- Published on 1968
- Author: Lennon/McCartney
- Track 2 on “The Beatles – White Album“
Table of Contents
The Beatles’ quotes about “Dear Prudence”
JOHN 1980: “‘Dear Prudence’ is me. Written in India. A song about Mia Farrow’s sister, who seemed to go slightly balmy, meditating too long, and couldn’t come out of the little hut 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 was 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.” (laughs)
PAUL circa-1994: “He (John) wrote ‘Dear Prudence, won’t you come out and play…’ and went in and sang it to her, and I think that actually did help.”
About “Dear Prudence”
“Dear Prudence” was released on November 22, 1968, as part of the album The Beatles – White Album. It was primarily composed by John Lennon and credited to the songwriting partnership of Lennon/McCartney. The song is characterized by its fingerpicking guitar style, which is reminiscent of the folk influences the Beatles were absorbing during their time in India. “Dear Prudence” features a prominent acoustic guitar riff played by John Lennon, creating a hypnotic and contemplative atmosphere.
The song was recorded at Trident Studios in London during the sessions for the “White Album.” Paul McCartney played bass, George Harrison played lead guitar, and Ringo Starr played drums. John Lennon provided the vocals and played the acoustic guitar. “Dear Prudence” is regarded as one of the standout tracks on the “White Album.” It has been praised for its intricate guitar work and the evocative mood it creates. “Dear Prudence” has been covered by various artists, including Siouxsie and the Banshees, Jerry Garcia, and Alanis Morissette, among others. The song’s riff was played on the sitar by George Harrison during a demo recording, but in the final version, it was played on guitar.
“Dear Prudence” is considered a significant and enduring part of the Beatles’ musical catalog, reflecting their experimental and introspective phase during the late 1960s.
Meaning of “Dear Prudence”
“Dear Prudence” was written during the Beatles’ stay at the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi’s ashram in Rishikesh, India, in early 1968. The song is addressed to Prudence Farrow, sister of actress Mia Farrow, who was also at the ashram.
At the time, Prudence Farrow was deeply engrossed in meditation and rarely came out of her room, earning her the nickname “Dear Prudence.” John Lennon wrote the song as a gentle plea to Prudence to come out of her seclusion and engage with the world. The lyrics encourage her to let go of her intense contemplation and enjoy the beauty and experiences that life has to offer.
Overall, “Dear Prudence” is a heartfelt and compassionate song, reflecting the spirit of camaraderie and support that the members of the Beatles shared during their time in India. It also serves as a reminder to balance inner reflection with an appreciation for the world around us.
- John Lennon – double-tracked 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
How to play “Dear Prudence” on guitar
The guitar work in “Dear Prudence” played by John Lennon, is distinctive and melodic. It features intricate fingerpicking that creates a serene and hypnotic atmosphere for the song. Lennon’s playing in “Dear Prudence” is characterized by its gentle arpeggios and picking patterns, which beautifully complement the song’s mood and contribute to its tranquil, ethereal quality. The guitar part adds a sense of depth and richness to the song, showcasing Lennon’s versatility as a guitarist beyond just his more well-known rhythm guitar work.
The following video features a guitar cover with tab of the song:
How to play “Dear Prudence” on bass
Paul McCartney’s bassline in “Dear Prudence” is wonderfully melodic and serves as a crucial backbone to the song. It’s a captivating and flowing bassline that moves dynamically, adding a rhythmic and harmonic depth to the track. McCartney’s playing in this song is notable for its melodic nature, intertwining with the guitar and contributing to the overall dreamy and immersive atmosphere of “Dear Prudence.” The bassline’s movement and melodic elements showcase McCartney’s skillful and versatile approach to bass playing, creating a strong foundation that complements the rest of the instruments and enhances the song’s musical landscape.
The following video features a bass cover with tab of the song:
“Dear Prudence” karaoke
For those who want to try singing “Dear Prudence” the following video shows a good karaoke version of the song: