I’ve been trying to find some background information about Nina Simone’s song “Four Women.” Lyrics here. The song seems simple enough on the outset, Simone sings four verses, each one describing a downtrodden woman and ending the verse by stating her name. All the women are either black or mixed race, and all of them have suffered in some way due to racial discrimination. But who are these women? Are they just four arbitrary women, or are they historically significant in some way?
What puzzles me most is the final verse. For most of the song, the music & singing are low-key, moody, atmospheric and quiet. Towards the end of the final verse though, Simone jarringly starts banging on the piano keys and shrilly screaming out the lyrics “My! Name! Is! PEACHES!!!” in an overly dramatic manner that suggests to me that this was supposed to be a shocking surprise ending to the song. As if we, the listeners, are supposed to gasp in amazement and think “OMG! That was Peaches she was singing about!” But who the hell is Peaches?
If anybody could shed some light on this subject, I’d appreciate it. Thanks.