- Do I dare to eat a peach?
The line from T.S. Eliot’s “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock“:
Shall I part my hair behind?
Do I dare to eat a peach?
I shall wear white flannel trousers,
and walk upon the beach.
I have heard the mermaids singing,
each to each.
- The peach story of Zhang Daoling, founder of a sect of Taoism. Followers had to prove their faith by leaping an improbable distance to pick peaches. (Did they dare to pick a peach?)
- James and the Giant Peach
The book by Roald Dahl, and animated movie (1996) based on the book. Involves a boy and a journey in a…giant peach.
- momotaro The old Japanese folk tale about the “peach boy.” An old woman finds a giant peach floating down the river, which turns out to contain a boy. She and her husband adopt the boy and name him James. No, wait. Taro.
Another, possibly older version of the momotaro tale involved the older couple eating an unusual peach they found, being rejuvenated by said peach, and then…gasp…having sex, leading to the birth of the peach boy.
- Peaches have often been associated with sex, and their cleft shape has been likened to buttocks. Apparently in several cultures, such as in Japan. There’s also A Pathan song (which I read mentioned in M. M. Kaye’s The Far Pavilions) is said to contain the following lines:
There is a boy, across the river
With a bottom like a peach
But alas, I can’t swim.
- There’s a South Carolina roadside attraction that is a water tower shaped and painted like a giant peach. It’s said to look like a big orange butt.
- Peaches, by the Presidents of the United States. (Hear the song, and see the video. But I warn you, this is a song that can get stuck in your head. It was once stuck in my head for days. Insidious, I tell you.)
moving to the country
gonna eat a lot of peaches
I’m moving to the country
I’m gonna eat me a lot of peaches
peaches come from a can
they were put there by a man
in a factory downtown
if I had my little way
I’d eat peaches every day
- Peaches (2004). A movie featuring a peach cannery, and a young woman who works there.
- The Ripest Peach, a poem by James Whitcomb Riley. Likens a woman to a peach (that’s out of reach):
The ripest peach is highest on the tree —
And so her love, beyond the reach of me,
Is dearest in my sight. Sweet breezes, bow
Her heart down to me where I worship now!
- There’s the expression “be a peach.” As in “you’re a peach,” “he’s a peach,” or “she’s a peach.” Means more-or-less “be nice.” There was a Bloom County comic strip once about Reagan, where one character argues for his impeachment, and another talks about what a nice guy he seemed, leading to the line “impeach the peach!”
¹ It’s Summer now, for those of us who live in the Northern Hemisphere. In fact, just today is the Summer Solstice, starting off the official Summer season by some calendars.