My mother was very sentimental. I doubtless get it from her. And there is probably no better example of this is Bobby Goldsboro’s recording of “Honey.” The song was written by Bobby Russell (who also wrote another hit, “Little Green Apples”). There is much to admire in the composition. The use of a tree to show the passage of time is really compelling. It does tend to infantilize the title character, but it does render her with much more depth than most songs — then or now.
When I listen to it now, I’m struck by the third verse (or second half of the second verse). He comes home in the middle of the day and finds her crying needlessly. I think there are two ways to take that. First, it could be that she has learned that she is dying and doesn’t tell him. Or it could be that she suffers from depression and that she eventually took her own life. Regardless, that part of the song makes it far more interesting.
It flips things. Because suddenly, it is the singer who is silly — who doesn’t see reality. He saw her “young and heart; kind of dumb and kind of smart” because that’s all that he was capable of seeing. She was much more. But I doubt very much that my mother would have approved of that take on the song: