Paul McCartney designed The Beatles’ “Honey Pie” as a tribute to a genre he loved. Afterwards, John Lennon said he didn’t want to think about the song. He laughed at the mention.
In the 1997 book Paul McCartney: In many years, Paul spoke about his taste in music. “Both John and I had a great love for music hall, which Americans call ‘vaudeville,'” he said. “I listened to a lot of this type of music growing up with the Billy Cotton Band show and all that on the radio.
“I was also an admirer of people like Fred Astaire; One of my favorites of his was “Cheek to Cheek” from a movie called cylinder that I used to have on an old ’78,” he said.
Paul’s love of music hall songs inspired The Beatles to write “Honey Pie”. The White Album. “I really liked that old crooner style, the weird fruity voice they used, so ‘Honey Pie’ wrote one of them to an imaginary woman across the ocean on screen called ‘Honey Pie,'” he said .
“It’s another of my fantasy songs,” he said. “We sounded 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 I grew up with.”
The book All We Say: The Last Great Interview with John Lennon and Yoko Ono contains an interview from 1980. In it, John was asked about numerous songs from the Fab Four’s catalogue.
Sometimes when asked for a specific song, he would go on with paragraphs and paragraphs. When asked about “honey pie”, however, he only said one sentence. “I don’t even want to think about that,” John said. He laughed just thinking about the song.
Paul didn’t give up music hall songs after writing “Honey Pie.” Some of his other songs like “Martha My Dear”, “Maxwell’s Silver Hammer” and “When I’m Sixty-Four” are examples of this genre.
In the book 2015 Conversations with McCartney, Paul was asked about his infatuation with music hall songs. The “Silly Love Songs” singer then compared songs to furniture. He said that just as someone who wants good furniture looks to craftsman Thomas Chippendale, someone who wants good music might look to The Gershwin Brothers and Cole Porter. He said the Gershwins and Porter made “skillful” songs.
Paul is a fan of vaudeville, although John disliked all of his forays into the style.