- Published on 1964
- Author: Perkins
- Track 10 on “Beatles For Sale“
About “Honey Don’t”
“Honey Don’t” is a song written by Carl Perkins, originally released on January 1, 1956 as the B-side of the “Blue Suede Shoes” single. Both songs became rockabilly classics. Bill Dahl of Allmusic praised the song saying, “‘Honey Don’t’ actually outclasses its more celebrated platter-mate in some ways.”
The Beatles recorded this song on October 26, 1964 one of the last songs recorded for Beatles for Sale which was released in the UK on December 4, 1964. The U.S. release was on December 15 on Beatles ’65.
Although John Lennon had previously sung the song live, Ringo Starr sang it for the album, his requisite one lead vocal per album. During the song, he makes self-referential remarks leading into Harrison’s guitar riffs, such as, “Rock on George, one time for me!”
A version sung by Lennon is available on Live at the BBC. George Harrison was a fan of Perkins, and Starr sang “Honey Don’t” during the Concert For George which was held at the Royal Albert Hall, London on November 29, 2002, the first anniversary of Harrison’s death.
Along with “Matchbox“, “Honey Don’t” is one of the rare songs that all four Beatles have separately recorded or performed on stage.
Meaning of “Honey Don’t”
The lyrics of “Honey Don’t” speak to a troubled romantic relationship. The narrator addresses his partner, asking her not to mistreat him or cause him pain. He expresses a desire for stability and a harmonious relationship.
The phrase “Honey Don’t” serves as a refrain throughout the song, emphasizing the plea for the partner not to engage in hurtful behaviors. The song reflects a common theme in rock ‘n’ roll and country music of that era, which often dealt with the trials and tribulations of love and relationships.
In essence, “Honey Don’t” is a plea for understanding and consideration in a romantic partnership, set to a catchy rock ‘n’ roll beat.
- Ringo Starr – lead vocal, drums, percussion
- John Lennon – acoustic rhythm guitar
- Paul McCartney – bass guitar
- George Harrison – lead guitar