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strange fruit


one song, 16 versions

In 1936 teacher and writer Abel Meeropol, aka Lewis Allan, published his poem 'Strange Fruit'. In 1939 the poem collided and converged with Billie Holiday.

'Not many other singers ever tried to do Strange Fruit. I never tried to discourage them, but audiences did.' - Billie Holiday

Well, that's changed. My favourite remains B.H.'s 1st 1939 recording.

16 tracks
6 comments on strange fruit

Nice idea sepiae... I don't think I can listen all in one go - I'll be crying my heart out after one version, so heaven knows how I'll be after 16!

for me it's always billie and nina, followed closely by robert wyatt. i guess it's because they are the ones keeping all additional melodrama out of it, which makes it a lot more powerful.

and i agree with your simplicity argument, although i never would have come up with that on my own but it's true, better without all the bells and whistles in a sense

yes, i think most people who cover it agree that the song had to parts become her the moment when it was first sung and then recorded by her. and it's that 1st recording i favour over everything that came later.