Dear Prudence - The Beatles

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"Dear Prudence" - The Beatles (1968)

“Dear Prudencewas supposedly about Mia Farrow’s sister who during trip to India- refused to come out of her room, so they would step up to her door and sing, “Dear Prudence, won’t you come out and play.“

The structure of the song is truly phenomenal, with the lonely (electric) guitar starting the song, then the vocals, then lots of building, including great interior lead riffs and a rippling piano that comes out of nowhere, and then the same lonely guitar returns at the end.

It was the first track where The Beatles used a finger-picking technique which has never been done on an electric guitar. It was taught to them in India by the legendary Scottish folk singer, Donovan. There are actually no less than five guitar tracks on the track which were then overdubbed seven times.

This was one of the first songs that was recorded on eight-track equipment. The accompaniment features performances on vocals, piano, bass, and drums- all by McCartney, who plays a spectacular ten-bar drum solo in the instrumental break that leads to the last refrain. His continuous fill through the last verse/chorus brings the performance to a riveting climax.

The most distinctive aspect of the recording is its ethereal, almost foreboding quality. It wafts onto the record like a gentle breeze. At first it seems nothing more than low-key ballad wrapped in sadness; its strength lies in how it builds up to a fantastic finish that banishes the negative atmosphere just like the sun breaking through on a cloudy day.

Lennon’s desperately pleading vocals are enriched by a lilting guitar track that creates the atmosphere of the newly breaking day described in the lyrics. His double-tracked vocals deftly conjure a sense of loneliness that adds a sorrowful edge to his beckoning.

“Dear Prudence relies on “plural perspectives, based on “multiple narratives,” which generate discourse between the reader and the text. As a text does not explicitly spell out its meaning, a place develops for the reader to fill the blanks as to what is believed to be the meaning.

The compositioncan be read as either a call to spiritual awakening or a sexual proposition. For instance, the words "Daisy Chain" could be describing an orgy.

Or, it could be about homosexuality. Come out of closet, sort of speak. Another interpretation is that the speaker is describing a girl who is very beautiful and friendly but for some reason shuts herself out from the world and stays away from human contact because she was hurt. He needs to reassure her: It’s beautiful and so are you, Dear Prudence

 

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