Donald Trump’s team has sent requests out to every breathing musician, and their moms and dads, to try to lock in performers for this month’s inauguration ceremony. Former U.K. X-Factor runner-up Rebecca Ferguson says she’ll do it, maybe, if she gets to sing “Strange Fruit.”
Imagine, as the wind blows over Trump’s frail coif, Ferguson singing lyrics about lynching in America: “Black bodies swinging in the southern breeze / Strange fruit hanging from the poplar trees.” “Strange Fruit” is not just one of the most chilling protest songs ever made, but a reminder of what Trump’s presidency means in the context of generations of ugliness.
Ferguson posted this statement via Twitter On Monday:
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. Best Rebecca X
Whether Ferguson is serious or not about performing, her “Strange Fruit” suggestion is perhaps a tactful way to decline her services and pay homage to the guttural versions of this song by Billie Holiday and Nina Simone.