The Beatles and Madonna made very different songs; however, one of Madonna’s tunes was partially influenced by a song from The Beatles’ White Album. The Queen of Pop’s song was also inspired by the daughter of a major songwriter. Notably, the Madonna hit garnered more attention than the Beatles song that inspired it.
A young girl helped inspire 1 of Madonna’s songs
Patrick Leonard is most famous for working with the Queen of Pop. He co-wrote some of her most popular songs, including “Like a Prayer,” “La Isla Bonita,” “Frozen,” and “Cherish.” During an interview with Boy Culture, he discussed how his daughter, Jessie, helped inspire one of Madonna’s songs.
Leonard said Madonna frequently interacted with Jessie around the time the singer released her album Like a Prayer. Leonard felt Madonna bonded with his daughter. He said there were a number of pictures of the two together.
Jessie inspired Leonard and the Queen of Pop to co-write a song called “Dear Jessie.” “I would show her what I had and we would make adjustments and we started working on that song and it just didn’t quite make any sense at first — it was a subject matter question,” Leonard said.
The connection between Madonna’s ‘Dear Jessie’ and The Beatles’ ‘White Album’
Leonard discussed how “Dear Prudence,” a track from The Beatles’ White Album influenced the song. “I remember using the song and title ‘Dear Prudence’ as a reference and she said, ‘What about ‘Dear Jessie?’ and I said, ‘That’ll work.’ She then wrote those lyrics and sang that demo.” Sometimes when she was in her 20s, Jessie started thinking it was cool she inspired the song.
Eventually, Leonard allowed fans to hear part of the demo of “Dear Jessie.” “And I have that demo, too, the day we did it,” he said. “I put a little snippet on Instagram and people were saying, ‘God, it changed so much.’ Truth is, we took the drums off. Otherwise, it’s the same recording. We added a couple of other little things to it.”
The way the world reacted to the 2 songs
“Dear Jessie” became a major hit in the United Kingdom. The Official Charts Company reports it reached No. 5 in the U.K., staying on the chart for nine weeks. Its parent album, Like a Prayer, reached No. 1 in the U.K., remaining on the chart for 73 weeks.
On the other hand, “Dear Prudence” was not a single so it didn’t chart. The Official Charts Company reports the White Album was a hit, reaching No. 1 in the U.K. and lasting on the chart for 37 weeks. “Dear Prudence” still had a legacy, as it appeared in the jukebox musical Across the Universe. While “Dear Jessie” isn’t one of Madonna’s most famous songs, it has an interesting connection to The Beatles.