Last week I mentioned, using The Beatles Bible as my source, that Mia Farrow had accompanied John and George on their trek from Delhi to Rishikesh. This may not have been the case; Bob Spitz’s The Beatles has her already at the ashram when they arrive, and this seems on the whole more credible. Since this is a matter of the utmost trivia, I shan’t pursue it any further; suffice it to say that Mia was in fact there, as was her younger sister Prudence (at left in the photo above).

Also present was the singer Donovan, who had been inspired to pursue transcendental meditation either because of a deep spiritual yearning, or because of a different kind of yearning for the lovely Jenny Boyd — about whom he had written his recent hit single “Jennifer Juniper.”

Prudence Farrow, it is said, had progressed during her time in India from shy and introspective to morbidly withdrawn, remaining locked in her room day and night. Noted psychologist John Lennon diagnosed her as “completely mental.” According to Spitz,

George and John had been selected as Prudence’s “team buddies,” a designation comparable to court jesters, appointed to rescue her from a near-catatonic state. “One night when I was meditating, George and John came into my room with their guitars, singing ‘Ob la di ob la da,’” she told her sister, Mia, though it seems unlikely they’d play one of Paul’s songs. “Another time John, Paul, and George came in singing ‘Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band,’ the whole song!”

When this was not enough to snap Prudence out of her funk, John — using a finger-picking pattern that Donovan had been teaching him — set out to write a new song. It went something like this.

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