Saturday, September 24, 2011

Paramakudi : Strange Fruit


 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.

 Pastoral scene of the gallant South,
 The bulging eyes and the twisted mouth,
 Scent of magnolia sweet and fresh,
 And 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 a tree to drop,
 Here is a strange and bitter crop.

Abel Meeropol, a member of the American Communist Party, wrote this
song on seeing photographs of the lynching of two black youth, Thomas
Shipp and Abram Smith, in 1939. The song, following Billie Holiday's
rendition, became the anthem for the anti-lynching movement.

(Replace 'Black' by 'Dalit', and nothing else changes.)

1 comment: