The sheet music for "Dear Prudence"
|Song by the Beatles from the album The Beatles|
|Released||22 November 1968|
|Recorded||28–30 August 1968|
|Genre||Rock, psychedelic rock|
|The Beatles track listing|
"Dear Prudence" is a song written by John Lennon, and credited to Lennon–McCartney. It was released by the Beatles as the second track on their 1968 double-disc album entitled The Beatles, commonly known as The White Album. Written in India, the song was inspired by Prudence Farrow, a sister of actress Mia Farrow, who became obsessive about meditating while practising with Maharishi Mahesh Yogi.
Farrow became so serious about her meditation that she "turned into a near recluse" and "rarely came out" of the cottage she was living in. John Lennon was asked to "contact her and make sure she came out more often to socialize." As a result, Lennon wrote the song "Dear Prudence." In the song Lennon asks Farrow to "open up your eyes" and "see the sunny skies" reminding her that she is "part of everything." The song was said to be "a simple plea to a friend to 'snap out of it.'" Lennon said later that "She'd been locked in for three weeks and was trying to reach God quicker than anyone else."
Dear Prudence is me. Written in India. A song about Mia Farrow's sister, who seemed to go slightly barmy, meditating too long, and couldn't come out of the little hut that we were livin' in. They selected me and George to try and bring her out because she would trust us. If she'd been in the West, they would have put her away. We got her out of the house. She'd been locked in for three weeks and wouldn't come out, trying to reach God quicker than anybody else. That was the competition in Maharishi's camp: who was going to get cosmic first. What I didn't know was I was already cosmic.— John Lennon, All We Are Saying
According to Farrow: "I would always rush straight back to my room after lectures and meals so I could meditate. John, George and Paul would all want to sit around jamming and having a good time and I'd be flying into my room. They were all serious about what they were doing, but they just weren't as fanatical as me."
Lennon did play the song for Farrow while they were in India together. According to Farrow, "I was flattered. It was a beautiful thing to have done." The lyrics of the song are simple and innocent and praise the beauty of nature in the lines: "The sun is up, the sky is blue, it's beautiful, and so are you."
The Beatles recorded the song at Trident Studios in London on 28, 29 and 30 August 1968. Utilising state-of-the-art eight-track recording equipment, the basic track included finger picking guitar performed by John Lennon as well as George Harrison on the lead guitar, plus Paul McCartney playing the drums in place of Ringo Starr, who had temporarily left the Beatles. The next day, McCartney performed and recorded the bass track and Lennon recorded additional layers to his vocals. Handclapping, cowbell and tambourine were then added by Harrison and McCartney. On the last day of the recording session, piano and flügelhorn tracks were recorded by McCartney.
On The Beatles album, the song was sequenced as the second track on side one, its introduction cross-faded with the sounds of a jet aircraft landing which conclude the previous track, "Back in the U.S.S.R." The descending chromatic bass-line in the song is similar to that of "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds."
The song was first played on the radio in November and December of that year.
- John Lennon – double-tracked vocal, backing vocal, electric rhythm guitar
- Paul McCartney – backing vocal, drums, bass, piano, flügelhorn, tambourine, cowbell, handclaps
- George Harrison – backing vocal, lead guitar
- Mal Evans – backing vocal, handclaps
- Jackie Lomax – backing vocal, handclaps
- John McCartney (Paul's cousin) – backing vocal, handclaps
Lennon is said to have selected it as one of his favourite songs by the Beatles. In 1987, Lennon's original handwritten lyrics of the song, containing 14 lines and some "doodles" in the margin, sold at auction for US $19,500. The song is playable in The Beatles: Rock Band.
|Single by Siouxsie and the Banshees|
|from the album Hyæna|
|B-side||"Tattoo", "There's a Planet in my Kitchen"|
|Released||23 September 1983|
|Format||7" and 12" vinyl|
|Siouxsie and the Banshees singles chronology|
Jerry Garcia, a member of Grateful Dead, was a fan of the song and is said to have called it "one of his all-time personal favorites." The Jerry Garcia Band covered the song in extended, improvised versions at concerts between 1979 and Garcia’s death in 1995. The song was recorded for the 1991 album Jerry Garcia Band.
The song has also been recorded by the following artists:
|1968||Ramsey Lewis||Mother Nature's Son|
|1969||Doug Parkinson in Focus||single|
|1970||The Five Stairsteps||"O-o-h Child" single||Released as a b-side, it reached #49 on its own on the R&B music charts.|
|1974||Katfish||Single||On Big Tree Records in North America and Philips in Europe—Charted to #53 on the Billboard Hot 100|
|1976||Leslie West||The Leslie West Band|
|1983||Siouxsie and the Banshees||single||See information in box on right|
|1990||Trouble Tribe||Trouble Tribe|
|1991||Sean Lennon||Happy Birthday, John||This CD released in Japan only. Co-produced by YMO member Haruomi Hosono|
|1991||Jaco Pastorius||Live in New York City – Volume Two|
|1991||Jerry Garcia Band||Jerry Garcia Band|
|1991||The Clarks||The Clarks|
|1992||Saigon Kick||The Lizard (album)||Japanese-only bonus track|
|1992||Hiram Bullock||Way Kool||Instrumental|
|2001||Graham Central Station||The Jam: The Larry Graham & Graham Central Station Anthology||Studio out-take recorded in the 1970s|
|2001||Alanis Morissette||Come Together: A Night for John Lennon's Words and Music||A live all-star concert filmed for television|
|2006||Songs of Green Pheasant||Aeriel Days|
|2007||Dana Fuchs, Evan Rachel Wood, Jim Sturgess, Joe Anderson and T.V. Carpio||Across the Universe||Soundtrack|
|2008||Hayley Legg||Dear Prudence – Beatles Cover – Hayley Legg – YouTube|
|2009||Lau||Arc Light||Bonus track originally recorded for a Mojo magazine compilation|
|2010||Casey Mecija||Sing Me To Sleep – Indie Lullabies||Recorded for an American Laundromat Records charity compilation|
|2011||B for Bang||B for Bang Rewires the Beatles album||Featuring Meg|
|2014||The Pretty Reckless||BBC 1 Live Lounge||In mash-up with Oasis's Champagne Supernova|
- Lewisohn, Mark (1988). The Beatles Recording Sessions. New York: Harmony Books. ISBN 0-517-57066-1.
- MacDonald, Ian (2005). Revolution in the Head: The Beatles' Records and the Sixties (Second Revised ed.). London: Pimlico (Rand). ISBN 1-84413-828-3.
- Rimer, Sara (28 June 1987). "The Beatles And Youth At Auction". The New York Times. Retrieved 10 November 2009.
- Sheff, David (2000). All We Are Saying: The Last Major Interview with John Lennon and Yoko Ono. New York: St. Martin's Press. ISBN 0-312-25464-4.
- Robb, John (2001). The Stone Roses. Random House. ISBN 0-09-187887-X.
- Sheff 2000, pp. 198–199.
- "Dear Prudence". The Beatles Bible.
- The Pop History Dig, Dear Prudence
- Here, There and Everywhere: the 100 best Beatles songs, Stephen J Spignesi, Michael Lewis, page 252
- The American book of the Dead, Oliver Trager, page 90, Simon and Schuster, 1997
- Doyle, Jack (27 July 2009). "Dear Prudence, 1967-1968". PopHistoryDig.com. Retrieved 15 May 2010.
- Lewisohn 1988, p. 152.
- MacDonald, Ian, Revolution in the Head, pg 311, Pimlico 2005
- MacDonald 2005, p. 310.
- Rimer 1987.
- The Beatles Rockband Official Website
- "Way Kool overview". Allmusic.com.
- "Hiram Bullock Discography". HiramBullock.com.
- "Midnight overview". Allmusic.com.
- "Midnight – Jeff Lorber". JazzTimes.com.
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