, Time magazine named "Strange Fruit" the "song of the century." 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. "He was incredibly softhearted," Robert says. Samplius is for students who want to get an idea for their own paper. Robert founded the Rosenberg Fund for Children. Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were sentenced to death for conspiring to give atomic secrets to the Soviet Union. Get inspiration for your writing task, explore essay structures and figure out a title and outline for your paper. “Strange Fruit” is a testament to the power of music as an impetus for social change. 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. News accounts described it as "the first husband and wife to die in the electric chair.". Then, at a Christmas party at the home of W.E.B. He liked to tell silly jokes and play word games, and he would put on these comedy shows that would leave me rolling.". Herbie Hancock and Marcus Miller did an instrumental version, with Miller evoking the poem on his mournful bass clarinet. Interpretation and context of Strange Fruit lyrics, analyzed by PhD and Masters students from Stanford, Harvard, Berkeley Just send us a request “Write my paper”. "One of the most remarkable things was how quickly we adapted," Robert says. I believe Billie sang it originally, too. The link is the pseudonym he used when writing poetry and music: Lewis Allan. 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. Anne Meeropol plays a song on guitar for her sons, Robert and Michael. He played it for a New York club owner — who ultimately gave it to Billie Holiday. By clicking “Send”, you agree to our Strange Fruit is a terrifying protest against the inhumane acts of racism. Found a great essay sample but want a unique one? Meaning. Meaning to "Strange Fruit" song lyrics (18 meanings) July 17 marks the 59th anniversary of Billie Holiday’s death. Order custom paper and save your time for priority classes! 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. 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. Abel Meeropol watches as his sons, Robert and Michael, play with a train set. Music was a powerful and effective tool to protest racial discrimination. Billie Holiday made history when she sang a denunciation of racial violence, well ahead of the Civil Rights movement: "Strange Fruit." 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. Meeropol left his teaching job at Dewitt Clinton in 1945. Upcoming Lyrics. And he says that even after all these years, he still finds himself unable to kill things in his own garden. The song begins with “southern trees bear strange fruit. 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. Billie Holiday. Robert Meeropol says that in the months following his parents' execution, it was unclear who would take care of him and his brother. The pleasing nature of the one half of the contrasting pair is outweighed by the devastating nature of the other half. The song has been called "a declaration of war" and "the beginning of the civil rights movement". I said, 'What are you going to do with them, Dad? But American Communism, one point it had in its favor was that it was concerned about civil rights very early.". In 1940, Meeropol was called to testify before a committee investigating communism in public schools. They had not — but, like many New York teachers in his day, Meeropol was a Communist. James Baldwin went there. 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. 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. Our free knowledge base makes your writing task easier. Scent of magnolias sweet and fresh They were subsequently executed. The singer is an African American, female Jazz singer called Billie Holiday. Lyrics to "Strange Fruit" on Lyrics.com. Anne Meeropol plays a song on guitar for her sons, Robert and Michael. Home / Essay Samples / Music / Song / Analysis Of The Song “Strange Fruit” By Billie Holiday. Shmoop guide to Strange Fruit lyrics. Request writing assistance from a top writer in the field! 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 were subsequently executed. But they might not realize that he's also tied to another watershed moment in America's history. Billie Holiday (born Eleanora Harris April 7, 1915 – July 17, 1959) was an American jazz singer and songwriter. Just insert your email and this sample will be sent to you. LittleBriddie on April 20, 2004 Link BILLIE HOLIDAY LYRICS – STRANGE FRUIT Southern trees bear a strange fruit. Lyrics. They contrast the pastoral scenes of the South with the ugliness of racist violence. We will occasionally send you account related emails. Privacy statement. “Black bodies swinging in the southern breeze”, begins to create an image of the violence towards black people. It was the height of McCarthyism. Billie Holiday first performed the song in 1939 in Café Society even though she was fearful of retaliation. 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! Lyrics to "Strange Fruit" on Lyrics.com. "Strange Fruit," he says, took extraordinary courage both for Meeropol to write and for Holiday to sing. Meeropol once said the photograph "haunted" him "for days." The Rosenbergs had also been Communists. Journalist David Margolick, who wrote Strange Fruit: The Biography of a Song, says, "There are a million reasons to disparage communism now. Billboard Hot 100. An amateur composer, Meeropol also set his words to music. Billie Holiday. ', "Well, he dug them up and put them in coffee cans and lined them up along the side of the house. The government’s reaction is also a … It was just something he couldn't do.". 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. Her name was Billie Holiday. Analysis Of The Song “Strange Fruit” By Billie Holiday. In fact, there is a way to get an original essay! Thanks! "Strange Fruit" is a song recorded by Billie Holiday in 1939, written by Abel Meeropol and published in 1937. "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!' It protests the lynching of Black Americans, with lyrics that compare the victims to the fruit of trees. God Bless the Child (1956 Version) 3. 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