"Honey Pie" is an album track on the 1968 Beatles' "White Album." Paul McCartney wrote the song, and John Lennon undoubtedly would have called "Honey Pie" one of Paul's "Granny songs" - which is not a compliment. However, while not a typical rock song, "Honey Pie" is quite melodic and many people love the adventurous spirit that led to its inclusion on the White Album. After a demo made at George Harrison's Esher estate, recording of "Honey Pie" began on 1 October 1968 at Trident Studios in London, with Paul doing his lead vocal the next day. The song has a distinctive sound due to the presence of saxophone (Harry Klein, Rex Morris, Jim Chester, Ronald Chamberlain, and Dennis Walton) and clarinet players (Raymond Newman, David Smith).
Paul has said:
Both John and I had a great love for music hall, what the Americans call vaudeville… I very much liked that old crooner style, the strange fruity voice that they used, so Honey Pie was me writing one of them to an imaginary woman, across the ocean, on the silver screen, who was called Honey Pie. It’s another of my fantasy songs.He added:
We put a sound on my voice to make it sound like a scratchy old record. So it’s not a parody, it’s a nod to the vaudeville tradition that I was raised on.Of course, one of John's gripes was that Paul had quite a few of these homages to old-style music on the White Album, such as "Rocky Raccoon" and "Martha My Dear." But many fans loved Paul's retro-style songs, and they certainly didn't hurt album sales.
|"Honey Pie" was released as the B-side to "Birthday" in Argentina in 1969.|
Here, Paul is imitating the sound of the songs his parents loved and which he undoubtedly heard often as a kid. Just an odd sound for the '60s, though this would have fit in perfectly in the 20's-30's era. Just shows what a genius Paul is, that he can reproduce the sound so perfectly and put it on one of the most iconic albums of the late 20th Century. Somewhat surprisingly due to its somewhat unusual sound for a rock band, many artists have covered "Honey Pie." What's also interesting is there, shall we say, eclectic nature compared to other Beatles cover artists. These include the actor Dom DeLuise, Barbra Streisand, and Phish.