I have been reading the excellent 33 Revolutions per Minute by Dorian Lynskey, it is a history of protest songs, and quite good it is too. I got particularly hooked on the Billie Holiday section about the song Strange Fruit. Written as a poem titled Bitter Fruit, by a white, jewish teacher it is amazing how powerful it still sounds. Strange Fruit is amazing, but I have to confess that my favourite Billie Holiday song is Gloomy Sunday, and it is so for all the wrong reasons, namely via The Associates cover version. You must remember I am a child of the early 80s, it’s not my fault.
Gloomy Sunday is amazing, Morrisey on steroids. I can’t really imagine many female singers singing songs about suicide in the early 1940s.
Hidden gem; Long Gone Blues