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billie holiday – nina simone ~ strange fruit

laura nelson

Over 4,500 men women and children were lynched in America between the years 1888 and 1980 – most in the southern states, and about the same time the colonisers in Australia were killing aborigines.

The Bathurst Massacre – 1824

The Convincing Ground Massacre

The Battle of Pinjarra

Waterloo Creek Massacre

The Faithfull Massacre

The Myall Creek Massacre

The Gwydir River Extirpation

The Campaspe Plains massacre

The Wiradjuri Wars

The Warrigal Creek Massacre

The Butchers Tree Massacre

The Hospital Creek Massacre

The Massacre at Yeeman

The Medway Ranges Massacre

The Flying Foam Massacre

The Barrow Creek Massacre

The Goulbolba Hill Massacre

The Battle Mountain Massacre

The Speewah Massacre

The Killing Times – Kimberley region

The Canning Stock Route Killings

Mistake Creek Massacre

The Bedford Downs Massacre

The Forest River Massacre

The Coniston Massacre – 1928

The song ‘ Strange fruit ‘ was written by a Jewish teacher from the Bronx, he also wrote the music that accompanied the song.

Southern trees bear 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.
Pastoral scene of the gallant South,
The bulging eyes and the twisted mouth,
Scent of magnolia 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 tree to drop,
Here is a strange and bitter crop

When Holiday performed the song in her nightclub acts she always closed with it, the waiters stopped serving and all the lights were turned off bar the one pin spotlight onto her face.


2 Comments Post a comment
  1. Haunting song! Nina Simone also did a brilliant version of it.

    February 18, 2011
  2. Last night… dinner with some friends. This song comes up in conversation, someone says they saw Nina Simone sing it live in London in the 70’s, then my wife proceeds to sing a verse off the top off her head.

    I was impressed.

    February 19, 2011

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