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Who Was Eleanor Rigby?

Updated on September 13, 2010

Eleanor Rigby

Eleanor Rigby is one of the Beatles' most beloved songs. It is a part of the album Revolver, considered by many fans and critics to be the best album the Beatles or anyone else ever recorded.

Most sources credit Paul McCartney as the primary writer, but John Lennon complicated the issue just before he died in 1980 when he said "the first verse pf Eleanor Rigby was his and the rest are basically mine." Paul gives credit to John for "half a line."

Regardless, Eleanor Rigby is one of the most beautiful sad songs ever recorded.

Eleanor Rigby Picture Sleeve
Eleanor Rigby Picture Sleeve

More Eleanor Rigby Facts

* Paul sings lead. John Lennon and George contribute harmony and backing vocals.

* None of the Beatles played instruments on Eleanor Rigby.

* Producer George Martin composed a string section for the song consisting of four violins, two violas and two cellos. The instruments were played by session musicians.

* Microphones were placed unusually close for a more unique sound.

* On August 5, 1966, Eleanor Rigby was released on both the album Revolver and on a double A-side single with "Yellow Submarine" on Parlophone in the United Kingdom and Capitol in the United States.

* Eleanor Rigby was number one on the British charts, but in the United States it only reached the number eleven.

* Eleanor Rigby is the second song featured in the 1968 Beatles animated film Yellow Submarine. The first is the title song, Yellow Submarine.

Eleanor Rigby Lyrics

Ah, look at all the lonely people

Ah, look at all the lonely people

Eleanor 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?

Eleanor 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 saved

All the lonely people

Where do they all come from?

All the lonely people

Where do they all belong?

Eleanor Rigby Statue in Liverpool

In 1982, Pop singer Tommy Steele sculptured a bronze statue of Eleanor Rigby. The statue is located on Stanley Street in Liverpool. Stanley Street is very close to the Matthew Street Quarter (home of The Cavern Club).

Eleanor is sitting on a bench with her shopping bag and scarf, sharing some bread crumbs with the sparrows. A plaque behind her dedicates the statue "to all the lonely people."

The Beatles on Amazon

Eleanor Rigby on YouTube

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    • profile image

      Oosquid 8 years ago

      WoW, you must have put hours of research into this lens, fabulous information. You are spot on when you describe the song as being beautifully sad. Great lens,5 stars.

    • Spook LM profile image

      Spook LM 8 years ago

      Fantastic, always loved it and is one of my sons favourites and he never really knew the Beatles as they were before his time.

    • evelynsaenz1 profile image

      Evelyn Saenz 9 years ago from Royalton

      I've always loved the Beatles song, Eleanor Rigby. Thank you for digging deeper into the song and discovering a grave for a possible namesake for the song.

    • LouiseKirkpatrick profile image

      LouiseKirkpatrick 9 years ago from Berkshire, United Kingdom

      Great lens 5*

      Eleanor Rigby is one of my favourite Beatles songs and the info you've provided is intriguing :)