The second song presented on "The Beatles" double White album is a Lennon-McCartney original composition written mainly by John entitled "Dear Prudence".
This song was written for a woman named Prudence who was the sister of Mia Farrow. While the Beatles were studying Transcendental Meditation in India, they noticed that Prudence was constantly meditating in her hut and she would never come out. There was a lot of competition to see who could meditate the longest while the Beatles were in India and I'm sure that Prudence won out most of the time. The noticeable time that Prudence meditated did not escape John Lennon as she was the inspiration for this song.
The guitar picking style used in the song was used by John Lennon as shown to him by their friend who also went to India to study Meditation Donavan. This picking style would be used in various forms on recordings by Lennon for the rest of his career.
The basic tracks for this song was started on Wednesday August 28 1968 at Trident House, St. Anne's Court in London. Trident studios at the time had an eight track machine and this was recorded on eight track, The Beatles realizing that EMI did not yet have a workable eight track maching installed in their studios. On this night, take 1 was completed with John and George playing their guitars with the picking style of John Lennon very evident while Paul played the drums.
The next day on August 29 1968, the Beatles returned to Trident Studios in order to overdub onto the eight track master of "Dear Prudence". On this evening/night the overdubs included Paul's bass, the double tracked lead vocals from John and backing vocals from Paul, George, Apple artist Jackie Lomax and Mal Evans. Handclaps and tambourine were also added.
Finally the next day on August 30 1968 again at Trident Studios, a piano track and a blast of fugelhorn were added to the recording and it was finished. Rough mixes of "Dear Prudence" were attempted on this night, but they remained unused. A rough mono mix can be heard on the Midnight Beat bootleg CD "Gone Tomorrow, Here today".
On Sunday October 13 1968 from EMI studio two, "Dear Prudence" was mixed for stereo after one attempt and the mono mix was completed after five attempts.
"Dear Prudence" can be found on the Apple 2-LP/2-CD "The Beatles".