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.

Lyrics submitted by turjake2

Strange Fruit (Billie Holiday cover) song meanings
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  • +1
    General CommentMost of you already know this is a Billie Holiday cover. The song is representative of the hostile tension between whites and blacks into the early twentieth century. Look up the lyrics and you will find descriptions of a hanging(s). "Bulging eyes, twisted mouth." "Black bodies swinging from the Poplar tree."

    It's an eye-opening song, even in this day and age. It certainly struck an audience in the midst of heated tension at the root of American segregation. The lyrics would be otherwise "shocking and risque," however the truth that the song is speaking for is just that. This is my favorite live song from Jeff.
    IlikeBoschon July 03, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthis one (unlike most of jeffs songs) actually bores me...
    Tonagamuon February 09, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think it's about the (former) racist south...and the hanging of a black man.
    Reciprocity92on April 26, 2007   Link

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