The Paul McCartney Project

Dear Prudence

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Album This song officially appears on the The Beatles (Mono) Official album.
Timeline This song has been officially released in 1968
Sessions This song has been recorded during the following sessions

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Song facts

From Wikipedia:

Dear Prudence” is a song by the English rock group the Beatles from their 1968 album The Beatles (also known as “the White Album”). The song was written by John Lennon, and credited to Lennon–McCartney. Written in India, it was inspired by Prudence Farrow, a sister of actress Mia Farrow, who became obsessive about meditating while practising with Maharishi Mahesh Yogi.

The song has been covered by many artists, including Siouxsie and the Banshees, whose rendition became a top five hit for the band.

Background

The subject of the song is Prudence Farrow, a sister of actress Mia Farrow, who was present when the Beatles went to India to study 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.

Recording

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 Lennon as well as Harrison on lead guitar, plus McCartney playing the drums in place of Ringo Starr, who had temporarily left the Beatles. The next day, McCartney overdubbed 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.

Legacy

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.

Dear Prudence” is one of 17 songs recorded by the Beatles that mentions the words “sun” or “sunshine” and according to Julian Lennon, it is one of his favourite songs written by his father. […]

From The Usenet Guide to Beatles Recording Variations:

  • [a] stereo 13 Oct 1968.
    UK: Apple PCS 7067 white album 1968.
    US: Apple SWBO 101 white album 1968.
    CD: EMI CDP 7 46443 2 white album 1987.
  • [b] mono 13 Oct 1968.
    UK: Apple PMC 7067 white album 1968.

Stereo [a] has slightly more treble and fades to a lower volume at the end.

Last updated on August 18, 2016

Lyrics

Dear Prudence, won't you come out to play?
Dear Prudence, greet the brand new day
The sun is up, the sky is blue
It's beautiful and so are you
Dear Prudence, won't you come out to play?

Dear Prudence, open up your eyes
Dear Prudence, see the sunny skies
The wind is low the birds will sing
That you are part of everything
Dear Prudence, won't you open up your eyes?

Look around round
(Round round round, round round)
(Round round round, round round)
Look around round round
(Round round round, round round)
(Round round round, round round)
Look around

Dear Prudence, let me see you smile
Dear Prudence, like a little child
The clouds will be a daisy chain
So let me see you smile again
Dear Prudence, won't you let me see you smile?

Officially appears on


The Beatles (Mono)

Official album • Released in 1968

3:56 • Studio versionB • Mono

Paul McCartney:
Backing vocals, Bass, Drums, Flugelhorn, Handclaps, Piano, Tambourine
John Lennon:
Backing vocals, Guitar, Vocals
George Harrison:
Backing vocals, Handclaps, Lead guitar
George Martin:
Producer
Mal Evans:
Backing vocals, Handclaps
Barry Sheffield:
Engineer
Jackie Lomax:
Backing vocals, Handclaps
John McCartney:
Backing vocals, Handclaps

Session Recording:
Aug 28, 1968
Studio:
Trident Studios, London, UK

Session Overdubs:
Aug 29, 1968
Studio:
Trident Studios, London, UK

Session Overdubs:
Aug 30, 1968
Studio:
Trident Studios, London, UK

Session Mixing:
Oct 13, 1968
Studio:
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road


The Beatles (Stereo)

Official album • Released in 1968

3:56 • Studio versionA • Stereo

Paul McCartney:
Backing vocals, Bass, Drums, Flugelhorn, Handclaps, Piano, Tambourine
John Lennon:
Backing vocals, Guitar, Vocals
George Harrison:
Backing vocals, Handclaps, Lead guitar
George Martin:
Producer
Mal Evans:
Backing vocals, Handclaps
Barry Sheffield:
Engineer
Jackie Lomax:
Backing vocals, Handclaps
John McCartney:
Backing vocals, Handclaps

Session Recording:
Aug 28, 1968
Studio:
Trident Studios, London, UK

Session Overdubs:
Aug 29, 1968
Studio:
Trident Studios, London, UK

Session Overdubs:
Aug 30, 1968
Studio:
Trident Studios, London, UK

Session Mixing:
Oct 13, 1968
Studio:
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road


Love

Official album • Released in 2006

0:00 • Studio versionC

George Martin:
Producer
Giles Martin:
Producer
Paul Hicks:
Remix engineer
Sam Okell:
Remix engineer assistant
Chris Bolster:
Remix engineer assistant
Mirek Stiles:
Remix engineer assistant

Session Mixing:
Circa 2004-2006
Studio:
EMI Studios, Abbey Road


The Beatles (2018)

Official album • Released in 2018

3:56 • Studio versionR2018 • Stereo

Paul McCartney:
Backing vocals, Bass, Drums, Flugelhorn, Handclaps, Piano, Tambourine
John Lennon:
Backing vocals, Guitar, Vocals
George Harrison:
Backing vocals, Handclaps, Lead guitar
George Martin:
Producer
Mal Evans:
Backing vocals, Handclaps
Barry Sheffield:
Engineer
Jackie Lomax:
Backing vocals, Handclaps
John McCartney:
Backing vocals, Handclaps

Session Recording:
Aug 28, 1968
Studio:
Trident Studios, London, UK

Session Overdubs:
Aug 29, 1968
Studio:
Trident Studios, London, UK

Session Overdubs:
Aug 30, 1968
Studio:
Trident Studios, London, UK

Session Mixing:
Oct 13, 1968
Studio:
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road


The Beatles (2018)

Official album • Released in 2018

Demo

Session Recording:
Late May 1968
Studio:
George Harrison's Home, Kinfauns, Esher, Surrey, UK


The Beatles (2018)

Official album • Released in 2018

Outtake • Vocal, guitar & drums

Bootlegs


White Album Sessions Volume 1

Unofficial album

4:44 • Studio version


White Album Sessions Volume 1

Unofficial album

0:13 • Studio version • Vocal Overdub Mono


White Album Sessions Volume 1

Unofficial album

4:12 • Studio version • Take1 Mono Mix V1 mono


White Album Sessions Volume 1

Unofficial album

4:09 • Studio version • Take1 Mono Mix V2 mono


White Album Sessions Volume 1

Unofficial album

0:27 • Studio version • Unkown Take Mono


Live performances

Paul McCartney has never played this song in concert.


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