A very sad song, and at the time it was rather out of keeping with the type of songs that we had come to expect from the ‘fab four’.
Just to remind you, here are a couple of verses of that song.
“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?
Eleanor Rigby died in the church and was buried along with her name
Father McKenzie wiping the dirt from his hands as he walks from the grave
No one was saved
So, who was Eleanor Rigby, and was she a real person or was she just a figment of the imagination, something like ‘lovely Rita, meter maid’?
Well, I was playing some gigs recently in Liverpool, and although my evenings were busy, the rest of the day was free and so I decided to use my spare time to do some research into this and to try and find out if there really was an Eleanor Rigby.
I looked up a few points of reference in the local library, donned my Sherlock Holmes hat, and set off for a suburb of Liverpool known as Woolton.
In the Anglican church there you will find a typical English churchyard, surrounding the church, and you will find many tombstones, but one headstone in particular caught my attention.
Wait for it. The headstone is dedicated to an Eleanor Rigby.
Having located such an interesting gravestone I then began to ask myself if any of the Beatles lived anywhere nearby. And guess what? As a child John Lennon used to live in Menlove Avenue, which is very close to the church.
This made me think back to my childhood, and I remember as a young boy I and my friends would often play in our local churchyard, playing hide and seek and other games behind the headstones.
Therefore it is not unreasonable to assume that John Lennon also probably often went into this churchyard, and would have seen the headstone dedicated to Eleanor Rigby.
Now unfortunately I only had a couple of days in Liverpool so I was not able to dig any deeper into this, but I intend to return soon and continue my research.
I want to spend some time going through the church records, and I would like to see what I can find out about the other people mentioned on Eleanor,s headstone.
If you would like to be kept posted on this, and kept up to date with my research, then please click on the following link. You will be taken to a page and near the bottom you will find my email address. Just send me a note saying keep me informed or something like that, and I will email you whenever I have found out some fresh information.
Click on Eleanor Rigby to be kept updated.