the song
title : Dear John
written by : Mark E. Nevin and Kirsty MacColl
song copyright : © 1992 & 1994 MCA Music Ltd (50%) and EMI Virgin Music Publishing (50%)

the performance
Eddi Reader vocal
Teddy Borowiecki piano, keyboards, accordian [sic]
David Piltch bass
Roy Dodds drums
key : D major
time-signature : 2/4
tempo : MM 64
form : ½v V V ½v ½V N

provided for research and private study only (see above for copyright details):

Dear John

oh, dear John
I hate to be the one to break the news
but it’s concerning me and you
this is the letter no one ever wants to write
you may not believe me
but it’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done
my eyes see other glories
other dreams and other stories
and I want to live before I die, dear John

ten years on
I still dream and we still hesitate
the passion’s all but gone
oh, dear John
seems we have a bad day every day
I want to sleep my life away
this is the letter no one ever wants to read
and though it hurts like hell
it may be what you need to tell you
I never wanted to be cruel
but I’m so tired of being the strong one
and I don’t always have the energy
and you always leave it up to me, John

my eyes have seen the glory
there’s more to life than my life story
and I’ll probably never find him
but I have to keep on looking
and I’m very very sorry, dear John

– accordion solo
dear John
I’m s’rry
I’m so…
ah, John

“My eyes have seen the glory” may be quoting from or alluding to the famous ‘Battle song’ by Mrs Julia Ward Howe (1819-1910) which begins “Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord”.

I have to confess to being unclear as to the origin of the phrase “a ‘Dear John’ letter” meaning a letter breaking off a relationship, although it is sufficiently common to have made it into the New Oxford dictionary of English (1999).

the recording
produced by : Greg Penny
recorded by : Jon Ingoldsby at El Mirador, Ojai, California;
basic track at Oceanway, LA assisted by Steve Holroyd
mixed by : Jon Ingoldsby assisted by Andy Strange at Air Studios, London
mastered by : Chris Bellman at Bernie Grundman Mastering, LA
track timing : 4:08
song timing : m:ss
released on
album : Eddi Reader track 3
single : Dear John track 1