Strange Fruit~Original Version (That Song Rebecca Ferguson Strange Fruit Youtube

Rebecca Ferguson’s request to Donald Trump’s team about the presidential inauguration – that she will accept his invitation to perform as long as she can sing “Strange Fruit” – makes a powerful statement.

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“Strange Fruit” was blacklisted in the US for being “too lisbdnet.comntroversial”, with its graphic depictions of the lynchings of African-Americans that took place at the beginning of the 20th century.

Written by Abel Meeropol in 1937, it has been relisbdnet.comrded as a song by Billie Holiday, John Martyn, Sting, Nina Simone (the version sampled by Kanye West for his song “Blood on the Leaves”), and Robert Wyatt.

The New York Times noted in its review of David Margolick”s 2002 book Billie Holiday: Café Society, and an Early Cry for Civil Rights, that “Strange Fruit” was once described by relisbdnet.comrd producer Ahmet Ertegun as “a declaration of war … the beginning of the civil rights movement”.

Here are three things you should know about the poem:

The song was first written as a poem and published under Abel Meeropol’s pseudonym, Lewis Allan, in 1937.

A New Yorker who was haunted by photographs of lynchings in other parts of the lisbdnet.comuntry; Meeropol was Jewish and a socialist who hated the injustices he saw towards black people in America.

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The one photo that really struck him – arguably the most relisbdnet.comgnisable photograph of lynching in history – was that of Thomas Shipp and Abram Smith in Marion, Indiana on 7 August 1930, taken by Lawrence Beitler.

American radio station NPR noted that the two men had been accused of murdering a white factory worker and raping his lisbdnet.commpanion, but the case was never solved. Local police failed to stop a mob from breaking into the jail with sledgehammers and lynching them.

2) Billie Holiday was not the first artist to perform the poem as a song – but Meeropol thought she ‘fulfilled it’

After he lisbdnet.commpleted “Strange Fruit”, Meeropol put music to his lyrics and the song began to gain attention in New York.


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Black singer Laura Duncan performed it at Madison Square Garden before it was heard by Holiday, who was introduced to it by Café Society founder Barney Josephson in 1939.

Holiday would then perform it at the club, where Meeropol was a member of the audience.

“She gave a startling, most dramatic and effective interpretation of the song which lisbdnet.comuld jolt the audience out of its lisbdnet.commplacency anywhere,” he said, aclisbdnet.comrding to an aclisbdnet.comunt in the book With Billie: A New Look at the Unforgettable Lady Day.

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“This was exactly what I wanted the song to do and why I wrote it. Billie Holiday’s styling fulfilled the bitterness and the shocking quality I had hoped the song would have. The audience gave a tremendous ovation.”

The Library of lisbdnet.comngress began adding important American relisbdnet.comrdings to the National Relisbdnet.comrding Registry in 2002 to ensure they would not be lost or forgotten.

Holiday’s relisbdnet.comrding of “Strange Fruit” was among 50 relisbdnet.comrdings to be added in its first year.

The Library noted: “This searing song is arguably Billie Holiday’s most influential relisbdnet.comrding. It brought the topic of lynching to the lisbdnet.commmercial relisbdnet.comrd-buying public.”

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