The Beatles Albums- Eleanor Rigby


Eleanor Rigby


Paul McCartney – Eleanor Rigby – In Performance At The White House

Song Lyrics:

Eleanor Rigby: (Lennon/McCartney)I look at all the lonely people
I look at all the lonely peopleEleanor Rigby picks up the rice in the church where a wedding has been
Lives in a dream
Waits at the window, wearing the face that she keeps in a jar by the door
Who is it for?All the lonely people
Where do they all come from?
All the lonely people
Where do they all belong?Father McKenzie writing the words of a sermon that no one will hear
No one comes near.
Look at him working, darning his socks in the night when there’s nobody there
What does he care?All the lonely people
Where do they all come from?
All the lonely people
Where do they all belong?Ah, look at all the lonely people
Ah, look at all the lonely peopleEleanor Rigby died in the church and was buried along with her name
Nobody came
Father McKenzie wiping the dirt from his hands as he walks from the grave
No one was savedAll the lonely people
Where do they all come from?
All the lonely people
Where do they all belong?

Song History ans Facts:

leanor Rigby

Working Titles: Ola Na Tungee, Daisy Hawkins
Written by: Paul McCartney (85%), John Lennon (5%), George Harrison (5%), Ringo Starr (5%) (credited as Lennon-McCartney)
Recorded: April 28th, 1966 (Studio 2, Abbey Road Studios, London, England); April 29th, June 6th, 1966 (Studio 3, Abbey Road Studios, London, England)
Mixed: April 29, 1966; June 22, 1966
Length: 2:03
Takes: 15
Musicians: John Lennon: harmony vocals
Paul McCartney: lead vocals
George Harrison: harmony vocals
Tony Gilbert: First violin
Sidney Sax: Violin
John Sharpe: Violin
Jurgen Hess: Violin
Stephen Shingles: Viola
John Underwood: Viola
Derek Simpson: Cello
Norman Jones: Cello
First released: August 5, 1966 (UK: Parlophone R5493), August 8, 1966 (US: Capitol 5715) (double a-side with “Yellow Submarine”)
Available on: (CDs in bold)

  • Revolver (UK: Parlophone PMC 7009, US: Capitol (S)T 2576, Parlophone CDP 7 46441 2)
  • Yellow Submarine (“Songtrack”: Capitol/Apple CDP 7243 5 21481 2 7)
  • The Beatles 1962-1966 (UK: Apple PCSP 717, US: Apple SKBO 3403, Apple CDP 0777 7 97036 2 3)
  • The Beatles 1 (Apple CDP 7243 5 299702 2)

Highest chart position: US: 11 (August 27, 1966), UK: 1 (four weeks beginning August 18, 1966)

  • Written by Paul (but workshopped with the whole band, and even some outsiders) began life as a nonsense song called “Ola Na Tungee,” whose first line went “Ola Na Tungee, blowing his mind in the dark with a pipe full of clay.” It was in this form that McCartney played the song for his neighbor, folk singer Donovan; after a few more revisions, it had become a story song about an unknown character named Daisy Hawkins.
  • By the time Paul presented the work-in-progress to the band a few weeks later at John’s house in Kenwood, the title character had changed names again, to Eleanor Rigby — “Eleanor” from actress Eleanor Bron, who had worked with the band in the film Help!, and “Rigby” from Rigby & Evens Ltd., a wine shop located at 22 King Street in Bristol, England. (Paul’s girlfriend, actress Jane Asher, was appearing in the play “The Happiest Day Of Our Life” at the Theatre Royal, 35 King Street, and it was while waiting for her that he likely noticed the shop.)
  • Present at John’s home that day were the band and John’s close childhood friends Pete Shotton. Paul presented the song, which already had two verses written, one about Eleanor picking up rice in a church after a wedding, and one about another lonely person, one “Father McCartney.” According to Shotton, whose account is usually favored, he himself suggested the name change from “McCartney” to “McKenzie” (other reports have Paul picking the name from a phone book). George suggested the “Ah, look at all the lonely people” tag line; Ringo suggested the priest darning (that is, repairing) his socks, as well as his “writing the words of a sermon that no one will hear.” Someone (possibly Paul) wanted to end the song with the two characters finding romance with each other, which as rejected (possibly by John). It is certain that Shotton suggested the darker ending, which Paul wrote in the studio the day of recording. John, in his final interview, maintained that he wrote most of the lyrics, resulting in one of two Beatles songs whose genesis is in dispute (the other is “In My Life,” which Paul claimed he wrote some lyrics for).
  • Paul originally decided that the song should be set to strings only, much as “Yesterday” was, and had an arrangement in mind reminiscent of Vivaldi’s classical piece “The Four Seasons.” Producer George Martin had a different take, choosing to arrange two string quartets in the manner of Bernard Herrmann, specifically his score for Francois Truffaut’s film Fahrenheit 451. As with “Yesterday,” the final version is played without vibrato (although a take with vibrato was made and never used); Martin also miked the strings much closer than normal for a more direct, rhythmic, “rock” sound, which caused some consternation among the classically-trained session musicians.
  • Martin also takes credit for arranging the vocals so that the “lonely people” refrain plays contrapuntally over the last chorus.
  • The basic track was cut in one session on April 29, with vocal overdubs laid down the next day, just before overdubs began on “I’m Only Sleeping.” Final vocal overdubbing was done on June 6.
  • he mix of “Eleanor Rigby,” oddly enough, has long been considered one of the band’s worst: as with other Beatles songs of this period, the vocals and instruments are mixed far, far apart from each other, and there are several sloppy errors where the chorus’ double-tracking bleeds into the single-tracked verse. This is not present in the new mixes found on the Yellow Submarine “songtrack” and on the experimental Love CD.
  • In 1982, a gravestone for a real-life Eleanor Rigby was found in St. Peter’s Parish Church in Woolton, Liverpool. This is significant because the Beatles grew up in Liverpool and often played in the graveyard; the Church itself is the site of many major community gatherings, including the one where John met Paul in 1957. Paul has denied any direct connection, but allows that the influence may have been subconscious; in any event, the gravesite is now a shrine for Beatles fans. Unlike the character, the real life Eleanor did indeed marry. (It is said that a “McKenzie” gravestone also exists nearby!)
  • On December 3rd, 1982, a commemorative statue of the fictional Eleanor was unveiled in Liverpool. Sculpted by singer and London native Tommy Steele — England’s first rock idol, groomed as the “British Elvis” — it was created as a thank you to the city and paid for by the Liverpool Echo newspaper. Dedicated to “all the lonely people,” it depicts a lonely Eleanor sitting on a wide park bench that allows lonely (or not so lonely) visitors to sit with her a while. Steele also decided to give his creation several “magical properties” by inserting several unseen objects into the body of the statue: a four leaf clover (for Good Luck), a page of the Bible (for Spiritual Guidance), soccer cleats (for Fun and Sport), a comic book (for Comedy and Adventure) and a sonnet (for Love). It can be found near the corner of Matthew and Stanley Streets.

Covered by: Paul Anka, P.P. Arnold, Joan Baez, Count Basie, Shirley Bassey, John Bayless, Big Country, Bloodrock, Booker T. and the MGs, James Booker, Larry Carlton, Gene Chandler, Ray Charles, Chick Corea, Sonny Criss, The Crusaders, John Denver, Esteban, Percy Faith, Arthur Fiedler and the Boston Pops, Firefall, The Four Tops, Aretha Franklin, Jerry Garcia, Bobbie Gentry, Godhead, Vince Guaraldi, Ofra Harnoy, Richie Havens, Dick Hyman, Joe Jackson, Jellyfish, Stanley Jordan, Kansas, Al Kooper, Cleo Laine, Enoch Light, Johnny Mathis, Wes Montgomery, R. Stevie Moore, Nana Mouskouri, Charmaine Neville, Pain, Oscar Peterson, Rare Earth, Joshua Redman, Jorge Rico, B.B. Seaton, George Shearing, Rick Springfield, The Standells, Michael Stanley, The String Cheese Incident, The Supremes, Tangerine Dream, John Tesh, Frankie Valli, Vanilla Fudge

Thanks to about .com

Elanor Rigby Grave

Eleanor Rigby Grave

Other Historical Tidbits:

In the 1980s, a grave of an Eleanor Rigby was “discovered” in the graveyard of St. Peter’s Parish Church in Woolton, Liverpool, and a few yards away from that, another tombstone with the last name “McKenzie” scrawled across it.[23][24] During their teenage years, McCartney and Lennon spent time sunbathing there, within earshot of where the two had met for the first time during a fete in 1957. Many years later, McCartney stated that the strange coincidence between reality and the lyrics could be a product of his subconscious, rather than being a meaningless fluke.[23]

An actual Eleanor Rigby was born in 1895 and lived in Liverpool, possibly in the suburb of Woolton, where she married a man named Thomas Woods. She died on 10 October 1939 at age 44. Regardless of whether this Eleanor was the inspiration for the song or not, her tombstone has become a landmark to Beatles fans visiting Liverpool. A digitised version was added to the 1995 music video for the Beatles’ reunion song “Free as a Bird“.

In June 1990, McCartney donated to Sunbeams Music Trust[25] a document dating from 1911 which had been signed by the 16-year-old Eleanor Rigby; this instantly attracted significant international interest from collectors because of the coincidental significance and provenance of the document.[26] The nearly 100-year-old document was sold at auction in November 2008 for £115,000 ($250,000).[27] The Daily Telegraph reported that the uncovered document “is a 97-year-old salary register from Liverpool City Hospital.” The name “E. Rigby” is printed on the register, and she is identified as a scullery maid.


Bench with Statue of Eleanor Rigy by gravesite

Bench with Statue of Eleanor Rigy by gravesite


Eleanor Rigby Guitar cords and tab:





Leave a Reply