Song of the Day #4,037: ‘Rotten Peaches’ – Elton John

‘Rotten Peaches’ is the second track from Elton John’s Madman Across the Water to make my personal playlist.

This is a big, anthemic piano ballad that makes good use of a gospel choir. My hunch is that if it didn’t have such an off-putting title phrase it could have been a hit. This song plus ‘Holiday Inn’ anchor Side Two of Madman Across the Water, making the album a rewarding listen start to finish.

I pulled five songs from Madman Across the Water, which puts it in second place as far as representation on my playlist. The album with the most songs is a double record, so that comes with a big asterisk. I’ll get to that one next week.

[Verse 1]
We’ve moved on six miles from where we were yesterday
And yesterday is but a long long ways away
So we’ll camp out tonight beneath the bright starlight
And forget rotten peaches and the places we’ve stayed

[Verse 2]
I left from the dockland two years ago now
Made my way over on the S.S. Marie
And I’ve always had trouble wherever I’ve settled
Rotten peaches are all that I see

[Chorus]
Rotten peaches, rotting in the sun
Seems I’ve seen that devil fruit, since the world begun
Mercy I’m a criminal, Jesus I’m the one
Rotten peaches, rotting in the sun

Rotten peaches, rotting in the sun
Seems I’ve seen that devil fruit, since the world begun
Mercy I’m a criminal, Jesus I’m the one
Rotten peaches, rotting in the sun

[Verse 3]
There ain’t no green grass in the U.S. state prison
There is no one to hold when you’re sick for your wife
And each day out you’ll pick, you’ll pick rotten peaches
You’ll pick rotten peaches for the rest of your life

[Verse 4]
Oh, I’ve had me my fill of cocaine and pills
For I lie in the light of the Lord
And my home is ten thousand, ten thousand miles away
And I guess I won’t see it no more

[Chorus]
Rotten peaches, rotting in the sun
Seems I’ve seen that devil fruit, since the world begun
Mercy I’m a criminal, Jesus I’m the one
Rotten peaches, rotting in the sun

Rotten peaches, rotting in the sun
Seems I’ve seen that devil fruit, since the world begun
Mercy I’m a criminal, Jesus I’m the
Jesus I’m the one
Rotten peaches, rotting in the sun

One thought on “Song of the Day #4,037: ‘Rotten Peaches’ – Elton John

  1. Dana Gallup says:

    Here’s an example of a song that should have been used in the scene in Rocketman where Elton is playing for the record producer, who is making snap decisions as to what will and won’t be a hit. Would have been a quick throwaway line like “you expect people to buy rotten peaches? Next!”

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