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