Welcome to DU! The truly grassroots left-of-center political community where regular people, not algorithms, drive the discussions and set the standards. Join the community: Create a free account Support DU (and get rid of ads!): Become a Star Member Latest Breaking News Editorials & Other Articles General Discussion The DU Lounge All Forums Issue Forums Culture Forums Alliance Forums Region Forums Support Forums Help & Search


(72,631 posts)
Wed Dec 3, 2014, 11:54 PM Dec 2014

Ladies And Gentleman... One More Time... Billie Holiday's 'Strange Fruit'...

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.

4 replies = new reply since forum marked as read
Highlight: NoneDon't highlight anything 5 newestHighlight 5 most recent replies
Ladies And Gentleman... One More Time... Billie Holiday's 'Strange Fruit'... (Original Post) WillyT Dec 2014 OP
I wish there was no longer a need Kalidurga Dec 2014 #1
The Haunted Oak, by Paul Laurence Dunbar petronius Dec 2014 #2
Wow... Thank You For That !!! WillyT Dec 2014 #3
A man told me once Sweeney Dec 2014 #4


(26,631 posts)
2. The Haunted Oak, by Paul Laurence Dunbar
Thu Dec 4, 2014, 12:05 AM
Dec 2014
Pray why are you so bare, so bare,
Oh, bough of the old oak-tree;
And why, when I go through the shade you throw,
Runs a shudder over me?

My leaves were green as the best, I trow,
And sap ran free in my veins,
But I saw in the moonlight dim and weird
A guiltless victim's pains.

I bent me down to hear his sigh;
I shook with his gurgling moan,
And I trembled sore when they rode away,
And left him here alone.

They'd charged him with the old, old crime,
And set him fast in jail:
Oh, why does the dog howl all night long,
And why does the night wind wail?

He prayed his prayer and he swore his oath,
And he raised his hand to the sky;
But the beat of hoofs smote on his ear,
And the steady tread drew nigh.

Who is it rides by night, by night,
Over the moonlit road?
And what is the spur that keeps the pace,
What is the galling goad?

And now they beat at the prison door,
"Ho, keeper, do not stay!
We are friends of him whom you hold within,
And we fain would take him away

"From those who ride fast on our heels
With mind to do him wrong;
They have no care for his innocence,
And the rope they bear is long."

They have fooled the jailer with lying words,
They have fooled the man with lies;
The bolts unbar, the locks are drawn,
And the great door open flies.

Now they have taken him from the jail,
And hard and fast they ride,
And the leader laughs low down in his throat,
As they halt my trunk beside.

Oh, the judge, he wore a mask of black,
And the doctor one of white,
And the minister, with his oldest son,
Was curiously bedight.

Oh, foolish man, why weep you now?
'Tis but a little space,
And the time will come when these shall dread
The mem'ry of your face.

I feel the rope against my bark,
And the weight of him in my grain,
I feel in the throe of his final woe
The touch of my own last pain.

And never more shall leaves come forth
On the bough that bears the ban;
I am burned with dread, I am dried and dead,
From the curse of a guiltless man.

And ever the judge rides by, rides by,
And goes to hunt the deer,
And ever another rides his soul
In the guise of a mortal fear.

And ever the man he rides me hard,
And never a night stays he;
For I feel his curse as a haunted bough,
On the trunk of a haunted tree.


(505 posts)
4. A man told me once
Thu Dec 4, 2014, 12:37 PM
Dec 2014

That the knife he was using to cut his cucumbers had killed two nickers.

He was older. I was younger. Clinton was in his first year of his first term. And I just listened.

He told me that his uncle was a golden gloves boxer and short order cook at a greasy spoon. He told me there was a sign on the road into town telling blacks: Nicker, don't let the sun set on you in this town.

After midnight into this restaurant came two young black men, and sat down at the bar for service. The cook/waiter asked them: Didn't you nicker see that sign on the way into town? And right away, one of them starts sassing the man, and said: Ya, we saw the sign, and so what?

That old boxer punched that black man in the face and knocked him out. As the second man headed for the door he jumped the bar and caught that man and cut his throat. Then he went back and cut the throat of the first man. Then he called the woman who owned the place, who said: My God; What have you done? But she loaned him her new car, anyway, and after a while, she called the police. She said the blacks had tried to rob her, and that one of her customers had killed them, and left. The cook stayed gone for a year, and everyone knew what happened, but nobody ever did anything about it.

Now. What can I tell you. The man was from the Carolina's, North, I think. He won a safety award that was the most undeserved award anyone ever won, since he would not even bother to tie off unless made to. And that prize was a new truck and the Job was the new Detroit V.A. Hospital, so I know he made the trade paper: The Building Tradesman. And I think I have the knife, since I found one a few days later, and it was like the one he showed me, though I did not get a good look. It has a one armed blade. That is, the knife is already part ways open, so a one armed man can grasp the blade, and open the knife by dragging the handle against his leg. It is not imposing by any means. Almost a utility knife. If anyone has a mind for mysteries and a cop gene, there is your trail of bread crumbs. It might be nice for some people to know their children were not killed as criminals, but simply murdered for incivility. Or should I say; in defense of incivility.

Latest Discussions»General Discussion»Ladies And Gentleman... O...