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Abel Meeropol

After Abel Meeropol’s poem, "Strange Fruit"  was printed in The New York Teacher News, he added music and the resulting song, sung by his wife, Anne, made its debut in a Teachers Union show. It later became integrally associated with singer Billie Holliday, who introduced it to SRO crowds at New York’s Café Society. Abel and Anne were both on the Union's entertainment committee, along with such other teachers as Lou Kleinman and Jules Adolphe. Among the songs Abel wrote for them was:

Verse:

A girl with a license in Latin
Taught French in a school in Manhattan.
She spent all of her free time in chattin’
With the teacher in Room 402.

Chorus:

Don’t marry a teacher
Unless he can feature
A button from Local 5.

At loving he’s able -
He’s better than Gable -
And boy, he’s got plenty of jive!

Abel was a contributor to the The New York Teacher, a Teachers Union weekly, and his son, Robert Meeropol contributed a memoir that appears on our site.

Other Works by and about Abel Meeropol (aka Lewis Allan)

The House I Live In

Strange Fruit originally written as Bitter Fruit

Strange Fruit Documentary on DVD


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