Strange Fruit Introduction
Perhaps more surprising, and just as notable: the song's words—perhaps the definitive lyrical condemnation of the entire Jim Crow Era—were written not by an African-American but instead by a Jewish schoolteacher from the Bronx. "Southern trees bear strange fruit," indeed…
About the Song
|Artist||Billie Holiday||Musician(s)||Billie Holiday (vocals)|
|Album||"Strange Fruit" Was Released as a Single|
|Writer(s)||Abel Meeropol (a.k.a. Lewis Allan)|
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Written as a poem by Abel Meeropol in 1937, recorded as a jazz song by Billie Holiday in 1939, the song marked a kind of turning point between the Jim Crow and Civil Rights Eras. In the song you can hear the powerlessness and despair of an age when African Americans few legal rights and little political power; you can also hear the determination and resolve that led to a revolution in American race relations over the following decades. "Strange Fruit" is a song that sings to both a dark past and a brighter future.
On the Charts"Strange Fruit" reached #16 on the U.S. Billboard Charts in 1939 (though these early charts are not totally reliable).
Time magazine named "Strange Fruit" the song of the century in 1999.
The Library of Congress chose "Strange Fruit" as one of the 50 recordings that would be added to the National Recording Registry in 2002.