Monday, 11 January 2010

White Album Redux #5: Wild Honey Pie

What can you honestly say about "Wild Honey Pie"? It's less than a minute long, features Paul McCartney screeching over a cacophany of instruments, and probably should have never made it off the cutting-room floor. Yet it made it on The Beatles -- something most attribute to Pattie Boyd, George Harrison' wife, having an overwhelming fondness for the song -- and must be written about.

Out of the entire White Album, "Wild Honey Pie" tends to divide people the most, as does "Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da", possibly because they ended up on the same side as classics like "Dear Prudence" and "While My Guitar Gently Weeps". It's almost as if we're annoyed at songs like "Wild Honey Pie" for the way they seemingly come out of nowhere.

Whether you like the song or not is entirely your own opinion. PopMatters labelled it "coherent and memorable". A casual listener looking for the much, er, sweeter "Honey Pie" on their iPod might stumble upon it instead and wonder if they've gone mad.

There's a kind of joyful madness, though, that "Wild Honey Pie" represents -- that messing around in the studio that can lead to some happy accidents. Whether "Wild Honey Pie" is one of those happy accidents is still up in the air; appropriately enough, only two professional covers exist, according to Wikipedia at least.

Here's the better of them - "Wild Honey Pie" as covered by Pixies. It's about as weird and unpredictable as the original song itself.



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