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Strange Fruit

Take me back to Erwin, Tennessee
The good old days
Hard-working folks
The salt of the earth
Husbands and wives and a whole lotta Jesus

Two thousand five hundred
Men, women, and children
At her hanging
Like a day at the circus

The day before
The White man
Her master
Hit her behind the ear
Used a metal hook
Smashed her infected tooth
Because she stopped
Reached for
A Watermelon rind

And so she killed him

The local blacksmith
Shot her five times
But she lived long enough
To be lynched the next day

The chain snapped
On the first attempt
And she broke her hip when she
Little White boys and
Little White girls
Screaming and
Running and

The second time
The chain held
And she died
Beside the tracks
In the Clinchfield Railroad Yard
September 13th
It was a Wednesday

Strange fruit

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