‘Hey Diddle’ was recorded during the Ram sessions at New York’s Columbia Studios in October 1970.
The song was initially titled ‘She Can’t Be Found’.
In understanding how lyrics come about, you have to appreciate the stage of life of the writer. Today, I might write totally differently, but when you have little kids, as I did at this time, you’re often composing ditties like ‘Her Majesty’ or ‘Hey Diddle’ or something like this.
You’re just not sitting there trying to be too meaningful. I used to do these little songs just to amuse the kids. But the truth is I still write for kids. Maybe it means I’ve never fully grown up, but I’ve got one that’s called ‘The Bouncy Song’, and one, I confess, called ‘Running Around The Room’, which is another family classic. Then we have one that goes, ‘Fishes, fishes, fishes swimming in the sea’. There are quite a few of them from when the kids were growing up – songs I didn’t release.
The Lyrics: 1956 To The Present
Paul McCartney rehearsed ‘Hey Diddle’ in 1973 for the James Paul McCartney TV special, and in July 1974 he added some country-style overdubs for its inclusion on the Cold Cuts rarities album.
A home recording of ‘Hey Diddle’ was taped at the McCartney home in Campbeltown, Scotland, on 6 June 1971. It was performed with ‘Bip Bop’, and both songs were included on the 2001 compilation Wingspan: Hits And History.
A Dixon Van Winkle Mix was also included in the 2012 reissue of Ram. The 2014 reissue of Venus And Mars contained the Ernie Winfrey Mix.
In 2018 the Archive Collection version of Wild Life contained a demo home recording of ‘Hey Diddle’.