The Paul McCartney Project

Honey Hush

Written by Joe Turner

Album This song officially appears on the Run Devil Run Official album.
Timeline This song has been officially released in 1999
Sessions This song has been recorded during the following sessions

Other Big Joe Turner songs

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Song facts

From Wikipedia:

Honey Hush“, written by Big Joe Turner (although he assigned the rights to his wife, Lou Willie Turner), was recorded in May 1953 in New Orleans, Louisiana and released that August by Atlantic Records. It was a number-one song on the U.S. Rhythm and Blues chart for eight weeks, and number 23 on the pop chart.

Recording

Turner, a big Kansas City blues shouter, had been spending all his time out on the road, while Atlantic’s Ahmet Ertegün was getting nervous that his backlog of Turner recordings was running low. When Turner was near New Orleans, Ertegün insisted he record. Atlantic’s New Orleans recording studio was booked up, so Turner recorded some sides in the studio of a radio station, WSDU. He did not have his own band but was able to round up the raucous trombonist Pluma Davis and his band, The Rockers, as well as the wild boogie rhythm pianist, James Tolliver. Other musicians on the recording were Lee Allen on tenor saxophone and Alvin “Red” Tyler on baritone saxophone.

Song

Like the session, the song is largely adlibbed traditional blues verses with various incongruous lines thrown in, to a standard 12-bar blues. It opens with the bold statement, “Aw let ’em roll like a big wheel in a Georgia cotton field, Honey hush!” The title in this song Turner revealed his typical attitude toward a woman who will not do what he tells her to do, while the tailgate trombone gives the woman’s raucous answers back. Although his songs talk about relationships as misery, his emotion in the song is upbeat. To quote Arnold Shaw in his book Honkers and Shouters:

“Love ain’t nothin’ but a lot of misery,” he would declare, exhibiting no emotion in his characterization of the female as demanding, unprediciable, and untrustworthy. But unlike his predecessors in the blues, he did not cry or get uptight over it.”

The spirit of the song is the good-natured optimism that characterized his work. His lyrics are sexually suggestive and aimed at an adult audience and his vocal style is that of an urban blues shouter – intimate and relaxed.

Come in this house, stop all that yakkety yak. (twice)
Come fix my supper, don’t want no talkin’ back.
Well you keep on jabberin’, talk about this and that, (twice)
I got news for you, baby, you ain’t nothin’ but an alley cat.
Well you keep on jabberin’, talk about this and that, (twice)
Don’t make me nervous, ’cause I’m holding a baseball bat
Hi-yo, hi-yo, Silver

Legacy

The advent of rock and roll narrowed the content of songs to adolescent preoccupations and made simple the complicated rhythms of rhythm and blues. The explicitly sexual content was too adult, as was the singer’s strong voice tone as well as his raw assumptions about life. A year later, in 1954, a Turner song very similar to this one, “Shake, Rattle and Roll,” with its boogie-woogie rhythm and squawking saxophone was cleaned up by Bill Haley to become a huge hit as rock and roll changed the face of music. Turner turned to recording songs by rock and roll writers, but his blues shouter voice betrayed him and his career faded.

However, not long after the rock and roll craze hit, a new audience of intellectuals, college students, and eventually beatniks, and then another with European blues fans joining in, gave singers in partial retirement or obscurity new opportunities although they had to clean up some to fit the new role of authenticity, fueled by the writings of Samuel Charters, demanded by these new audiences. For urban blues singers, having grown up in cities, it was convenient to be labelled as country singers to fit the criteria of purity.

In 1959, Turner re-recorded “a much tamer, lamer, teenage rock’n’roll version” of “Honey Hush” for Atlantic which was a mild hit and his last one. Turner returned to performing with jazz combos as the rock and roll founders settled in to please the suddenly important teenage market. […]

Paul McCartney recorded it for his album Run Devil Run (1999). From the liner notes of “Run Devil Run“:

Written by Big Joe Turner. Paul was more familiar with Johnny Burnette’s version. “John and Stuart used to have a flat in Gambier Terrace. I remember waking up, burning eyes job, and one of the guys put on “Come into this house, stop all that yakety yak.” It’s still my favourite on the whole album to sing.”

From an interview with Laura Gross (promotional interview for “Run Devil Run” in 1999):

Paul McCartney: Honey Hush is a song that really has very, very early memories for me. I remembered John Lennon and Stuart Sutcliffe had an art school flat, an apartment in a place called Gambier Terrace that looks out on to Liverpool Cathedral, amazing place. And it was just a bare flat with a mattress on the floor, you know. Art school kind of thing, you know, a little ashtray, that was it. And I, it was one of the first times, ’cause I was a bit younger than John and Stu, one of the first times I ever stayed over, stayed out all night, me and George. George was even younger than me. So, and he still is. He keeps telling me that. He writes that on all my birthday cards. And you’re still nine months older than me. It’s, so it was really great experience for us kids who were there to stay over in someone’s flat, man, you know, instead of sleeping home. I remember waking up in the morning, ooh, God, you know, after having virtually no sleep, but it didn’t matter, it was so cool. And like in this cold little apartment in Liverpool. And there was just a ?…? set, record player on the floor, besides the mattress. And the first thing he put on was this Johnny Burnette record. And it was Honey Hush. And I loved it so much. Come into this house, stop all that yakety yak. Dun-duh-du. And his brother Dorsey Burnette does a great solo, you know. So Mick Green really knew this song and really was up for doing it. I think it was one morning when I was a little bit tired and confused. And he said, what are we gonna do now then. I said, got, got to be Honey Hush. So we, we, blew the cobwebs away with that one. And this was one of the ones, so I hadn’t been able to get one of the lines, one of the lyrics. But I thought while I was writing it down, well, I just write it down phonetically and probably I’ll find the lyric sheet or something. Well, I never did. So I’d, I, I pulled it out, was gonna do it, thought, oh, I never found out the real words. I thought, well, I, I’ll sing it phonetically then. So there’s one of the lines, and he’s saying, you can lea’me this way, I ain’t coming back no more. And I, I mean, I’m thinking, it’s something, I sound like I’m singing something like, I’m living, you’ve been living in Spain, or, be leaving this space or something, I don’t know, and I ain’t coming back no more. So I don’t know what we do about that. The lyr, real lyrics is nothing like it. It’s, it’s completely different. But it, it was actually great fun. In the spirit of the album to just not even care what the lyric was. You can lea’me this way, I ain’t coming back. Mumble baby.

Over the years since 1999, “Honey Hush” has become a favorite of Paul, often played during soundchecks.

Last updated on September 21, 2016

Lyrics

Well, come into this house, stop all that yakety yak,
I said, come into this house, stop all that yakety yak,
cause your sugar daddy don't want no talking back.

Well, you keep on talking, talking about this and that,
yeah, you keep on talking, talking about this and that,
I got news for you, baby, you're nothing but an alley cat.

Well, it's a hi ho, hi ho silver, hi ho, hi ho silver, hi ho, hi ho silver,
hi ho, hi ho silver, hi ho, hi ho silver away-hey.

Turn off the waterworks, baby, they don't move me no more,
turn off the waterworks, baby, they don't move me no more,
well, believe me, baby, I ain't coming back no more.

I said, come into this house, stop all that yakety yak,
yeah, come into this house, woman, stop all that yakety yak,
oh, don't make me nervous, I'm holding a baseball bat.
Well, it's a hi ho, hi ho silver, hi ho, hi ho silver, hi ho, hi ho silver,
hi ho, hi ho silver, hi ho, hi ho silver away-hey.

Officially appears on


Run Devil Run

Official album • Released in 1999

2:36 • Studio versionA

Paul McCartney:
Bass guitar, Producer, Vocal
Geoff Emerick:
Engineer
Mick Green:
Electric guitar
David Gilmour:
Electric guitar
Ian Paice:
Drums
Pete Wingfield:
Wurlitzer
Chris Thomas:
Producer
Paul Hicks:
Engineer

Session Recording:
Mar 03, 1999
Studio:
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road

Bootlegs




Rock Devil Rock

Unofficial album • Released in 2000

2:49 • Live

Concert From "PETA Party Of The Century" in Hollywood, USA on Sep 18, 1999


Rock Devil Rock

Unofficial album • Released in 2000

2:57 • Live

Concert From "Later... with Jools Holland" in London, United Kingdom on Nov 06, 1999


Rock Devil Rock

Unofficial album • Released in 2000

2:45 • Live

Concert From "The Apocalypse Tube" in Newcastle, United Kingdom on Nov 20, 1999


Live performances

“Honey Hush” has been played in 9 concerts and 38 soundchecks.

Latest concerts where “Honey Hush” has been played


Live At The Academy

Dec 20, 2010 • United Kingdom • Liverpool • O2 Academy


100 Club

Dec 17, 2010 • United Kingdom • London • 100 Club


Coachella Festival

Apr 17, 2009 • USA • Indio



Live At The Cavern

Dec 14, 1999 • United Kingdom • Liverpool • The Cavern Club



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