Southern trees Bear strange fruit Blood on the leaves And blood at the roots Black bodies Swinging in the southern breeze Strange fruit hangin' From the poplar trees Pastoral scene Of the gallant south Them big bulging eyes And the twisted mouth Scent of magnolia Clean and fresh Then the sudden smell Of burnin' 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 leaves to drop Here is Strange and bitter crop
As sung by Billie Holiday
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.
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.
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 trees to drop, Here is a strange and bitter crop.