The name of the Criminal Minds's Season 9, Episode 9, Strange Fruit, is an allusion to a song of the same name, popularized by Billie Holiday, which has a pretty interesting history and back story, apparently. (And, warning, it's a pretty intense song with some pretty intense lyrics.)

At the end of the episode, they play a version of the song (omitting the graphic, second verse). I watched the episode two hours ago, and have been searching the 'net and trying to compare covers and recorded of that song to the one played in the episode, without being able to successfully identify which version is played. In the episode, the song starts at approximately 42:20 into the episode (or 1:36 from the end), as streamed by Netflix.

It's definitely a studio recorded version, and by a female singer, but doesn't seem to match up to any of the versions, covers or samples of the song I've found online.

Does anyone know which version of song is played in the episode?

  • Billy Holiday would perform that song as the closing song of her performances. Her manager insisted that all lights in the venue be shut off save for one single spotlight on her. Very intense! It was a poem written by a white Jewish man in 1920 something and then was adapted into a song for Billy. My favorite cover of that song is by Beth Hart and Joe Bonamassa. Check it out!
    – user30360
    Jan 27, 2016 at 0:22

2 Answers 2


It's Billie Holiday's original. Do note that the makers edited the song somewhat.

Unless the version on Netflix has a different version, but I doubt a recent TV show hasn't secured all necessary rights for such usage.


I found a version of it on you tube. Itssounds exactly like it. Search under Strange Fruit and it should give you several to choose from including a version from Nina Simone and Annie Lennox. The one I found and compared to was Billie Holiday w/lyrics. She is on the album cover with a blue background. I sure hope that it turns out to be what you're looking for.

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