Strange Fruit, 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
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 cry.
The Death of Emmett Till, Bob Dylan
"Twas down in Mississippi
no so long ago,
When a young boy from Chicago
town stepped through a Southern door.
This boy's dreadful tragedy
I can still remember well,
The color of his skin was black
and his name was Emmett Till.
Some men they dragged him
to a barn and there they beat him up.
They said they had a reason,
but I can't remember what.
They tortured him and did some
evil things too evil to repeat.
There was screaming sounds
inside the barn, there was laughing sounds out on the street.
Then they rolled his body
down a gulf amidst a bloody red rain
And they threw him in the waters
wide to cease his screaming pain.
The reason that they killed
him there, and I'm sure it ain't no lie,
Was just for the fun of killin'
him and to watch him slowly die.
And then to stop the United
States of yelling for a trial,
Two brothers they confessed
that they had killed poor Emmett Till.
But on the jury there were
men who helped the brothers commit this awful crime,
And so this trial was a mockery,
but nobody seemed to mind.
I saw the morning papers
but I could not bear to see
The smiling brothers walkin'
down the courthouse stairs.
For the jury found them innocent
and the brothers they went free,
While Emmett's body floats
the foam of a Jim Crow southern sea.
If you can't speak out against
this kind of thing, a crime that's so unjust,
Your eyes are filled with dead
men's dirt, your mind is filled with dust.
Your arms and legs they must
be in shackles and chains, and your blood it must refuse to flow,
For you let this human race
fall down so God-awful low!
This song is just a reminder
to remind your fellow man
That this kind of thing still
lives today in that ghost-robed Ku Klux Klan.
But if all of us folks that
thinks alike, if we gave all we could give,
We could make this great land
of ours a greater place to live.