Dear Prudence is a cover of The Beatles song which was written about 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“.
When Siouxsie and the Banshees released their version of the song in 1983, it became one of their biggest hits, peaking at number three in the UK singles chart. The song was on the album Hyæna.
Hyæna is the sixth studio album by English post-punk band Siouxsie and the Banshees, released in 1984. It was re-issued, remastered, and expanded in 2009. In the United States, Hyæna was the first Banshees album to be released on a major label – Geffen Records (now sister label to their then-UK label, Polydor).
Prior to the release of the album, Dear Prudence became the band’s biggest hit in the UK, reaching number 3 in September of the previous year. The song was intended to be a stand-alone single in Europe and as it was not issued in North America, it later only appeared on the American version of Hyæna.
It is the only studio album that guitarist Robert Smith of The Cure composed and recorded with the Banshees.
Editor’s Note: This was the first video I ever saw of Siouxsie and the Banshees. I caught it on a local video show (Video One) hosted by a local Los Angeles DJ (Richard Blade). I had heard her songs before, on the radio station the DJ came from (KROQ), but this was the first time I saw the band – and Siouxsie herself. I was intrigued, enthralled and inspired. I know her image was part of what eventually led to my stint as a “goth/deathrock girl“.