On the surface, “Savoy Truffle” is kind of a novelty song. George Harrison lists off a bunch of fancy candy varieties in a gentle ribbing of his pal Eric Clapton, a chocoholic/problem dental patient. George had a habit of poking fun at Eric’s foibles in song, like when he recorded an awful cover of “Bye Bye Love” to commemorate that hilarious time Eric seduced George’s wife and she eventually left him for Eric!!!
Ah, folks, we’ve had a lot of laughs tonight, but now it’s time for that portion of the evening where we talk about infidelity.
But in between the sweet-shaming (frankly, if someone wrote a song about my infatuation with Oreos, I would take it as a compliment) are a few more bitter lyrics ostensibly targeted at another musician in George’s life: Paul McCartney. By this time, George had grown tired of his bandmate’s increasingly domineering and impersonal presence, and he threw a punch at one of Paul’s “granny music” songs from the same sessions while getting in a dig at the man himself: “We all know ob-la-di-blah-da, but can you show me where you are?”
The music is where “Savoy Truffle” shines, however, and it’s really unlike anything else the Beatles ever recorded. The jazzy horns (a little too high in the mix if you ask me, but nobody did), stinging guitar licks, and Ringo’s commanding yet easygoing drums combine forces to elevate what could have easily been a goofy throwaway track. George’s surprisingly sinister falsetto amps up the horror factor of the threat to Clapton’s teeth: “you’ll have to have them all pulled out after the savoy truffle.” It may not be an essential Beatles track, but it has more going for it than one might think on first glance.