Beatles forums > Songs

Song Of The Week - Dear Prudence

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nimrod:
Hi, I havent finished my write up about this song but I just wanted to get it going as its overdue (thanks to distractions like Christmas  ;D)

anyway I put some info soon, in the meantime, do you like it ?

stevie:
Yep, is my Beatles top 10.

Beautifully crafted, all facets of it played with care and skill. Funny story too, because I never realised it had all the little guitar in the verses until I played on Rock Band, lol.

John's voice sounds great, the bass is awesome, the drums ( ok, some books say that Paul played drums on it as Ringo was still away fed up; I think we've discussed this on another thread but I think it doesn't sound like Paul's drum style at all. Compare it with 'The Ballad of Ohn and Yoko', for instance) I dunno, maybe TK can give us more info. I used to have the Mark Lewisohn book years ago, but loaned it out and never got it back!

One of the Beatle's best songs.

Klang:

Love it.

 :)

nimrod:
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
Look around round round
Oh 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?

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

The subject of the song is Prudence Farrow, actress Mia Farrow's sister, 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".
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".
They 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, tambourine and cowbell were then added by McCartney and Harrison. On the last day of the recording session, piano and flügelhorn tracks were recorded by McCartney.
The complete list of recording session personnel included:

John Lennon – double-tracked vocal, backing vocal, acoustic 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

Recorded: 28-30 August 1968
Producer: George Martin
Engineer: Barry Sheffield

In the Complete Beatles Recording Sessions, Mark Lewisohn notes that the end of the song originally featured applause from those who contributed backing vocals and handclaps, though it was left out of the final mix.

Hello Goodbye:







It's one of my favorite songs on the double LP.  John's voice was at its peak.  Paul's bass was the perfect accompaniment.  In 1969, I was seeing a girl named Nancy.  She had a younger sister named Prudence who would love it when I played this song for her on guitar.

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