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Tea with the Waitress

Strange Fruit

Written by Lewis Allen
Originally performed by Billie Holiday


Southern trees bear strange fruit
blood on the leaves
blood at the root
black bodies swinging in the southern breeze
strange fruit hanging from the poplar trees
pastoral scene of the gallows South
the bulging eyes and the twisted mouth
the scent of magnolia sweet and fresh
then the sudden smell of burning flesh
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 the tree to drop
here is a strange and bitter crop

Tori Quotes

Billie sings and any part of me that I've kept numb melts and I can breathe again. Or maybe I stop breathing when I hear her sing and I can hear beyond the sound of the music, beyond any sound at all. [Cornflake Girl UK CD liner notes - 1994]

"Strange Fruit" is there [on the "Cornflake Girl" Limited Edition CD] because that is the South, where I was born and raised, and here I directly experienced that kind of racism myself. As a white woman in the South I experienced many forms of racial hatred, deeply, and my grandfather did, because of his Cherokee background. I understand the energy of those racial tensions so well and that's what I tapped into for "Strange Fruit" which I recorded at 5:30AM, having been called out of bed by forces, to do so. [1994]

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