The Beekeeper's Daughter is a kind of specialty honey made by a family of beekeepers in California - the phrase does not appear in the lyrics. In our interview with All-American Rejects guitarist Nick Wheeler, he explained that they came across the honey on a songwriting excursion he and lead singer Tyson Ritter took to a cabin in Sequoia Grove forest in Northern California. Said Wheeler: "The words, 'You're a pretty little flower, I'm a busy little bee,' all these references to bees and flowers and stuff, whenever we weren't working, we were eating or drinking. So we're cooking breakfast one day, and this kitchen is stocked with these kitchen staples. There's a bottle of honey in the cabinet called Beekeeper's Daughter brand. And it was simply to amuse myself, I titled the demo 'Beekeeper's Daughter.'
Another one, up at a writing trip in Maine, was this really bluesy riff that turned into the song 'Walk Over Me' on the record. I called that 'Maine Bluesberry Jam.' (Laughs) That one didn't stick. We changed the title of that to 'Walk Over Me.' But 'Beekeeper's Daughter' we couldn't shake. So it's a complete coincidence. We've heard like, 'Did you get that from a Sylvia Plath poem,' like, 'Who's Sylvia Plath?' (Laughs)"
Regarding the lyrical content of this song, Nick Wheeler told us: "Ty was still coming down off the whole "Gives You Hell" ride, and we both moved to Los Angeles. He got mixed in with the bad crowd and kind of thought he was on top of the world - thought he was bulletproof and all that. But that's where the lyrical sentiment came from. He's being an asshole, especially to women, but he doesn't give a f--k, he only cares about himself. That's exactly what the lyrics to the song are from.
After 2008's When The World Comes Down the band upped sticks and moved to Los Angeles. Frontman Tyson Ritter got into some bad company and lost his way and this song recalls that time of "lost excess" as he sings about only needing a girl "for an hour." Speaking with Spin magazine Ritter explained how this tune captures that dark period of his life: "It's about a point in my life when I was sort of completely involved in that moment of lost excess," he said. "I was treating everything like I had this bulletproof vest; I was encountering some terrible people and terrible women and I started to kind of firm up a lot; I wasn't a likable guy for the moment. I was just sort of on my journey.
The female vocals in the bridge, she's kind of telling him to f--k off," he continued, "and that's the resolve of the song. I was really going for a guy you were going to love to hate, as opposed to just hate. That's kind of where I was with my own little journey, at the moment. Everything seemed disposable to me, including myself. The song is a Polaroid of my lowest of lows."
Ritter sings about only needing a girl "for an hour," which on the face of it sounds sexist. However the singer told Spin magazine it needs to be taken in context: "I can see how someone could see it as sexist, but I don't find it that way at all," he said. "By the time you get to the bridge of the song, you're [supposed to] realize that this guy's actually battling himself. When last chorus kicks in, it's not this confident chorus, it's more him telling himself this person is going to wait for him. In all truth, he might as well be talking to the wind."
There are horns on this track, which is unusual for the band. Nick Wheeler told us: "We started playing in bands in the '90s, and a couple of them were ska bands. So horns kind of have had a stigma to them, at least in our younger years. It's like ska happened, now it's over. So then being exposed to more music, there's more out there than just pop, punk and ska, like the bands we were playing in in the '90s. So we dabbled a little bit on the last record, a song called 'Real World' had quite a big orchestra section, including a trumpet solo. This time we really wanted to put on a sassy, Chicago-style horn section, and we both came to this realization at the same time. Some of the best ideas are the ones where we finish each other's sentences, or one of us says something, the other's like, "I was just thinking that same thing." And the horn thing was kind of like that. But it turned out to be really cool, and when we do live TV - like on Jimmy Kimmel - we get to bring in live horns. That song, 'Beekeeper's Daughter,' is a lot of fun. It has a lot of life to the song."
A music video for the song was shot in late January 2012. It sees Ritter being rejected by his girlfriend, before he starts performing the track. He eventually ends up singing it on a carnival float with his fellow band members. Wheeler told Pop Crush about the clip: "The video itself, I think it's exactly what the song is. It's sugary. It's a catchy melody. It's a classic Rejects pop rock song. But the lyrical sentiment is a little darker — it's spiteful and the guy talking is kind of an a–hole. I think we really captured the vibrancy and the colors; and if you just look at it on the surface, it looks like exactly what it is. It's bright. There's dancing — it's a great time. But if you look a little closer you see the devil girls, you see the barbershop quartet with the black eyes – there's a dark undertone, where if you listen to the lyric and pick up on the details of the video I think they match perfectly.
We were thinking about going a really dark route and having Ty play this guy who's unhappy in his personal life so he's like a male prostitute. Not like in a Deuce Bigalow kind of way but in a dark, sad, kind of way. We were so far down the rabbit hole with that idea when Isaac Rentz sent the treatment and we were all kind of like, "This is a breath of fresh air, I think this is good, is this good?" So we made it. We spent a lot of money, but we had a lot of fun doing it and it came out really cool."
The video also features a cameo appearance from American singer and entertainer Wayne Newton.
This is the first official single off The All-American Rejects' fourth studio album Kids in the Street. The song was premiered on the January 24, 2011 episode of the American teen drama 90210, when the band performed it live at the re-launch of Liam's bar, the Offshore. It was digitally released the same day.
Oklahoman singer-songwriter Audra Mae sings backing vocals on this song as well as the title track and "Fast and Slow." She is best known for her covers of Whitesnake's "Here I Go Again" and Rod Stewart's "Forever Young." Mae also penned "Who Was I Born to Be" for Susan Boyle's debut album. Another claim to fame that Mae can boast of is that she is a great great niece of Judy Garland.
Guitarist Mike Kennerty admitted to Alternative Addiction that the band were originally concerned about including the song on the album as it finds them stepping into some unusual territory. "It's really laid back but it's got kind of like a groove to it… almost like a Steve Miller vibe on the verses," he said. "We were kind of afraid of it. We knew it was catchy… and we were pretty confident that it was a good song but maybe not the right song. We ended up really digging our teeth into it and trying to give it some edge. I think we found that in some really weird guitar tones… just trying to freak it out more than it originally sounded coming up. It's definitely a catchy song and it's our first chance to use a horn section too which is kind of fun."