Thursday, April 7, 2011

Day 129 - How Much Love is a Bushel and a Peck?

Day 129.

At approximately the 1 hour and 40 minute-mark of my screening of Julie & Julia each day, this song (performed by Doris Day) enters my mind and inevitably becomes lodged at the forefront of my consciousness for the rest of the evening. I used to not mind it much--I even found it to be enjoyable at one point--but it's since worn out it's welcome.

One thing in particular bothers me about this song--the lyric "I love you a bushel and a peck." (Well, I guess that's pretty much the whole song) What does that mean, quantitatively speaking? Like, numeral-wise, is that a high or low quantity of love? And that's relative to what? Is it possible to love someone a pound and an ounce? Or if she's a dimepiece, perhaps a metric ton and a kilogram? I'll admit, I am not familiar with the metric system, so maybe that's why the bushels and/or pecks elude me.

Basically, the question I'm trying to posit is: How much love is a bushel and peck?

Apparently $18 worth, according to this illustration.
(So that's like, a 5-minute BJ or something? What's the going rate on those these days?)

But I knew I couldn't rely on google image searches for my answer. Naturally, I took my query to the most reliable source of information on the web, WikiAnswers!
"A US bushel is a measure of dry volume and equals approximately 35 litres, or 8 dry gallons. An Imperial bushel equals approximately 36 litres, or 8 Imperial gallons. A peck is also a measure of dry volume and equals 8 dry quarts in both the US and Imperial systems. There are 4 pecks in a bushel."
So love is a dry good, eh? That's interesting--that whore from last night would probably beg to differ! (whoa, whoa, hey there now) But that's besides the point. This is what I have so far: 1 bushel = 35 litres (sp?) = 8 dry gallons. So dry gallons--that's like evaporated milk, right? The dry milk residue that's left after all the liquid milk evaporates? That sounds about right. You might recall that I'm pretty bad when it comes to milk-related things.

Milk-related thing (a.k.a. Superdude)
Other Milk-related thing (a.k.a. Gay Sean Penn)

Also, there are apparently 4 pecks in a bushel. So why didn't the song just say "I love you 5 pecks" instead of "a bushel AND a peck." Keeping the same units of measurement would have made the overall message of song much clearer. Plus, you have the extra double meaning of pecks as kisses. So in the new remixed better version, a bushel and a peck would be equivalent to 5 kisses, which would make a helluva lot more sense than it does now. "The amount I love you is equivalent to five brief kisses--no more no less." Now that's quantifying love.

Five of these? Count. Me. In.

These are the things that I think about now.


Julie & Julia
Quote of the Day: "What if you hadn't fallen in love with me?"


  1. Well I just have to weigh in here with some trivia, since I'm a musical theater junkie and Guys and Dolls (which the song is from) is one of the all-time greats.

    /musical theater trivia mode on

    So. Guys and Dolls, with music and lyrics by Frank Loesser, was originally on Broadway in 1950, won the 1951 Tony Award for Best Musical, and has had a number of revivals since then, particularly the acclaimed 1992 revival.

    In the context of the show, "A Bushel and a Peck" is our introduction to the Hot Box, a somewhat seedy night club in which the headliner is Miss Adelaide, long-suffering finace of Nathan Detroit (they've been engaged for 14 years), played in the original production by the legendary Vivian Blaine and in the 1992 revival by Faith Prince who won a Tony as best actress in a musical for the role.

    This is a farm-themed production number which the emcee introduces thusly, "And now, for the grand finale of our Around the World Revue, we take you down on the farm with our star, Miss Adelaide, and the Hot Box Farmerettes!" Costuming in one revival led to an alternate version, with the chorus girls being called the "Hot Box Chick-Chick-Chickies."

    And so begins a typical and deliberately cheesy 1950's night club number. Normally it's performed as fairly innocent with a bit of a sly wink, although the 2005 London revival with Jane Krakowski as Miss Adelaide had a much more direct approach. Those naughty Brits!

    /musical theater trivia mode off

    And there you have it. Incidentally, Doris Day's version changed the lyrics somewhat to remove some of the more direct farm references and generally clean it up for 1950's radio comsumption.

    Also incidentally, I have had many years of experience playing in pit orchestras for musicals, Guys and Dolls is hands down one of my faovite shows to play. Unlike Oklahoma which if I never play again, it'll be too soon.

  2. "So in the new remixed better version, a bushel and a peck would be equivalent to 5 kisses, which would make a helluva lot more sense than it does now. "The amount I love you is equivalent to five brief kisses--no more no less." Now that's quantifying love"

    Funny stuff! Thanks for clarifying that...also thanks a lot for getting that song stuck in my head now! UGH.

  3. Danny, what's wrong - too much "Ooooooo-klahoma where the wind comes rushin' down the plaaaaiiinn"? From one pit monkey to another, I completely agree with your assessment.

  4. In tribute to Julie's Long-Suffering Cat, swap it out with the number that replaced it in the film version of G&D:


  5. Ok I know it's a late reply, but I've been out of town on business.

    @FLFarmer, Actually it's too much "People Will Say We're In Love". If I recall correctly, it's in the overture, the song itself, the encore, several Act 1 scene changes, the entr'acte, several Act 2 scene changes, the Act 2 reprise, several more Act 2 scene changes, the bows and the exit music. I mean,I get the whole "let's plug the song we want to be the hit so the audience leaves humming the tune," but good god, enough already.

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