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
Timeline This song has been written (or started being written) in 1995 (Paul McCartney was 53 years old)

Related sessions

This song has been recorded during the following studio sessions


Home recordings

Circa 1995


Recording "Souvenir"

Feb 19, 1996

Other Flaming Pie songs written in Jamaica, January 1995


The Song We Were Singing

Officially appears on Flaming Pie


Little Willow

Officially appears on Flaming Pie

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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, from the liner notes of “Flaming Pie”

I like some songs because they can get covered by a black singer. ‘The Long And Winding Road’ was written with Ray Charles in mind. This one was like Wilson Pickett. I could imagine someone really getting to grips with that one. I cut a demo of the track when I was on holiday in Jamaica and I was anxious that I stayed close to the feel of the original take when I started work on the track in England with Jeff Lynne. I said to Jeff, ‘Let’s take this demo but instead of what we normally do, take all the information off and renew it, and wreck it. Let’s make sure that everything that’s going on is at least as good and has the flavour of the demo.’ That song’s a little favourite of mine. I’m looking forward, I hope, to an R&B singer doing it. I would have loved it as a single but I knew that no one on earth would ever have chosen it as a single.

Paul McCartney, from Badman, Keith. The Beatles: Off The Record 2 – The Dream is Over
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.

Souvenir” was remastered in 2016 for inclusion on the “Pure McCartney” compilation, and then in 2020 for the “Flaming Pie Archive Collection“, both times by engineer Alex Wharton. As explained on the Steve Hoffman forum:

It’s interesting that for both ‘Pure McCartney’ in 2016 and the new 2020 remaster the polarity is different. Which means something went wrong in the final mastering stage of the original 1997 issue. Because ‘Pure McCartney’ worked from a compressed and limited 1997 master, and this 2020 remaster from a tape without that compression and limiting.

by forum resident “mindgames”

Last updated on September 17, 2020

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 :
Mixing engineer, Recording engineer
Jon Jacobs :
Recording 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 Pies

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 :
Mixing engineer, Recording engineer
Jon Jacobs :
Recording 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 White-Label Promo LP

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 :
Mixing engineer, Recording engineer
Jon Jacobs :
Recording 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

3:40 • Studio versionA2016 • 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 :
Mixing engineer, Recording engineer
Jon Jacobs :
Recording 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


Flaming Pie - Archive Collection

Official album • Released in 2020

3:41 • Studio versionA2020 • 2020 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 :
Mixing engineer, Recording engineer
Jon Jacobs :
Recording 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


Flaming Pie - Archive Collection

Official album • Released in 2020

2:54 • DemoB • Home Recording

Paul McCartney :
Acoustic guitar, Producer, Vocal
Alex Wharton :
Mastering

Recording :
Circa 1995

Bootlegs


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 :
Mixing engineer, Recording engineer
Jon Jacobs :
Recording 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

Live performances

Paul McCartney has never played this song in concert.


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