The Paul McCartney Project

Honey Don't

Written by Carl Perkins

Album This song officially appears on the Beatles For Sale (Mono) Official album.
Timeline This song has been officially released in 1964
Sessions This song has been recorded during the following sessions

Other Carl Perkins songs by The Beatles

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Song facts

From Wikipedia:

Honey Don’t” is a song written by Carl Perkins, originally released on January 1, 1956 as the B-side of the “Blue Suede Shoes” single, Sun 234. Both songs became rockabilly classics. Bill Dahl of Allmusic praised the song saying, “‘Honey Don’t’ actually outclasses its more celebrated platter-mate in some ways.” It has been covered by more than 20 other artists, including The Beatles, Ronnie Hawkins and Johnny Rivers. The song also appeared in the movies Prince of Tides, Diner, and Perfect Sisters.

Background

According to David McGee, author of Go, Cat, Go! The Life and Times of Carl Perkins, the King of Rockabilly, Carl Perkins first brought the song to a rehearsal with his band which at the time comprised the Perkins brothers and W.S. Holland.

When Carl first played the song to Jay, Jay protested what sounded to him like an odd chord choice, going to a C7 chord after the E instead of the natural blues progression choice of A. At first, Jay refused to go along, but Carl convinced him it was something different, and today the chord choice is one of the most interesting aspects of the song.

Perkins and his band performed the song, along with “Blue Suede Shoes“, during their television debut on ABC-TV’s Ozark Jubilee on March 17, 1956.

The Beatles’ version

The Beatles recorded their version on October 26, 1964 one of the last songs recorded for Beatles for Sale, which was released in the United Kingdom on December 4, 1964. The North American release was on December 15 on Beatles ’65.

Although John Lennon had previously sung the song live, Ringo Starr performed it for the album, his requisite one lead vocal per album. During the song, he makes self-referential remarks leading into Harrison’s guitar riffs, saying, “Rock on George, one time for me!” and then “Rock on, George, for Ringo one time!

The Beatles performed the song twice for the BBC for the From Us To You and Top Gear programs. A version sung by Lennon is available on Live at the BBC. and a version sung by Starr was released on On Air – Live at the BBC Volume 2.

Paul McCartney’s publishing company MPL Communications administers the rights to the song, originally published by Hi Lo Music, Inc., BMI.

Along with “Matchbox“, “Honey Don’t” is one of the rare songs that all four Beatles have recorded or performed on stage.

From The Usenet Guide to Beatles Recording Variations:

  • [a] mono [27 Oct 1964 – edit]
    UK: Parlophone PMC 1240 For Sale 1964.
    US: Capitol T 2228 Beatles ’65 1964.
    CD: EMI CDP 7 46438 2 For Sale 1987.
  • [b] stereo [27 Oct 1964 – edit]
    UK: Parlophone PCS 3062 For Sale 1964.
    US: Capitol ST 2228 Beatles ’65 1964.

Honey Don’t” has become one of Paul’s favorites to play during sounchecks.

Last updated on March 12, 2016

Lyrics

Well how come you say you will when you won't?
Say you do, baby, when you don't?
Let me know, honey, how you feel
Tell the truth now, is love real?

But uh uh, well honey don't
Well honey don't, honey don't
Honey don't, honey don't
Say you will when you won't, uh uh, honey don't

Well I love you baby and you oughta know
I like the way that you wear your clothes
Everything about you is so doggone sweet
You got that sand all over your feet

But uh uh, well honey don't
Honey don't, honey don't
Honey don't, honey don't
Say you will when you won't, uh uh, honey don't

Oh rock on George, one time for me
I feel fine, I'm sad

Well sometimes I'll love you on a Saturday night
Sunday morning you don't look right
You been out painting the town
Uh uh, baby been steppin' around

But uh huh, well honey don't
I said honey don't, honey don't
Honey don't, honey don't
Say you will when you won't, uh uh, honey don't

Oh, rock on George for Ringo one time

Well honey don't, well honey don't
A little little honey don't
Say you will when you won't, uh uh, honey don't

Officially appears on


Beatles For Sale (Mono)

Official album • Released in 1964

2:55 • Studio versionA • Mono

Paul McCartney:
Bass
Ringo Starr:
Drums, Vocals
John Lennon:
Acoustic 12-string guitar, Tambourine
George Harrison:
Lead guitar
George Martin:
Producer
Norman Smith:
Engineer

Session Recording:
Oct 26, 1964
Studio:
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road

Session Mixing:
Oct 27, 1964
Studio:
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road


Beatles '65 (Mono)

Official album • Released in 1964

2:56 • Studio versionA • Mono

Paul McCartney:
Bass
Ringo Starr:
Drums, Vocals
John Lennon:
Acoustic 12-string guitar, Tambourine
George Harrison:
Lead guitar
George Martin:
Producer
Norman Smith:
Engineer

Session Recording:
Oct 26, 1964
Studio:
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road

Session Mixing:
Oct 27, 1964
Studio:
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road


Beatles '65 (Stereo)

Official album • Released in 1964

2:56 • Studio versionB • Stereo

Paul McCartney:
Bass
Ringo Starr:
Drums, Vocals
John Lennon:
Acoustic 12-string guitar, Tambourine
George Harrison:
Lead guitar
George Martin:
Producer
Norman Smith:
Engineer

Session Recording:
Oct 26, 1964
Studio:
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road

Session Mixing:
Oct 27, 1964
Studio:
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road


Beatles For Sale (Stereo)

Official album • Released in 1964

2:55 • Studio versionB • Stereo

Paul McCartney:
Bass
Ringo Starr:
Drums, Vocals
John Lennon:
Acoustic 12-string guitar, Tambourine
George Harrison:
Lead guitar
George Martin:
Producer
Norman Smith:
Engineer

Session Recording:
Oct 26, 1964
Studio:
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road

Session Mixing:
Oct 27, 1964
Studio:
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road


Live At The BBC

Official live • Released in 1994

2:12 • Radio showL1 • Although this is Ringo’s vocal outing on Beatles For Sale, John had always sung this Carl Perkins song live. By the time of the next BBC version in May 1964, John had handed over to Ringo making this earlier recording a lucky capture on tape of the way it used to be.

John Lennon:
Vocals
Ian Grant:
Producer

Concert From "Pop Go The Beatles" in Manchester, United Kingdom on Sep 03, 1963


The Legendary Songs Of Carl Perkins

Official album • Released in 2003

Studio version


On Air - Live at the BBC Volume 2

Official live • Released in 2013

2:24 • Radio showL2 • The B-side of Carl Perkins’ Top Ten UK hit "Blue Suede Shoes", "Honey Don’t" was a Beatles stage favourite for several years before it appeared on their fourth album. John sings on an earlier BBC recording that was released on the first Live At The BBC album. At the final session for Beatles For Sale in October 1964, he generously gave ‹Honey Don’t› to Ringo for his featured vocal on the LP. From then on, it was exclusively Ringo’s number.

Ringo Starr:
Vocals
Bernie Andrews:
Producer

Concert From "Top Gear" in London, United Kingdom on Nov 26, 1964

Bootlegs


Celebration In Colorado

Unofficial live

5:40 • Soundcheck

Concert From the concert in Denver, USA on Nov 01, 2005


Dome In Rehearsal

Unofficial live

3:39 • Soundcheck

Concert From the concert in Fukuoka, Japan on Nov 18, 1993


Old Friends From Montserrat

Unofficial album

3:16 • Soundcheck

Concert From the concert in Detroit, USA on Jun 04, 1993



Gothenburg Soundcheck

Unofficial live

3:36 • Soundcheck

Concert From the concert in Gothenburg, Sweden on Jun 12, 2004


Live performances

“Honey Don't” has been played in 44 concerts and 72 soundchecks.

Latest concerts where “Honey Don't” has been played








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