"Strange Fruit" as written by Dwayne P. Wiggins, Maurice Pearl and Lewis Allan....
Southern trees bearing strange fruit,
Blood on the leaves and blood at the roots,
Black bodies swinging in the southern breeze,
Strange fruit hanging from the poplar trees

Pastoral scene of the gallant south,
Them big bulging eyes and the twisted mouth,
Scent of magnolia, clean 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 leaves to drop,
Here is a strange and bitter crop


Lyrics submitted by Golgotha

"Strange Fruit" as written by Lewis Allan

Lyrics © MUSIC SALES CORPORATION

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Strange Fruit (Billie Holiday cover) song meanings
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  • 0
    General Commentthis song haunts me!
    bluesman24canon August 07, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Comment*JAW DROPS*

    omg! This song is indeed haunting, and beautiful all in one, Nina Simone is amazing!!!
    daisie_bfaon April 25, 2003   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThe lyrics aren't quite right. For one, it's "Southern trees," not "seven". The lyrics are correct on Billie Holiday's lyric list. I believe Billie sang it originally, too. There is a good explanation there, but basically it is a protest against lynchings.
    LittleBriddieon April 20, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentYou are right, LittleBriddie. "Seven trees" has absolutely no relevance to this song. It's about lynching in the South, hence, Southern trees i/o Northern trees. Sad thing is, there are a couple of deluded people who posted this same mistake on the internet, just check out the following lyric sites:

    boscarol.com/nina/html/where/…
    lyricsfreak.com/n/nina+simone/…
    goldlyrics.com/song_lyrics/nina_simone/pastel_blues/strange_fruit/

    Nina Simone did have her own take on it, though. Such as saying "Them big bulging eyes" i/o "The bulging eyes". But the two that interest me are "Clean and fresh" i/o "Sweet and Fresh" and "For the leaves to drop" i/o "For the trees to drop".

    I don't like clean as much as sweet, as sweet has much more of a double-sided meaning. There's a good sweet of fresh flowers but then there's the sickening sweetness of rotting fruit. But I do like Nina's choice of leaves i/o trees. I got the shivers from hearing her singing "leeeaves" and holding it, as I immediately thought of the bodies being dropped to the ground.
    eunice13on February 06, 2007   Link

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