Honey Pie

To begin with, “Honey Pie” is a Beatles’ song which is on their “White Album” from 1968. However, this track also appears as a demo on their 1996 album, “Anthology 3” as well.

In Detail

Albums

Release Date: 22nd November, 1968
Recorded: 1st, 2nd & 4th October, 1968
Genre: Ragtime, jazz, music hall
Track Duration: 2:41
Record Label: Apple Records
Songwriters: Lennon-McCartney
Producer: George Martin
Engineer: Barry Sheffield

Performers

Paul McCartney: vocal, piano, also the saxophone and clarinet arrangement
John Lennon: rhythm guitar, as well as the lead guitar
George Harrison: six-stringed bass
Ringo Starr: drums

Other Performers

George Martin: saxophone and clarinet arrangement
Raymond Newman,  David Smith: clarinet
Harry Klein,  Dennis Walton, Ronald Chamberlain, Jim Chester, Rex Morris: saxophone

Track Sources

White Album
Anthology 3

Honey Pie is a Beatles' song which is also on their White Album from 1968

White Album (1968)

Honey Pie is a Beatles' song which is also on their

Anthology 3 Album (1996)

Honey Pie

Written and sung by Paul McCartney in a British music hall style, the song is about an actress who makes it big in America. Meanwhile, the singer is pining for his sweetheart to return back to England. We never get to know who the actress was because the singer only uses “Honey Pie” to address her.

“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.”

Paul McCartney
Many Years From Now, Barry Miles

The song takes its rightful place on the brilliant “White Album” sitting between “Revolution 1” and “Savoy Truffle“.

Recording Studio

The Beatles began recording “Honey Pie” on the 1st October, 1968, in the Trident Studios, Wardour Street, London, during a session which saw a single take only. However, since there are no available records for this day, there may have been rehearsals prior to recording. In the same studios the next day, Paul McCartney recorded his mournful vocals.

On the 4th October, George Martin arranged a woodwind section for overdubbing to the track. Then McCartney added his distinctive line, “Now she’s hit the big time”. Since the song has a 1920s theme to it, they fed McCartney’s voice through a series of filters to give that an authentic feel to it. To further give it a 1920’s sound, they added crackles from a 78 rpm record.

“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.”

Paul McCartney
Many Years From Now, Barry Miles

The version available on their 1996 album, “Anthology 3”, is a demo from George Harrison’s home in Esher, Surrey, England. Obviously without suitable studio equipment the introduction is missing. There are also slight differences in the lyrics.

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About Bobby

I have been a Beatles fan since the early 1960s so I speak from my heart and soul. It was a pleasure to accept the role of Admin on The Beatles Forum when we left our old site. If you feel that something needs correcting with the information I provide, please contact me.

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