the song
title : Honeychild
written by : Eddi Reader, Neill MacColl, Roy Dodds and Phil Steriopulos
song copyright : copyright control

the performance
Eddi Reader vocal
Neill MacColl guitar, piano, backing vocals
Phil Steriopulos double bass
Roy Dodds drums, whirly tube
with :
Jools Holland Hammond organ
key : B major
time-signature : 4/4
tempo : MM 142
form : ½v VR VRx M R v M′ VRx R P

provided for research and private study only (see above for copyright details):


clouds from chimneys rise
there’s something wild and free
the river always runs
away from here and you and me

ah honeychild
oh my honeychild

these stones are in your hands
through the air, across the sea
passing over skipping waves
with all these anchor chains around my feet

ah honeychild
ah save me honeychild {honeychild}
mmm oh my honeychild
ah honeychild {honeychild}

hold me closer, closer still and
closer, say I always will

– electric slide guitar solo

hold me through this darkened world
hold me closer, my honeychild


clouds from chimneys rise
there’s something wild and free
passing over my head
like all the things I’ll never be

oh honeychild
oh my honeychild {honeychild}

ah, oh my honeychild
oh my honeychild {honeychild}

mmm oh honeychild
oh my honeychild {honeychild}

{honeychild}     [edit fades here]

aah, hoh
oh my, save me now
save me honeychild
oh save me honeychild, now
passing over my head
like all the things I’ll never be
I’ll never be
I’ll never be
I’ll never be

The word honeychild seems to have originated among southern Black communities as a term of endearment. Sid Duty observed that it is used in Elvis Presley’s recording of Paralysed (Blackwell/Presley) of 1956.

the recording
produced by : Eddi Reader and the Patron Saints of Imperfection
recorded by : Terry Medhurst at Helicon Mountain Studio, London
mixed by : Terry Medhurst? at Helicon Mountain Studio?
mastered by : ? at Townhouse?
track timing : 5:11
song timing : m:ss
released on
album : Mirmama track 2
single : Honeychild? track 1
album : Seventeen stories: the best of Eddi Reader   (comp.) track 2


This is not so much commentary as trivia, really, but the word “honeychild” cropped up in a couple of other popular music contexts at about the time Eddi recorded and released this track:

In 1991 an Australian singer released her third album and entitled it ‘Honeychild’. She was Jenny Morris and the album in question was the result of a collaboration with the funk musicians Sly & Robbie. Michael Bayley describes it on his Jenny Morris page as “sleek and sensuous”.

Incidentally, don’t confuse this Jenny Morris with a new country music brat-packer with the same name. Nor with an apparently different singer from New York appearing on a dub album by Bedouin Sound Clash reviewed in 1996! Nor with the ageing British TV animal-programme presenter Johnny Morris!!

Approximately coincident with the Jenny Morris album, a band called “Honeychild” released an album, Information heaven, on the UK Virgin label (CDV2665, also on LP and MC). I only know about this because the band name jumped out at me when I was browsing through hundreds of used CD’s at a gi-normous record fair at the National Exhibition Centre and I’m such a sad bast^H^H^H person that £ 4.00 seemed not to much to pay to find out the details. As I expected, though, the music is nothing special; just average early 1990’s trying-to-be-funky-pop. For the record (pun not intended), I have put the details on a standard discography page, but don’t feel you have to consult it! I can only say that track 6 is the best (or the least worse, perhaps).

Honeychild (the band) seem to have disappeared without trace, and, in case you hadn’t guessed, it was while checking the web for any details of them that all the other Honeychild references (above) turned up!

Adrian Dover