The Paul McCartney Project

Souvenir

Written by Paul McCartney

Album This song officially appears on the Flaming Pie Official album.
Timeline This song has been officially released in 1997
Sessions This song has been recorded during the following sessions

Other Flaming Pie songs written in Jamaica, January 1995

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Song facts

Souvenir” is a song from 1997 album “Flaming Pie”. From the liner notes:

Written during a relaxing holiday in Jamaica in January 1995, the later studio recording of ‘Souvenir’ saw Paul anxious to replicate the easy atmosphere of his original demo, which carried the additional sounds of a ringing telephone and tropical downpour. So the demo was laid into the multi-track tape as a guide for the studio recording and each element of the original was carefully listened to and replicated. The 78-rpm-like coda was added after Jeff and Paul saw co-engineer Jon Jacobs carrying a key-fob with a built-in sound sampler. The end vocal effect was added using this as the medium.

“I had a sort of Wilson Pickett, R&B number in mind wit this. I could imagine some soul guy really getting to grips with it. It’s a favourite of mine and I’m looking forward, hopefully to some R&B singer doing it.”

Paul McCartney, in Club Sandwitch n°82, Summer 1997:

As I have said, I write quite a bit on holiday, when the pressure’s off, and one afternoon in Jamaica I sat down and started writing a song that turned out to be ‘Souvenir’. It was a real lazy holiday, very laid back, so there was no tension at all in the writing of this song. The phone went in the middle of my making the demo, and then a tropical downpour happened, but I kept on recording and love the demo for its atmosphere.

Mark Lewisohn, in Club Sandwich n°82, Summer 1997:

Pretty much everyone who’s anyone has covered a Paul McCartney song but the writer himself warms the most to soul recordings of his music. He will, occasionally, aim to spark this by imagining certain artists as he writes, thinking of Ray Charles with ‘The Long And Winding Road’ and Aretha Franklin with ‘Let It Be’. (Remarkably, both did indeed release their versions of these songs.) ‘Souvenir’ is cut of the same cloth, written by Paul during a particularly relaxing afternoon on holiday in Jamaica at the beginning of January 1995. 

A studio recording of Souvenir did not occur for another year, but Paul was nonetheless anxious to replicate the atmosphere of his original Jamaican demo, and to avoid, as Paul says, “introducing an uptight feeling to something relaxing”. The final touch – the scratchy 78rpm sound reminiscent of ‘Honey Pie’ – was added after Paul observed that his co-engineer Jon Jacobs carried with him a key-fob with a built-in sound sampler. The vocal effect was added to the end of the song using this as the medium.

Last updated on May 14, 2018

Lyrics

When you're fed up shedding too many tears
And you're memories seem like just so many souvenirs
I will come to you to ease the pain

If you want me, tell me now
If I can be of any help, tell me how
Let me love you like a friend
Everything is gonna come right in the end

When you're crying like a poor little child
And you're feeling like you never could be reconciled
Don't forget a word of what I'm saying

If you want me, tell me now
If I can be of any help, tell me how
Let me love you like a friend
Everything is gonna come right in the end

Well, I can hold you too tight
I could never let you go
But that wouldn't be right
So, why don't you let me know (let me know)
What you want to do

Everybody's got a handful of fear
But tomorrow it may only be a souvenir
Of the way it was 'til it went away

If you want me, tell me now
If I can be of any help, tell me how
Let me love you like a friend
Every little thing is gonna come right in the end

Souvenir
No, not another souvenir
No, no, no, no, no, souvenir

Officially appears on


Flaming Pie

Official album • Released in 1997

3.38 • Studio versionA

Paul McCartney:
Acoustic guitar, Backing vocal, Bass guitar, Drums, Electric guitar, Harpsichord, Lead vocal, Piano, Producer
Jeff Lynne:
Acoustic guitar, Backing vocal, Electric guitar, Keyboard, Producer
Kevin Robinson:
Trumpet
Chris 'Snake' Davis:
Saxophone
Dave Bishop:
Baritone saxophone
Geoff Emerick:
Engineer
Jon Jacobs:
Engineer
Keith Smith:
Assistant engineer

Session Recording:
Feb 19, 1996
Studio:
Hog Hill Studio, Rye, UK

Credits & recording details courtesy of Luca Perasi • Buy Paul McCartney: Recording Sessions (1969-2013) on Amazon


Pure McCartney (Deluxe)

Official album • Released in 2016

Studio versionA1 • 2016 Remaster

Paul McCartney:
Acoustic guitar, Backing vocal, Bass guitar, Drums, Electric guitar, Harpsichord, Lead vocal, Piano, Producer
Jeff Lynne:
Acoustic guitar, Backing vocal, Electric guitar, Keyboard, Producer
Kevin Robinson:
Trumpet
Chris 'Snake' Davis:
Saxophone
Dave Bishop:
Baritone saxophone
Geoff Emerick:
Engineer
Jon Jacobs:
Engineer
Keith Smith:
Assistant engineer
Alex Wharton:
Remastering

Session Recording:
Feb 19, 1996
Studio:
Hog Hill Studio, Rye, UK

Credits & recording details courtesy of Luca Perasi • Buy Paul McCartney: Recording Sessions (1969-2013) on Amazon

Bootlegs


Complete Flaming Pie - Sessions & Beyond (1997-1998)

Unofficial album

2:30 • Alternate take • Paul On


Complete Flaming Pie - Sessions & Beyond (1997-1998)

Unofficial album

3:24 • Alternate take


Flaming Pie - Ultimate Archive Collection

Unofficial album • Released in 2016

3:42 • Studio versionA

Paul McCartney:
Acoustic guitar, Backing vocal, Bass guitar, Drums, Electric guitar, Harpsichord, Lead vocal, Piano, Producer
Jeff Lynne:
Acoustic guitar, Backing vocal, Electric guitar, Keyboard, Producer
Kevin Robinson:
Trumpet
Chris 'Snake' Davis:
Saxophone
Dave Bishop:
Baritone saxophone
Geoff Emerick:
Engineer
Jon Jacobs:
Engineer
Keith Smith:
Assistant engineer

Session Recording:
Feb 19, 1996
Studio:
Hog Hill Studio, Rye, UK

Credits & recording details courtesy of Luca Perasi • Buy Paul McCartney: Recording Sessions (1969-2013) on Amazon


Flaming Pie Sessions

Unofficial album • Released in 2016

0:23 • Outtake • Backing Track


Flaming Pie Sessions

Unofficial album • Released in 2016

2:35 • Studio version

Live performances

Paul McCartney has never played this song in concert.


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