The Paul McCartney Project

Honey Pie

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Album This song officially appears on the The Beatles (Mono) Official album.
Timeline This song has been officially released in 1968
Sessions This song has been recorded during the following sessions

Spread the love! If you like what you are seeing, share it on social networks and let others know about The Paul McCartney Project.

Song facts

From Wikipedia:

Honey Pie” is a song by the Beatles, from their 1968 eponymous album The Beatles, also known as “the White Album”. The song was written entirely by Paul McCartney, but is credited to Lennon–McCartney.

Interpretation

The song is a direct homage to the British music hall style. It concerns a famed actress, called only by the term of endearment “Honey Pie“, who becomes famous in the United States, and her old lover, who wishes for her to rejoin him in England. The premise – a humble admirer yearning for the return of his lover – is not unlike a typical music hall plot. In order to establish an appropriate, old-timey sound, ‘crackles’ were added to the third line, “Now she’s hit the big time!“, from a 78 rpm record.

Recording

Recording began for “Honey Pie” on 1 October 1968, with the Beatles at Trident Studios in London’s Wardour Street. Only one take was recorded on the first day, although it is likely that a number of rehearsal attempts had previously been recorded and wiped. The next day, McCartney taped his lead vocals, and a lead guitar part was added. According to George Harrison, John Lennon played the guitar solo. However, Barry Miles in his “The Beatles, a diary: an intimate day by day history” [Omnibus Press 1998] says: “Paul added the lead vocal and guitar to ‘Honey Pie’.” [p.275, entry for October 2]. The guitar playing is very reminiscent of McCartney’s guitar playing (as is evidenced by his two later solo albums). Moreover, McCartney’s father was also known to be a jazz bandleader before McCartney was born (many members of Harrison’s own entourage have said that his autobiography had many errors).

Paul McCartney in "Many Years From Now", by Barry Miles:

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.[…]

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.

From The Usenet Guide to Beatles Recording Variations:

  • [a] mono 5 Oct 1968 at Trident.
    UK: Apple PMC 7068 white album 1968.
  • [b] stereo 5 Oct 1968 at Trident.
    UK: Apple PCS 7068 white album 1968.
    US: Apple SWBO 101 white album 1968.
    CD: EMI CDP 7 46443 2 white album 1987.

Mono [a] has the full lead guitar break, slightly shortened in [b].

Last updated on August 20, 2016

Lyrics

She was a working girl north of England way
Now she's hit the big time in the USA
And if she could only hear me this is what I'd say

Honey pie, you are making me crazy
I'm in love but I'm lazy
So won't you please come home?

Oh honey pie, my position is tragic
Come and show me the magic
Of your Hollywood song

You became a legend of the silver screen
And now the thought of meeting you
Makes me weak in the knee

Oh honey pie, you are driving me frantic
Sail across the Atlantic
To be where you belong
Honey pie, come back to me

I like it like that, ooh ah
I like this kinda hot kinda music, hot kinda music
Play it to me, play it to me honey with blues

Will the wind that blew her boat across the sea
Kindly send her sailing back to me?

Now honey pie, you are making me crazy
I'm in love but I'm lazy
So won't you please come home?
Come, come back to me honey pie
Honey pie, honey pie

Officially appears on


The Beatles (Mono)

Official album • Released in 1968

2:41 • Studio versionA • Mono

Paul McCartney:
Piano, Vocals
Ringo Starr:
Drums
John Lennon:
Lead guitar, Rhythm guitar
George Harrison:
Bass
George Martin:
Producer
Dennis Walton:
Saxophone
Rex Morris:
Saxophone
Barry Sheffield:
Engineer
Ronald Chamberlain:
Saxophone
Jim Chester:
Saxophone
Harry Klein:
Saxophone
Raymond Newman:
Clarinet
David Smith:
Clarinet

Session Recording:
Oct 01, 1968
Studio:
Trident Studios, London, UK

Session Overdubs:
Oct 02, 1968
Studio:
Trident Studios, London, UK

Session Overdubs:
Oct 04, 1968
Studio:
Trident Studios, London, UK

Session Mixing:
Oct 05, 1968
Studio:
Trident Studios, London, UK


The Beatles (Stereo)

Official album • Released in 1968

2:41 • Studio versionB • Stereo

Paul McCartney:
Piano, Vocals
Ringo Starr:
Drums
John Lennon:
Lead guitar, Rhythm guitar
George Harrison:
Bass
George Martin:
Producer
Dennis Walton:
Saxophone
Rex Morris:
Saxophone
Barry Sheffield:
Engineer
Ronald Chamberlain:
Saxophone
Jim Chester:
Saxophone
Harry Klein:
Saxophone
Raymond Newman:
Clarinet
David Smith:
Clarinet

Session Recording:
Oct 01, 1968
Studio:
Trident Studios, London, UK

Session Overdubs:
Oct 02, 1968
Studio:
Trident Studios, London, UK

Session Overdubs:
Oct 04, 1968
Studio:
Trident Studios, London, UK

Session Mixing:
Oct 05, 1968
Studio:
Trident Studios, London, UK


Anthology 3

Official album • Released in 1996

1:19 • DemoC • Stereo

Session Recording:
Late May 1968
Studio:
George Harrison's Home, Kinfauns, Esher, Surrey, UK


The Beatles (2018)

Official album • Released in 2018

2:41 • Studio versionR2018 • Stereo

Paul McCartney:
Piano, Vocals
Ringo Starr:
Drums
John Lennon:
Lead guitar, Rhythm guitar
George Harrison:
Bass
George Martin:
Producer
Dennis Walton:
Saxophone
Rex Morris:
Saxophone
Barry Sheffield:
Engineer
Ronald Chamberlain:
Saxophone
Jim Chester:
Saxophone
Harry Klein:
Saxophone
Raymond Newman:
Clarinet
David Smith:
Clarinet

Session Recording:
Oct 01, 1968
Studio:
Trident Studios, London, UK

Session Overdubs:
Oct 02, 1968
Studio:
Trident Studios, London, UK

Session Overdubs:
Oct 04, 1968
Studio:
Trident Studios, London, UK

Session Mixing:
Oct 05, 1968
Studio:
Trident Studios, London, UK


The Beatles (2018)

Official album • Released in 2018

Demo

Session Recording:
Late May 1968
Studio:
George Harrison's Home, Kinfauns, Esher, Surrey, UK


The Beatles (2018)

Official album • Released in 2018

Outtake • Instrumental backing track

Bootlegs


White Album Sessions Volume 1

Unofficial album

2:04 • Studio version


White Album Sessions Volume 1

Unofficial album

1:19 • Studio version


Complete Home Recordings 1967-68

Unofficial album • Released in 2002

1:18 • Demo


Complete Home Recordings 1968

Unofficial album • Released in 2002

2:00 • Demo

Live performances

Paul McCartney has never played this song in concert.


Contribute!

Have you spotted an error on the page? Do you want to suggest new content? Or do you simply want to leave a comment ? Please use the form below!

Your comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.