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What Is Tupelo Honey? Bruce Explains The Stuff Behind The Song

Honeybees
Joe Raedle/Getty Images

She’s as sweet as Tupelo HoneyWayne Toups sings that song that was penned by legendary Van Morrison. We all hear the words and if you’re like me you’re thinking, “What the heck is Tupelo Honey?’  Here is what I grew up believing about the song. I always thought that Tupelo Honey was something that bees made and was sold in the hometown of Elvis Presley, Tupelo Mississippi. Guess who has been wrong all his life?

Let’s take a look at the song, it was written and originally performed as I mentioned by Van Morrison. Morrison was born about as far away from Tupelo Mississipppi as a boy can be. He is from Ireland. Somehow I don’t think he made a swing through North Mississippi and picked up a container of honey on the side of the road next to where some merchant was also offering boiled P-Nuts. P-Nuts, that’s how we spell peanut in Mississippi.

Instead the sweetness that Morrison wrote about and so many of us love to hear Wayne Toups sing about comes from the Tupelo tree. The honey that is obtained from hard working bees that pollinate the trees that are plentiful in the southeastern United States is a very  mild but expensive elixir. It’s the carefully cultivated flavor that only Mother Nature could create that was the inspiration for one of our most beloved songs.

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