British singer Rebecca Ferguson says she’s open to performing at Donald Trump’s inauguration if she sings Strange Fruit, which is an anti-lynching anthem made popular by Billie Holiday.
Ferguson tweeted: “I’ve been asked and this is my answer. If you allow me to sing “strange fruit” a song that has huge historical importance, a song that was blacklisted in the United States for being too controversial. A song that speaks to all the disregarded and down trodden black people in the United States. A song that is a reminder of how love is the only thing that will conquer all the hatred in this world, then I will graciously accept your invitation and see you in Washington.”
Strange Fruit was first recorded by Billie Holiday in 1939 and remade by Nina Simone in 1965. It is one of the most famous songs about racism. The lyrics, written by Abel Meeropol, describe lynchings of black Americans:
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
I love this!