Updated: Jan 28
John and Paul respond to an invitation which finds them attending a fete at St Peter’s Church, Woolton. The date is July 6th, 1957 and a band is playing called The Quarrymen. Paul knew the churchyard and would often sunbathe. In this churchyard there is a gravestone for Eleanor Rigby. (Kemp, 2021) (Beatles Liverpool and More, 2018)
Later that day the young Paul would meet a seventeen year old called John. The bands live set was recorded on a reel to reel recorder by Bob. In 1994 this tape was sold at Sotheby's for £78,500 to EMI (The Guide Liverpool, 2019).
Over the next nine years the most successful band in the world was formed. Eleanor Rigby became immortalised with the song Yellow Submarine on a double A side single which was released in 1966. (The Beatles Bible, 2008)
However this is just one story, when asked about the story Paul acknowledges a possible influence but not the main influence.
Following a enquiry for support was placed in 1989 with Paul McCartney. A reply was received in June 1990, Sir Paul sent a letter to a music therapist called Annie Mawson who ran a charity called Sunbeams Trust, who was astounded by the contents. Inside, she found an ancient parchment containing a scroll of names and a list of wages from 1911 from a hospital in Liverpool. Down the list was the name E. Rigby who had signed for the amount of one pound three and 11 pence. A scullery maid born on 29th August 1895, Eleanor Rigby married Thomas Woods on Boxing Day 1930 and died of a brain haemorrhage at the age of 44 in 1939. The document sold at auction in November 2008 for £115,000. (Chapple, n.d.)
Who knows the true story a subconscious awareness can influence a choice made years later. The one thing we know is Eleanor Rigby is a name that will no longer be forgotten, nor lonely again. (open.spotify.com, 2014)
These are just two of the numerous stories online, follow the links below to check some out but for now lets enjoy the song. (The Beatles, 2016)
Information Sheet & Comprehension
You can download the lyrics and chords from Ultimate Guitar. (tabs.ultimate-guitar.com, n.d.)
Having problems? Book a lesson on the links below.
Beatles Liverpool and More. (2018). Eleanor Rigby - The Story beyond the Grave. [online] Available at: https://www.beatlesliverpoolandmore.com/beatles/eleanor-rigby-the-story-beyond-the-grave [Accessed 27 Jan. 2023].
Chapple, M. (n.d.). Eleanor Rigby signature a gift from McCartney; Rare document to fetch pounds 500,ooo at auction. - Free Online Library. [online] www.thefreelibrary.com. Available at: https://www.thefreelibrary.com/Eleanor+Rigby+signature+a+gift+from+McCartney%3B+Rare+document+to+fetch...-a0188832038 [Accessed 27 Jan. 2023].
Kemp, S. (2021). Paul McCartney reveals the true story behind ‘Eleanor Rigby’. [online] faroutmagazine.co.uk. Available at: https://faroutmagazine.co.uk/eleanor-rigby-paul-mccartney-reveals-true-story/ [Accessed 27 Jan. 2023].
open.spotify.com. (2014). Eleanor Rigby. [online] Available at: https://open.spotify.com/track/6EOKwO6WaLal58MSsi6U4W?si=daa5333fa26c4921 [Accessed 27 Jan. 2023].
tabs.ultimate-guitar.com. (n.d.). The Beatles - Eleanor Rigby (Chords). [online] Available at: https://tabs.ultimate-guitar.com/tab/the-beatles/eleanor-rigby-chords-52244 [Accessed 27 Jan. 2023].
The Beatles (2016). The Beatles - Eleanor Rigby (From ‘Yellow Submarine’). YouTube. Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HuS5NuXRb5Y [Accessed 27 Jan. 2023].
The Beatles Bible. (2008). Eleanor Rigby. [online] Available at: https://www.beatlesbible.com/songs/eleanor-rigby/ [Accessed 27 Jan. 2023].
The Guide Liverpool. (2019). The story behind The Beatles’ Eleanor Rigby. [online] Available at: https://theguideliverpool.com/the-story-behind-the-beatles-eleanor-rigby/ [Accessed 27 Jan. 2023].