Dear Prudence (Lennon/McCartney)

Home » SECOND TO NONE: The Beatles Song Index » Dear Prudence (Lennon/McCartney)

Dear Prudence (Lennon/McCartney)

John wrote Dear Prudence for Prudence Farrow, the younger sister of Mia Farrow, who was on the meditation trip with the Beatles. She was much more involved in the meditation process and spent her free time in meditation. John wrote the song as a plea for her to “come out and play”, to interact, with the rest of the group.

Paul on drums

Paul plays drums on “Dear Prudence”, as Ringo had (temporarily, as it turned out) left the group (during sessions for “Back In The U.S.S.R.” about 6 days earlier). Overdubs were made onto a single take basic track, one instrument at a time. Backing vocals, handclaps, and tamborines are performed by Paul, George, Mal Evans, Jackie Lomax, and Paul’s cousin John McCartney.

Quotes

“I needed to find peace, true peace inside myself…I’d been meditating since 1966 and had tried to get on the course in 1967, so it was like a dream come true for me. Being on that course was more important to me than anything in the world. I was very focused on getting in as much meditation as possible, so that I could gain enough experience to teach it myself. I knew that I must have stuck out because I would always rush straight back to my room after lectures and meals so that I could meditate. It was all so fascinating to me. John, George and Paul would all want to sit around jamming and having a good time and I’d be flying into my room…The song that John wrote was just saying, ‘Come out and play with us. Come out and have fun.'” – Prudence Farrow

“They selected me and George to try and bring her out because she would trust us. We got her out of the house — she’d been locked in for three weeks and wouldn’t come out. She was trying to find God quicker than anyone else. That was the competition in Maharishi’s camp: who was going to get cosmic first. What I didn’t know was that I was already cosmic.” – John Lennon

“We saw her twice in the two weeks I was there. Everyone would be banging on the door: ‘Are you still alive?'” – Ringo Starr

“We all got a little bit worried about her, so we went up there and knocked, ‘Hi, Prudence. We all love you. You’re wonderful!’ But nobody could persuade her out.” – Paul McCartney

“George was the one who told me about it. At the end of the course, just as they were leaving, he mentioned that they had written a song about me but I didn’t hear it until it came out on the album. I was flattered. It was a beautiful thing to have done.” – Prudence Farrow

Recording dates

  • August 28, 1968 (1 take; basic track, overdubs)
  • August 29, 1968 (bass, double-tracked lead vocal, backing vocal, handclap, and tamborine overdubs)
  • August 30, 1968 (unused mono and stereo mixing)
  • October 5, 1968 (mono mixing)
  • October 13, 1968 (stereo mixing)

Personnel

  • John Lennon – lead vocal, backing vocal, rhythm guitars
  • Paul McCartney – harmony and backing vocals, drums, bass guitar, piano, tambourine, handclaps
  • George Harrison – harmony and backing vocals, rhythm guitar, lead guitars, tambourine, handclaps
  • Mal Evans, Jackie Lomax, John McCartney – backing vocals, handclaps, unspecified percussion

Release history