Sunday, February 15, 2009

Beatles Song: Eleanor Rigby

This Beatles track's most interesting fact is that it is one of the few songs where the authorship was disputed, with Lennon attempting to say he had a major hand in writing the song when, given other relevant facts, it is clear that this is almost completely a McCartney composition. Lennon said approximately 70% of the lyrics were his. The song was recorded April 28 and 29, 1966 at Abbey Road and released in the UK and U.S. as a single on August 5 and 8, 1966 respectively as the B Side to "Yellow Submarine."

The song was apparently composed at Lennon's house at Weybridge with all Beatles present (and stoned). The original character in the song was Miss Daisy Hawkins, but McCartney didn't like the sound and changed her last name to Rigby after seeing a shop called Rigby in Great Britain. The name Eleanor was used because McCartney thought of actress Eleanor Braun, who had worked with the group in the film Help! Another name change was from the lonely Father McCartney (Ringo's suggestion) to Father Mackenzie since Paul felt self-conscious about using his own name in the song since it might reflect on his "father." MacKenzie was settled on after someone randomly looked through the phonebook. At one point, McCartney considered a relationship between Mackenzie and Rigby but decided that this wouldn't fit the song's theme.

George Martin scored the strings, violins and cellos. McCartney sings lead, with Lennon and McCartney doing harmony.


  1. i absolutly love the song,but its SO hard to do an analysis on it, !

  2. As far as I can recall, McCartney was trying to approach the theme of loneliness, and hence Eleanor and Father Mckenzie are both isolated individuals. The irony is that Eleanor is one of the "flock," while McKenzie is a pastor and should be the very one capable of helping his lonely parishoner. Some have commented that the song is also an allusion to the general alienation people had from society and one another despite the peace and love of the sixites, resulting in lines such as "All the lonely people, where do they all cme from?" I think the song is still just as relevant today.