His flesh ascended in smoke above the trees
Shot in the back of the head, left for dead
Bleeding from the eyes and from both knees.
The truth of a man who died in the most cruelest way
By the hands of pastoral people who believed it was ok
To demoralize, antagonize and dehumanize,
Exercise how to victimize and brutalize
Black bodies hanging, and swinging beneath the breeze
To keep other black people terrorized by these deeds.
Forbidden to live in peace, anointed with the sin
Still unforgiving and still practiced today by some white men.
Such a strange fruit that only the south would produce
Burnt like cotton, and rotten between the fibers of a noose
Waiting for the unfolding southern air to fly in
To intoxicate all that were willing to face its horrible wind.
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, aaaaahhhhhhhhhh
Strangled, mangled, wilting from a rope entangled
Whipped, stripped, beaten, stabbed and nearly ripped apart
Poured gasoline on, pissed on, spitted on
And shot through the heart
America call such action as freedom of expression
Like the burning of the cross, advocating social oppression.
Kidnapped, tortured, and treated like slaves in chains
Forced to endure the most inhumane suffering and pain
Ever known to man, inflicted onto another human being
This is what my people received at the hands of racist Europeans.
Postcard dated, advertising the bitterness of American living
That will never be forgotten and will never be forgiving.
Because when the moon is full it comes over me like the sea
And there in the midst of the shadows of the trees I see.
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, aaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhh
I can not be convinced to forget about the past
I refuse too any longer be silent or wear the mask.
My sisters and brothers of whom were deprived of life
restless spirits cut into my soul like a butcher's knife.
The echoes of their frantic screams fill my ears
As they tell me the tale behind the black leaves they wear.
Their voices are heard as laments overflowing with such pain
Their cries burn into my mind and heart like acid rain.
As visions of all the white folks who gathered to commune
To laugh about the fruit that hung freely in the mid afternoon
It's a pagan ritual for them to dress in their Sunday's best
Christians who have come to celebrate and mock the oppressed.
Their sons and daughters sang, rejoiced and praised
Jesus as their parents gleefully looked on crazed and unfazed.
Southern trees bear strange fruit, oh, oh, oh, oooooooooohhhhhhh
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, oh, oooooohhhhhhhhh