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Eleanor Rigby

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“Eleanor Rigby”
“Eleanor Rigby” cover
Single by The Beatles
from the album Revolver
A-side "Yellow Submarine"
Released 5 August 1966(UK)
8 August 1966(US)
Format 7"
Recorded Abbey Road Studios: 28-29 April;
6 June 1966
Genre Pop
Length 2:06
Label Parlophone (UK)
Capitol (US)
Writer(s) Lennon/McCartney
Producer George Martin
The Beatles singles chronology
"Paperback Writer"
(1966)
"Yellow Submarine" / "Eleanor Rigby"
(1966)
"Strawberry Fields Forever" / "Penny Lane"
(1967)
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. I was in Bristol when I decided Daisy Hawkins wasn't a good name. I walked 'round looking at the shops, and I saw the name Rigby. Then I took the song down to John's house in Weybridge. We sat around, laughing, got stoned and finished it off.

—Paul McCartney, 1966

I thought, I swear, that I made up the name Eleanor Rigby like that. I remember quite distinctly having the name Eleanor, looking around for a believable surname and then wandering around the docklands in Bristol and seeing the shop there. But it seems that up in Woolton Cemetery, where I used to hang out a lot with John, there's a gravestone to an Eleanor Rigby. Apparently, a few yards to the right there's someone called McKenzie.

—Paul McCartney, Anthology, 1996

Paul's baby, and I helped with the education of the child... The violin backing was Paul's idea. Jane Asher had turned him on to Vivaldi, and it was very good.

—John Lennon, 1980

{{cquote|I don't like supposing that somebody like Jesus was alive now and pretending and imagining what he'd do. But if he was Jesus and he held that he was the real Jesus that had the same views as before - well, Eleanor Rigby wouldn't mean that much to him.|quotewidth=500px|John Lennon, Chicago Press Conference|11 August 1966|

I wrote it at the piano, just vamping an E minor chord; letting that stay as a vamp and putting a melody over it, just danced over the top of it. It has almost Asian Indian rhythms.

—Paul McCartney, Many Years From Now, Barry Miles, 1997

While I was fiddling on a chord some words came out: 'Dazzie-de-da-zu picks up the rice in the church where a wedding has been...' This idea of someone picking up rice after a wedding took it in that poignant direction, into a 'lonely people' direction.

—Paul McCartney, Anthology, 1996

One day I was on my own in the pad running through a few tunes on my Uher tape recorder. The doorbell rang. It was Paul on his own. We jammed a bit. He played me a tune about a strange chap called 'Ola Na Tungee'.

'Ola Na Tungee/Blowing his mind in the dark/With a pipe full of clay/No one can say.'

—Donovan, Many Years From Now, Barry Miles, 1997

I got the name Rigby from a shop in Bristol. I was wandering round Bristol one day and saw a shop called Rigby. And I think Eleanor was from Eleanor Bron, the actress we worked with in the film 'Help!' But I just liked the name. I was looking for a name that sounded natural. Eleanor Rigby sounded natural.

—Paul McCartney, 1984

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