Wild Honey Pie

The Beatles (White Album) artworkWritten by: Lennon-McCartney
Recorded: 20 August 1968
Producer: George Martin
Engineer: Ken Scott

Released: 22 November 1968 (UK), 25 November 1968 (US)

Paul McCartney: vocals, acoustic guitar, drums

Available on:
The Beatles (White Album)

A solo recording by Paul McCartney, Wild Honey Pie was a singalong written in Rishikesh, India, and recorded at the end of the session for Mother Nature's Son.

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We were in an experimental mode, and so I said, 'Can I just make something up?' I started off with the guitar and did a multitracking experiment in the control room or maybe in the little room next door. It was very home-made; it wasn't a big production at all. I just made up this short piece and I multitracked a harmony to that, and a harmony to that, and a harmony to that, and built it up sculpturally with a lot of vibrato on the strings, really pulling the strings madly. Hence, 'Wild Honey Pie', which was a reference to the other song I had written called Honey Pie. It was a little experimental piece.
Paul McCartney
Many Years From Now, Barry Miles

Wild Honey Pie was recorded on 20 August 1968, during the second and final session for Mother Nature's Son. McCartney also recorded another demo, Etcetera, during the same session, but the song remains unreleased.

[Wild Honey Pie] was just a fragment of an instrumental which we were not sure about, but Pattie Harrison liked it very much, so we decided to leave it on the album.
Paul McCartney

20 responses on “Wild Honey Pie

    1. Preston Phillips

      No, I’m pretty sure it’s just Paul. Actually, Paul could imitate John pretty well. He sings on top of John’s vocal on “Real Love”, and it sounds like John’s double tracked but he’s not.

      1. Preston Phillips

        I could be wrong about that. The “Real Love” video does show Paul singing along with John’s voice in the studio, but that might not have been on the final cut.

        1. Julio

          I love how George Harrison is usually alloted no more than two songs per record but paul gets to crap like this. Don’t get me wrong I like it but I am sure george had one better. Just think how cool (and improbable) it would have been if the beatles had decided to a Beatles album of songs composed only by George. All Things Must Pass by the Beatles with George Martin producing would have been awesome.

  1. Tweeze

    Paul likes to use ‘we’ to indicate a group process that really didn’t exist on this track. It is jarring and ultimately more of an amateurish noise than anything else. But Patty Harrison liked it so somehow her vote ruled the day!? I guess John says he was okay with it, too, but I can’t help but wonder about the combined forces of Martin-McCartney trying to keep ‘Revolution 9’ off but allowing this. Hmm.

    1. Von Bontee

      Well, “Wild Honey Pie” had a tune (of sorts) and was less than a minute long, making it much more “acceptable” or “commercial” or whatever than “Revolution 9”. So I’d say Martin/McCartney’s objections were more justified. (Of course, both tracks made the album, and I’m glad they did, so the whole thing is moot anyways.)

  2. Bob

    I smiled when I read Paul’s quote that “WE decided to leave (Wild Honey Pie) on the album.” George Martin is on record as having said he wanted ONE single album with the BEST songs on it, so HE’S not part of the “we.” And I am picturing John and George silently fuming and glaring at that quote. Ringo (who wasn’t asked to play on the song) probably looked up from his game of solitaire, and mumbled “whatever…” so Ringo might be part of the “we.” That being said, I’m glad “Wild Honey Pie” made the cut. It was jarring when I first heard it, but now I like it as the oddity it is. And the way it ends, and segues into the Spanish guitar intro of “Bungalow Bill”… seems perfect to me.

  3. James Ferrell

    It’s interesting to see that so many Beatle fanatics hate this one. I kinda like it. Like von Bontee says it’s not too long, and the descending 7th chords sound kind of good, and it fits nicely with Bungalow Bill and then WMGGW, and it is sort of gleeful. All in all II like the little snippets on the White Album–can you take me back, this, and even Why Don’t We Do It (which is longer than the others but which IMHO would have been better as a one verse snippet).

    Anyway thumbs up from me for this strange but happy little thing.

  4. Dan

    A really fun track, much better than “Honey Pie” which is somewhat disposable. I like how it is structured, and it’s an engaging interlude of a track. Certainly not what the Beatles do often, which is about righting a rather safe, catchy pop song – but their other side is interesting arrangements/production, which this certainly has.

  5. carlos

    I love every Beatles album as they were conceived. Every single song, arrangement, instrumentation, singing, production. How each song fits in the next one. But let me tell you there were stuff enough to make a triple album. It would have been amazing. George´s “Dehra dun”, “Not guilty”, “Sour milk sea”, “Circles”, “See yourself”, John´s “What´s the new Mary Jane”, “Child of nature”, “Mean Mr. Mustard”, “Polythene Pam”, Paul´s “Junk”, “Etcetera”, the complete “Can you take me back”. Great ! don´t you think so ?

  6. Fool On The Hill

    I’m with carlos…love them all. They wouldn’t have been the Beatles without each and every song, nobody would be here talking and we would still be listening to Chuck Berry (nothing against Chuck, I’m a Beatles fella – their music makes me feel good and heals me – somehow makes everything seem worthwhile in life).

  7. Beatle Chris

    Well said “Fool On The Hill”. I agree completely, anyone who says they don’t like a Beatles song, even Mr. Moonlight, is not a true fanatic. “somehow makes everything seem worthwhile in life”……………

  8. MyValentine

    The sad thing is that Georges “Not Guilty” has been left out, but “Revolution #9” – and this one – is on the WA. However, this is at least a (good) musical joke, and it´s quite short, so it doesn´t really matter much, while R.#9 is 8+ min …. and simply in the way for another (better) song – or two.

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