Strange Fruit By Billie Holiday

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"Strange Fruit" is a bold look at lynching and overall race terrorism of African Americans in the South and was originally performed by Billie Holiday in 1939. The song has a simplistic composition which allows the emotional complexity to shine. Even today, many may feel the urge to look away from the picure painted by the powerful words, but all should see and feel it. There is a simple mix of harmony and melody serving as an appropriate backdrop for intensely emotional lyrics. Some of the more graphically illustrated phrases include, “black body swinging in the Southern breeze,” and “the bulging eyes and the twisted mouth,” contrasted with the imagery of the “pastoral scene of the gallant south,” and the “scent of magnolia sweet and fresh". The lyrics are emblematic of the artist's pure hatred for lynching, as well as the unfair treatment of blacks. Although it was written by another, Holiday let that hatred seep through as she sang the song. The words are conveyed with warranted emotion, putting a stamp on the anti-lynching movement.…show more content…
Haunting minor chords slink effortlessly from the piano keys, almost as if they are a small voice seeking sympathy, while a trumpet blares in abrupt contrast, demanding attention. This seems to represent a muzzled voice begging to be heard as well as a jolt for the listener to pull them in, anticipating an urge to withdraw once the subject matter is revealed. Billie Holiday's voice creaks and cries in a trembling manner and, although ever-powerful, there is a fragility that echoes an anguish lurking beneath the surface. She sings with such unparalleled emotion and intensity befitting very deep, dark, and personal

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