The song was written in Jamaica in January 1995.
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.
Club Sandwich, Summer 1997
‘Souvenir’ was recorded at McCartney’s Hog Hill Mill studio on 19 February 1996. It was co-produced by Jeff Lynne.
I had a sort of Wilson Pickett, R&B number in mind with 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.
Flaming Pie liner notes
The trumpet and saxophone parts were overdubbed at a later date. The final touch was the crackle from a vinyl disc, added after McCartney noticed his co-engineer Jon Jacobs had a sound sampler key fob.
‘Souvenir’ was included on the 2016 compilation Pure McCartney, along with seven other songs from Flaming Pie: ‘The Song We Were Singing’, ‘The World Tonight’, ‘Calico Skies’, ‘Flaming Pie’, ‘Little Willow’, ‘Beautiful Night’, and ‘Great Day’.
Paul McCartney never performed ‘Souvenir’ live.