"Dear Prudence" is a song written by John Lennon, and credited to Lennon/McCartney. It was initially performed by The Beatles and is the second track on the 1968 double-disc album The Beatles (also known as "The White Album").
The song is about actress Mia Farrow's sister, Prudence, who was present when the Beatles visited Maharishi Mahesh Yogi in India. Prudence, focused on meditation, stayed in her room for the majority of their visit. Lennon, who was worried that she was depressed, wrote this song for her, inviting her to "come out to play." While the Beatles left the course, Prudence, Mike Love of the Beach Boys, and others, stayed and became Transcendental Meditation (or TM) teachers.
This song, along with the preceding track "Back in the U.S.S.R.," features Paul McCartney on drums rather than Ringo Starr, who had recently walked out. Starr returned after the recording of this song to find flowers waiting for him on his drum kit (which were a gift from George Harrison).
The song features DADGBE, one of the more common alternate guitar tunings for fingerpicking.
In 1987, Lennon's original handwritten copy of the lyrics was sold at auction for $19,500.
"Dear Prudence" was recorded at Trident Studios on 28, 29 and 30 August 1968.
* John Lennon – double-tracked lead vocal and backing vocal; acoustic guitars
* Paul McCartney – backing vocal, drums, bass, piano and flügelhorn
* George Harrison – backing vocal; lead and rhythm guitars
* Mal Evans – backing vocal, handclaps
* Jackie Lomax – backing vocal, handclaps
* John McCartney – backing vocal, handclaps
Siouxsie & The Banshees version
English rock band Siouxsie & the Banshees released "Dear Prudence" in 1983. The band has repeatedly mentioned the Beatles as musical influences, and previously recorded a cover version of the Beatles' "Helter Skelter." "Dear Prudence" became one of Siouxsie & the Banshees' biggest hits, peaking at number three in the UK singles chart during 1983.
Other cover versions
* 1968, Ramsey Lewis covered "Dear Prudence" on his album Mother Nature's Son along with other songs from The Beatles.
* 1970, Kenny Rankin recorded the song on his "Family" album.
* 1970, The Five Stairsteps released a version of the song as the B-side of their 1970 hit "Oooh Child"; it reached #49 on its own on the R&B music charts.
* 1976, Leslie West covered the song on his album The Leslie West Band.
* 1970s, Graham Central Station recorded a previously unreleased version of the song in the mid-1970's. It appears on 2001 greatest hits album The Jam: The Larry Graham & Graham Central Station Anthology.
* 1973, Australian rocker Doug Parkinson released a cover of the song in 1973 that was a top twenty hit in that country.
* 1980s, The Jerry Garcia Band covered the song on their 1991 album, Jerry Garcia Band.
* 2000, Alanis Morissette also covered the song in some of her live shows and performed it at the John Lennon tribute in 2000.
* 2002, Brad Mehldau covered the song in his 2002 album Largo.
* 2007, Dana Fuchs, Evan Rachel Wood, Jim Sturgess, Joe Anderson and T.V. Carpio sang the song in the movie Across the Universe.
* Our Lady Peace has covered the song in live shows.
* Jaco Pastorius covered the song on his album Live in New York City - volume two.
Album: The Beatles
Released: 22 November 1968
Recorded: 28-30 August 1968
Label: Apple Records
Producer: George Martin