Honey Pie

Album: The White Album (1968)

Songfacts®:

  • This song was a pastiche of the classic 1940's swing and sentimental ballads written by Cole Porter, Irving Berlin or Sammy Cahn. Paul McCartney explained in Barry Miles' biography of the Beatle, Many Years From Now: "Both John and I had a great love for music hall 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."
  • John Lennon played lead guitar, George Harrison bass. During the White Album sessions, The Beatles often recorded in separate studios recording different parts. One would be doing vocals for a song while the other would do horns or guitar in a different studio. George Martin's assistant Chris Thomas ended up doing much of the work because Martin couldn't be in two places at once. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Christine - Golden, CO
  • Scratches were added to an opening line from an old 78 RPM record to give a dated feel.
  • Beatles producer George Martin scored the brass and woodwind arrangement.

Comments: 31

  • Steve from Princeton, NjDuring that strangely done third line, "Now she's hit the big time," Paul sounds like Ringo.
  • Julia from Milton, Pai'm sorry, but this is my least favorite song of the beatles. but i love the other 208 songs. ps happy national beatle day! july 30 2011
  • George from Belleville, NjOnce again this is further proof of the diversity and variety of the Beatles songs.They could write anything.This song sounds like something from the 30's or 40's. it has a nice melody that bounces.A very catchy song.This is totally different from other songs on The White Album and shows a wide range of music found in the album.
  • Joe from , MoI can't get enough of this song!
  • Julia from Richland, WaI've always kind of wondered if this song was about Jane Asher, because she, besides being Paul's girlfriend, was an actress, and because she was an actress, she was really busy. Even though Paul was going with Linda at the time, it kind of makes me wonder if, if the song was about Jane Asher, he tried to give her a second chance with the love they lost.
  • Linc from Beaumont, TxI love this song. It takes you to a very specific time and place.
  • Kelly from Liverpool, United Kingdomi like this song and when im 64. i think those are some really good songs. thats how i discovered that i like 40s music :x
  • Susan from Toronto, CanadaGeorge Harrison said, "John played a brilliant solo on `Honey Pie'...sounded like Django Reinhardt or something. It was one of them where you just close your eyes and happen to hit all the right notes--sounded like a little jazz solo." From the book BEATLSONGS by William J. Dowlding
  • Faith from Liverpool, --I love this song. Paul has such awesome vocals.=)
  • Ken from Louisville, KyAt the time, George Harrison told everybody he hated songs like this and the later "Maxwell's Silver Hammer". He called them "fruity". But as he got older, he developed a love for old 1920's and 30's dance hall songs and even recorded a version of "Devil And The Deep Blue Sea" which was included on his posthumous CD "Brainwashed".
  • Bianca Sanchez from Alburquerque, NmI love that part too, Christy. Love the song
  • Madison from Norway, MeThis song always reminded me of the Monkee's song "Magnolia Simms". I think the Monkee's version is more clever...
  • Christopher from Reno, NvA wonderful semi-whimsical adventure into the Roaring Twenties, that is throwback to the deeper roots of their own, now contemporary musical style.
  • Joey from Nowhere Land, CaI love how Paul totally makes sound effects, like he totally sings the solo-type thing with the piano and such
  • Izzy from Buffalo, Nythe jazziness first shocked me when i first heard it. i was like 'what? a jazzy shotune by the BEATLES?!? you've gotta be kidding me.'
    but i actually really like it.
  • Ian from Lethbridge, CanadaGreat song! Paul's falsetto during the "hot kind of music" part is awesome!
  • Dennis from Anchorage, AkIt's not really jazz. It's very much in the style of the old British music hall music. McCartney's father used to play in dance bands, so Paul would have been immersed in this kind of thing from an early age. This was hardly the first time he used the style; "When I'm Sixty-Four" is very much in this vein.
  • Stefanie from Rock Hill, ScI don't know if this has anything to do with this, but i know Paul has always been a fan of showtunes, especially as a child. Maybe that helped inspired this.
  • Danny from Upstate, NyI think it's interesting to note that John was on the record several times as saying that he hated jazz with a passion. The fact that this song is on the album is further evidence of the demise of the relationship between the fabs. Also, how the hell can someone write jazz without the ability to read music?? I mean, I know Paul had the help of George Martin, a musical genius, but still, the fact that he was able to create this gem at all is a tribute to his musical prowess.
  • Steve from Fenton, MoThis song had a Charleston feel to it. That's one of the interesting aspects of the White Album, it has so many different musical styles.
  • Linus from Hamilton, On, CanadaNotice both "Honey Pie" and "Wild Honey Pie" are on the same album - the white album. That ought to have caused some confusion.
  • Riley from Naval Reserve, ScA Fun, jazzy song indeed. I love listening to it on my couch with head phones in my ears and my feet propped up on a pillow or such and swaying my feet. I like the 1920s and 1930s feel, like Luna said.
  • Stuart from London, EnglandLove this song, so easy to sing
  • Mike from Newark, NdI"ve always thought of this as Paul's salute to a bygone musical era that possibly evoked pleasant memories of his listening to old records with his family as a child. Then again, maybe he just made it because he could! Good song.
  • Luna from London, EnglandI love this song! Its got kinda of a jazzy feel - almost 1930s-esque! I always think of the 1920s and 30s when I listen to this song.
  • Nessie from Sapporo, Japan"George Harrison [played] bass" Hence the rare crapitude of the bass line. Calling Paul...
  • Nessie from Sapporo, Japan"After reading it was about Linda, it makes sense, except for... You became a legend of the silver screen" (Gregmon) Gregmon, perhaps it's a reference to her career as a photographer? Silver emulsions are used in photographic negatives. Just a wild theory.
  • Gregmon from Intelbuquerque, NmAfter reading it was about Linda, it makes sense, except for...

    You became a legend of the silver screen
  • Mike from London, EnglandOh, I forgot to mention that Manson, after hearing this song, tried to call the Beatles at Apple and in Liverpool around 3 times, but to no avail. Perhaps he inspired "You Know My Name(Look up the Number)," which was written by Paul after a prank call was made to the Beatles during the White Album sessions that said "We know your name, and now we've got your number." That song was released on the B-side of Let it Be in 1970
  • Mike from London, EnglandThis music hall-style song was originally written by Paul to beg Linda Eastman, his future wife, to come back to "where you belong," away from America and back to England. Charles Manson, on the other hand, thought it was the Beatles calling him over to England so that a race war could start, etc etc. In fact there is a Manson interpretation of every song on the White Album, usually leading to the same thing. Helter Skelter is about the imminent race war, and Revolution 9 is about the Book of Revelations in which the Beatles as the four horsemen of the apocalypse will be the prophets to begin this new era.
    Not quite right there, were you Charlie?
  • Mia from Elk River, MnA great combination and a beautifully arranged style. Classic, with modern and easy feelings stirred in.
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