Music

George Harrison's "Savoy Truffle": Holiday Reflections on Sweets and the Beatles

George Harrison knew that in the time and space that get between us and our food, there's a sense of longing.


George Harrison

The Beatles (The White Album)

Song: Savoy Truffle
Label: Apple Records
US Release Date: 1968-11
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"You know that what you eat you are."

-- George Harrison, "Savoy Truffle"

If you ask those who know me pretty well, they will tell you my favorite Beatle was John Lennon. This is incorrect. My wife will tell you true: it’s George Harrison. Lennon is widely credited as the band’s conscience in the face of Paul McCartney’s more instinctively capitalist pop music impulses, and this is just one more way that Harrison’s songwriting contributions have been disregarded over the years. His post-Beatlemania solo work was often criticized for its preachiness, but if one goes back to his Beatles material, Harrison never pretended to be more pop star than preacher.

There was a great tribute paid to his entire body of work in 2014, the George Fest charity concert organized by his son, Dhani Harrison. A standout track toward the end of the first disc is "Savoy Truffle", which I confess to not having heard before. It’s one of the deeper cuts from the Beatles catalogue, not completely obscure but hardly Top 40 material. As the holiday spirit takes over and I begin to devote many minutes to consideration of pies, eggnogs and sweets generally, I feel myself turning toward “Savoy Truffle” as the best possible type of wintry instruction.

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