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Thread: Eleanor Rigby

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    Senior Member john's Avatar
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    Default Eleanor Rigby

    Took photo yesterday in the rain.


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    " If you know your history, then you would know where you coming from".


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    Brilliant pic John - it must have been very atmoshpheric in the rain, any gangster funerals?
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    The story behind the song

    Like many of McCartney's songs, the melody and first line of the song came to him as he was playing around on his piano. The name that came to him, though, was not Eleanor Rigby but Miss Daisy Hawkins. In 1966, McCartney recalled how he got the idea for his song:

    "I was sitting at the piano when I thought of it. The first few bars just came to me, and I got this name in my head... Daisy Hawkins picks up the rice in the church. I don't know why. I couldn't think of much more so I put it away for a day. Then the name Father McCartney came to me, and all the lonely people. But I thought that people would think it was supposed to be about my Dad sitting knitting his socks. Dad's a happy lad. So I went through the telephone book and I got the name McKenzie."[1]

    He originally imagined Daisy as a young girl, but anyone who cleaned up in churches would probably be older. If she were older, she might have missed not only the wedding she cleans up after but also her own. Gradually, McCartney developed the theme of the loneliness of old age, morphing his song from the story of a young girl to that of an elderly woman whose loneliness is worse for having to clean up after happy couples.

    McCartney took a while to settle down on the name "Eleanor Rigby". His neighbor and fellow musician Donovan recalled that McCartney had played him a version of the song with the lyrics:

    "Ola Na Tungee/ Blowing his mind in the dark/ With a pipe full of clay."

    "The words hadn't yet come out right for him," Donovan said.

    McCartney said he came up with the name Eleanor from actress Eleanor Bron, with whom he had starred in the film Help!. Rigby came from the name of a store in Bristol, Rigby & Evens Ltd, Wine & Spirit Shippers at 22 King Street, while seeing his then-girlfriend Jane Asher act in The Happiest Days Of Your Life. He recalled in 1984, "I just liked the name. I was looking for a name that sounded natural. Eleanor Rigby sounded natural."

    Coincidentally, in the 1980s, a grave of an Eleanor Rigby was discovered in the graveyard of St. Peter's Parish Church in Woolton, Liverpool, a few feet from where McCartney and Lennon had met for the first time during a fete in 1957[4]. Paul had frequently played there as a boy. The actual Eleanor was born in 1895 and lived in Liverpool, possibly in the suburb of Woolton, where she married a man named Thomas Woods. She died in her sleep of unknown reasons on October 10, 1939, at age 44, and was buried in St. Peter's churchyard in Woolton. Coincidentally, she died 365 days before John Lennon was born; 1940, Lennon's birth year, was a leap year. Whether this Eleanor was the inspiration for the song or not, her tombstone has become a landmark to Beatles fans visiting Liverpool. A digitized version was added to the 1995 music video for The Beatles' reunion song "Free as a Bird". The Rigby family, if any, has never come forward with any royalty demands.

    The Beatles finished off the song in the music room of John Lennon's home at Kenwood. Lennon, George Harrison, Ringo Starr, and their friend Pete Shotton all listened to McCartney play his song through and contributed ideas. Someone suggested introducing a romance into the story, but this was rejected because it made the story too complicated. Starr contributed the line "writing the words of a sermon that no one will hear " and suggested making "Father McCartney" darn his socks, which McCartney liked, and Harrison came up with the line "Ah, look at all the lonely people". Shotton then suggested that McCartney change the name of the vicar, in case listeners mistook the fictional character in the song for McCartney's own father.

    McCartney couldn't decide how to end the song, and Shotton finally suggested that the two lonely people come together too late as Father McKenzie conducts Eleanor Rigby's funeral. At the time, Lennon rejected the idea out of hand, but McCartney said nothing and used the idea to finish off the song, later acknowledging Shotton's help.

    Lennon and McCartney made contradictory remarks about the authorship of the lyrics. Lennon had claimed to have written a good half of the words. In an interview after Lennon's death, McCartney disputed this, saying Lennon had added only about a half a line. Source
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    Default Have I got it now?

    " If you know your history, then you would know where you coming from".


    "I could have been a footballer - but I had a paper round"..Yosser Hughes

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    Quote Originally Posted by johnbeddows
    There u go
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    Thanks for the reminder - I've been meaning to visit that grave someday.

    Julia's my name, but Eleanor Rigby is more the story of my life. Always like hearing the story about the coincidence between song and grave.

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