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Revision as of 01:24, 2 December 2012

"Dear Prudence"
Song by The Beatles
Album The Beatles
Released 22 November 1968
Recorded 23-25 September 1968
Genre Rock
Length 2:43
Label Apple Records
Writer Lennon/McCartney
Producer George Martin
The Beatles track listing

Side one

  1. "Back in the U.S.S.R."
  2. "Dear Prudence"
  3. "Glass Onion"
  4. "Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da"
  5. "Wild Honey Pie"
  6. "The Continuing Story of Bungalow Bill"
  7. "While My Guitar Gently Weeps"
  8. "Happiness Is a Warm Gun"

Side two

  1. "Martha My Dear"
  2. "I'm So Tired"
  3. "Blackbird"
  4. "Piggies"
  5. "Rocky Raccoon"
  6. "Don't Pass Me By"
  7. "Why Don't We Do It in the Road?"
  8. "I Will"
  9. "Julia"

Side three

  1. "Birthday"
  2. "Yer Blues"
  3. "Mother Nature's Son"
  4. "Everybody's Got Something to Hide Except Me and My Monkey"
  5. "Sexy Sadie"
  6. "Helter Skelter"
  7. "Long, Long, Long"

Side four

  1. "Revolution 1"
  2. "Honey Pie"
  3. "Savoy Truffle"
  4. "Cry Baby Cry"
  5. "Revolution 9"
  6. "Good Night"


No, it's not about heroin. A gun magazine was sitting there with a smoking gun on the cover and an article that I never read inside called "Happiness Is a Warm Gun." I took it right from there. I took it as the terrible idea of just having shot some animal.

—John Lennon, Playboy interview, 1980

I thought, "What a fantastic, insane thing to say." A warm gun means that you've just shot something. [...] It was put together from bits of about three different songs and just seemed to run the gamut of many types of rock music. [...] I consider it one of my best. It's a beautiful song, and I really like all the things that are happening in it.

—John Lennon, The Beatles: A Celebration by Geoffrey Giuliano, 1993

The idea of 'Happiness Is A Warm Gun' is from an advert in an American paper. It said, Happiness is a warm gun, and it was 'Get ready for the long hot summer with a rifle,' you know, 'Come and buy them now!' It was an advert in a gun magazine. And it was so sick, you know, the idea of 'Come and buy your killing weapons,' and 'Come and get it.' But it's just such a great line, 'Happiness Is A Warm Gun' that John sort of took that and used that as a chorus. And the rest of the words... I think they're great words, you know. It's a poem. And he finishes off, 'Happiness Is A Warm Gun, yes it is.' It's just good poetry.

—Paul McCartney, 1968

The first half, "She's not a girl who misses much," was just something I was writing vaguely connected with Yoko just after first meeting her and these were all different segments of songs that I wrote altogether and stuck them all in one piece. Just like a collage, instead of an album like Pepper. This was all done in one song and it went through all the different styles of rock 'n' roll and it was also about a gun and not about heroin or anything. In those days I had no idea about heroin. I'd never seen it or knew anybody that had touched it or taken it.

—John Lennon

They all said it was about drugs, but it was more about rock 'n roll than drugs. It's sort of a history of rock 'n roll ... I don't know why people said it was about the needle in heroin. I've only seen somebody do something with a needle once, and I don't like to see it at all.

—John Lennon, Hit Parader interview, 1972

"Happiness is a Warm Gun" went to a great many takes," says Chris Thomas. "We used to make jokes out of it. 'Take 83!'" Eighty-three takes it did not reach, but it did make 70 rhythm track recordings rather effortlessly, mostly because of the complicated tempo changes between 3/4 and 4/4 time.

The Beatles Recording Sessions, Mark Lewisohn, p. 157, 1988

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