Talk:Eleanor Rigby

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Former featured article candidate Eleanor Rigby is a former featured article candidate. Please view the links under Article milestones below to see why the nomination failed. For older candidates, please check the archive.
Article milestones
Date Process Result
June 21, 2005 Featured article candidate Not promoted
October 14, 2005 Peer review Reviewed
October 23, 2005 Featured article candidate Not promoted
August 20, 2006 Good article nominee Not listed
Current status: Former featured article candidate
WikiProject The Beatles (Rated C-class, Mid-importance)
WikiProject icon This Beatles-related article is within the scope of WikiProject The Beatles, which focuses on improving coverage of English rock band The Beatles and related topics on Wikipedia. Users who are willing to participate in the project should visit the project page, where they can join and see a list of open tasks.
C-Class article C  This article has been rated as C-Class on the project's quality scale.
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 Mid  This article has been rated as Mid-importance on the project's importance scale.
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This article is within the scope of WikiProject Songs, an attempt to build a comprehensive and detailed guide to songs on Wikipedia.

Good Article nomination has failed[edit]

The Good article nomination for Eleanor Rigby has failed, for the following reason:

What's here is great; there's just far too much of it.


I think there needs to be some serious revision, because this article claims everyone added something and it is a complete McCartney song.

Hardly likely. The most striking thing about it is that chamber strings are the only instruments, and that certainly wasn't McCartney's doing. TheScotch 08:47, 14 September 2007 (UTC)
What? For his compositions, McCartney typically sang or played the orchestral parts and George Martin wrote the arrangements. Yes, Martin made significant contributions, but don't confuse arranger and composer. John Cardinal 14:03, 14 September 2007 (UTC)

If all you're given is a lead sheet (melody and chords), you're really composing, not arranging. Just coming up with melody and chords is only composing in a very narrow sense, so narrow that the term "composing" isn't really appropriate and should be replaced with "songwriting". Martin had compositional chops; McCartney didn't and doesn't. TheScotch 06:19, 15 September 2007 (UTC)

If the industry felt it was composition or "songwriting", multiple Lennon/McCartney songs would be officially credited to Lennon/McCartney/Martin. Furthermore, both McCartney and Martin have described instances where McCartney communicated what he wanted in some detail, usually by singing or playing parts on piano or guitar. There's no evidence to support that Martin was a co-composer on this song or any other L/M songs. His own books specifically state otherwise and use verbs like "arranged" or "scored". John Cardinal 13:10, 15 September 2007 (UTC)

Scoring and arranging are part of composition. Martin's contribution to this song was the string parts (and the contrapuntal vocal bit--and if you'd really read his autobiography you'd know at least that much and wouldn't have deleted it from the article without explanation), and since the strings are the only instruments, that's a huge contribution. Since if we were going to go strictly by the songwriting credits we'd have to consider this a Lennon and McCartney song, not just a McCartney song, you're clearly and very obviously contradicting yourself. TheScotch 08:49, 16 September 2007 (UTC)


this song is covered in the Justin Long movie "Accepted". Does anyone know who covered it?

Anyone cared to explain the famous line "wearing a face that she keeps in a jar by the door"? -- Toytoy 16:00, Mar 9, 2005 (UTC)

I'm not sure what it's worth, but a friend of mine said that it means she's sad and depressed when there's no one around, but when others are there, she wears a false aura of happiness. Or something like that.

Someone told me that that meant a jar of makeup... OvenFresh² 23:55, 4 May 2005 (UTC)

It is meant to be a jar of makeup, your friend is wrong.

What about the Aretha Franklin cover? There is a good article on the song in an anthology of ethnomusicological writing about The Beatles; I'll try to track it down. --Onlyemarie 22:24, 1 Apr 2005 (UTC)

I think the line about the approximately one year difference between the death of Eleanor Rigby and the birth of John Lennon doesn't belong in an encyclopedia article. If anything it should go in a trivia section. If such a section already existed I would have moved it. Are there other tidbits in this article that should be moved out of the main portion (consistent with the comment above that there is "far too much of" this article)? Feel free to move it if you agree that it should be moved. 19:39, 19 November 2006 (UTC)

Very interesting indeed that there is a grave for an Eleanor Rigby in the very churchyard where John and Paul first met, yet Paul claims that the name came from two different sources. According to the photos Eleanor died in 1939, so she must have living relatives. Have they ever commented on the song? Heh, did any of them perhaps threaten a lawsuit?

- The entire song is not played in the Dorian mode, as the article purports. It is actually in E minor, (Cmaj, E min- intro)and only the verses are in E Dorian.

I personally find it very interesting that J Dilla sampled the Four Tops' cover of this song for a Raekwon beat back in 2009, especially since J Dilla died in 2006. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:58, 19 August 2011 (UTC)

Requested move[edit]

Eleanor Rigby is just a redirect to Eleanor Rigby (song).

  • Support - the only other Eleanor Rigby article is Eleanor Rigby (novel), and the song should get primary topic disambiguation. Rd232 10:49, 21 October 2005 (UTC)
  • Support -Ethan0 16:54, 22 October 2005 (UTC)
  • Support ---The PNM 19:41, 22 October 2005 (UTC)


Add any additional comments

Eleanor Rigby was also covered by the Swedish band "Pain". It was on their album "Nothing Remains the Same"

The song was inspiration for the America Song "The Lonely People"

The Beatles may not have performed Eleanor Rigby live but Paul did on one of his tours. I think it was "Friends of the Earth' back in in 1990.

He did it on the Back in the US tour in the early 2000s, too. It's listed as track 1, disc 2 of his live album of the same title. ElioDelRIo (talk) 19:33, 11 January 2010 (UTC)

Article From Reuters Offer New Clues to the Mystery of Eleanor Rigby[edit]

The article states that a document scheduled to be auctioned this month may offer some insight as to the true identification of Eleanor Rigby. --Wiseguy007 (JAW) 08:32, 12 November 2008 (UTC)

stereo recording oddity[edit]

Every CD or record I've heard with the stereo version of the song has the very first syllable of the first verse ("Elea-") on both channels, before the vocal switches to the left channel only. Does anyone know if this was intentional? If not, does anyone know why it hasn't been fixed in all these years? quadratic 22:02, 8 April 2006 (UTC)

Three and a half years later, the mystery hasn't exactly been cleared up, but The Beatles in Mono box set's booklet does refer to it as an error which only occurs on the stereo version. Lee M (talk) 03:38, 5 October 2009 (UTC)

Good article nomination[edit]

The "Significance" section is POVish and unreferenced for the most part. Neutralize that and get back with me.--Esprit15d 18:13, 10 August 2006 (UTC)

I agree. It's a very nice article apart from that and I was considering passing it. I think the article needs that section, so it will have to be rewritten and referenced rather than removed. (If the article gets GA please change the class parameter from B to GA in the WikiProject The Beatles template above). --kingboyk 11:50, 16 August 2006 (UTC)

I'm failing the article, as it has been more than a week on hold, and GA nominations rules state that after a week on hold with the concerns not addressed, the article can be failed. Also, the images need fair use rationales. --Dark Kubrick 00:00, 21 August 2006 (UTC)


What is with the references in this article? Should they be updated to the current system (i.e. <references/>)? – Heaven's Wrath   Talk  00:04, 27 October 2006 (UTC)

I looked at {{note}}. That template does not seem to work in Firefox, but does work in Internet Explorer. – Heaven's Wrath   Talk  00:08, 27 October 2006 (UTC)
You need more in-line citations (this is the new standard) and it could easily be a GA. --andreasegde 18:57, 28 November 2006 (UTC)

Wrong image caption?[edit]

The image labelled "A promotional poster for the single from the UK" actually has an Australian address on it (for Music Sales Australia Pty Limited, I think - it's difficult to make out), so I doubt it originates from the UK.

It doesn't look much like a promotional poster for the single, either. It doesn't say Parlophone anywhere on it, and "Yellow Submarine" isn't mentioned (remember, this was supposed to be a double A-side single). I don't know what it's actually a picture of, but I would hazard a guess that it's the front cover of some "Eleanor Rigby" sheet music. 16:21, 4 November 2006 (UTC)

I believe you are correct in your assumption - Although I've never seen the exact copy, I had single song sheet music for a few beatles songs that used the same template and style, here in the UK. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:46, 30 January 2010 (UTC)

Eleanor Rigby: Died in Her Sleep?[edit]

Here is a link to a photo of the Liverpool tombstone, which includes these words:

The Beloved Wife of THOMAS WOOD
And Granddaughter of the Above
Died 10th October 1939 Aged 44 Years

Is this the source of the statement that she died in her sleep? The word "asleep" should not be assumed, however, to refer to the manner of her death. It's a word that can be seen fairly often on old tombstones and means "Asleep in God" or "Asleep in Jesus," i.e, awaiting the Resurrection. - InvisibleSun 08:44, 2 March 2007 (UTC)

Second tombstone photo link[edit]

I have just added another external link with a different, and I think better, photo of the tombstone plus information about the site. The photo is also bigger – notice that you can click on it to enlarge the image. I personally think this should replace the external link to the photo from, but I will leave it up to you guys. - Krickfan 14:08, 28 May 2007 (UTC)

Fair use rationale for Image:EleanorRigby-singlecover.jpg[edit]

Nuvola apps important.svg

Image:EleanorRigby-singlecover.jpg is being used on this article. I notice the image page specifies that the image is being used under fair use but there is no explanation or rationale as to why its use in Wikipedia articles constitutes fair use. In addition to the boilerplate fair use template, you must also write out on the image description page a specific explanation or rationale for why using this image in each article is consistent with fair use.

Please go to the image description page and edit it to include a fair use rationale. Using one of the templates at Wikipedia:Fair use rationale guideline is an easy way to insure that your image is in compliance with Wikipedia policy, but remember that you must complete the template. Do not simply insert a blank template on an image page.

If there is other other fair use media, consider checking that you have specified the fair use rationale on the other images used on this page. Note that any fair use images uploaded after 4 May, 2006, and lacking such an explanation will be deleted one week after they have been uploaded, as described on criteria for speedy deletion. If you have any questions please ask them at the Media copyright questions page. Thank you.BetacommandBot 05:41, 4 June 2007 (UTC)

Added fair use rationale. John Cardinal 20:20, 5 June 2007 (UTC)

Composed by George Martin?[edit]

George Martin claims only that he arranged "Eleanor Rigby" and the article should not claim he composed anything without specific citations to support the claim. I don't think any such evidence exists, but even if verifiable evidence can be found for such claims, it should be noted that it is unofficial/uncredited. Overall, the article should not overly stress his participation other than as producer and arranger.

Long standing music industry practice is clear in this matter. Lead guitarist players do not get composition credits because they determined the notes in a solo. Drummers do not get composition credit because they devise the drum part. Arrangers do not get composition credit because they write scores. Those acts--while creative--are derivative. John Cardinal 13:49, 16 September 2007 (UTC)

the yahoo music thing on the side[edit]

Actually i really like it. How is it done?.. It scrolls with the page on the side. and the music comes from the last external link # Cover version w/Mandolins & Strings.... it loads quickly and contributes to the page, showing the orchestral part of it. This should be tried on other pages with such orchestral parts --Greenwald3132 (talk) 20:15, 3 June 2008 (UTC)


Can we please describe what the song means? I came here to find that out and...well...--Editor510 drop us a line, mate 20:03, 17 June 2008 (UTC)

It's about people who are lonely- for instance if you have no partner, friend etc why would it matter whether a lady puts make-up on, or a man darns his socks? She died and no-one cared:( Of course if we wanted to say this, we'd have to find it in WP:RS- which we probably could.:) Here you go- It has been described as a lament for lonely people [1], about people who do not find love. [2] (Remember that the Beatles were born around the time of the second world war, and a lot of women were left unmarried.) "In keeping with the fact that all four Beatles were war babies, it perfectly evokes an England of bomb sites and spinsters"[3]. If you want an explanation of any lines of the song- email me.:) Now, here is your second mission- should you choose to accept it:- add these 3 references and bit to the article, formatting the references in the proper wiki fashion.:) Sticky Parkin 19:47, 20 June 2008 (UTC)


I'm absolutely sure we are not allowed to include the song's lyrics (at least the whole text) in an article so I'll immediately remove them. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Fethry (talkcontribs) 11:31, 19 June 2008 (UTC)

I have always wondered who wrote the lyrics to this song (especially the latter verses). Lennon claimed to have written about 70% of the lyrics while McCartney claimed that Lennon's contribution was minimal. If this is the case, one might ask why McCartney never produced solo lyrics of this calibre in any of his other songs. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Dontknowoo (talkcontribs) 22:41, 4 July 2008 (UTC)

"I have always wondered who wrote the lyrics to this song (especially the latter verses). Lennon claimed to have written about 70% of the lyrics while McCartney claimed that Lennon's contribution was minimal. If this is the case, one might ask why McCartney never produced solo lyrics of this calibre in any of his other songs."

Can you prove this?

There is no doubt that several people, including Lennon, contributed to the lyrics of this song, but when Pete Shotton -- who you'd think is a man with a pro-Lennon-bias -- says otherwise, it is really hard to ignore.

George Harrison has claimed to come up with three lines. Ringo contributed at least a couple. If I remember this correctly, Shotton has claimed that Lennon was mostly passive throughout the writing session at John's house(Usually, only Lennon and McCartney would be present at these), and when Shotton suggested that Eleanor Rigby and Father McKenzie should meet in the last verse, Lennon just laughed it off, and the session ended. McCartney liked the idea, and kept it.

-- (talk) 01:29, 8 September 2008 (UTC)

Live performances[edit]

Is it just me, or does the Live performances section seem out of place? Like, no references. No direct bearing on the song itself. Not encyclopaedic. Feedback, anyone?--Technopat (talk) 18:39, 9 November 2008 (UTC)

Another purported source for the name Eleanor Rigby[edit]

Seems like one person's word, without confirmation from McCartney. / edg 05:37, 12 November 2008 (UTC)

Because the above link is broken, I thought I'd link to this article from The Guardian "Revealed: The real Eleanor Rigby" which suggests that Paul McCartney knew of a real Eleanor Rigby.


I'm not sure what the convention is for Beatles articles, and this is hardly of earth-shaking importance... but I was a little surprised to see the "Historical artifacts" section heading spelt as such, since the word is usually "artefacts" in British English. The OED accepts both spellings, though all the examples from the last 180 years use the E spelling, and it's certainly much the more common in the UK. Loganberry (Talk) 22:45, 21 April 2009 (UTC)

Maybe I was spelling in my spare time? — John Cardinal (talk) 01:57, 22 April 2009 (UTC)
Sadly I don't get the reference, if that's what it is, nor that of your edit summary ("Monty responds"). I'm only passing through here, so if it's an in-joke related to the song I'm afraid it's wasted on me! Loganberry (Talk) 02:09, 22 April 2009 (UTC)
You didn't miss much! Monty Python had a comedy skit where a customer purchased an argument. The provider of the service--the person who argued with the customer--had one of the funnier lines where he said he might be "arguing in his spare time."
Anyway, I messed up the spelling and if it isn't fixed already I'll fix it. — John Cardinal (talk) 23:59, 22 April 2009 (UTC)

line in the intro[edit]

from a mainly pop-oriented act to a more serious and experimental studio band.

this should be changed to rock oriented, or at least pop AND rock oriented. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:43, 23 April 2009 (UTC)

Clarify these "words" please...[edit]

"During their teenage years, McCartney and Lennon spent time "sunbathing" there; within earshot distance of where the two had met for the first time during a fete in 1957."

Can someone remove "sunbathing" and either replace it with sunbathing (no quotes) or whatever else they purport that sunbathing actually means? I have no idea why it is in quotes and it doesn't fit within an encyclopedic context. It reads to me like "sunbathing" is a claim that one of them made in a comment and that their true reason for being there is something mischevious. However, if this is the case, it should be sourced, and clarified what they were really doing.

Also "during a fete" - is there another equivalent word that can be used for "fete"? I don't think it's a very internationally understood term, as I've never heard it used here in America. TheHYPO (talk) 18:41, 11 September 2009 (UTC)

I agree that "sunbathing" probably shouldn't be quoted but the statement lacks a source reference so I can't tell why it might have been. Can we get a source, and then update the statement?
Regarding "fete", the event was actually called a fete and so I think it should stay. The fete statement is not sourced, but the event itself has been described in numerous books and always uses that terminology. Anyone interested in the first meeting of L and M will run into the term, and sooner rather than later. — John Cardinal (talk) 19:49, 11 September 2009 (UTC)

Regarding "fete", why not just make it a hyperlink to the fete wiki-article. Jimwilliams57 (talk) 14:53, 16 September 2009 (UTC)

Yellow Submarine movie[edit]

There should probably be a reference to the song's use in the film Yellow Submarine and the style of animation accompanying the song. Lee M (talk) 03:42, 5 October 2009 (UTC)

Which cover?[edit]

I seem to have found the 45" cover. There's another cover w/the Yellow Submarine cover, but I thought that's the one where this song was the b-side. Then there's a DIFFERENT cover (I think) that is depicted here as a just a record, but the poster here is ALSO listed as the cover. Does anybody know which cover was used for which version - the US version (Capitol), the UK version (Parlaphone) and the 45" single if mine isn't the right one? Since I'm trying to keep the covers myself for my iPod and I made this mistake before w/Here, There & Everywhere, I'd like to know which one is which.

Also, in cases like this one, I'd also like to know if it matters which version is at the top of the userbox - the UK version or the US version, if applicable? LoomisSimmons (talk) 09:42, 27 December 2009 (UTC)

Cover versions[edit]

I've just made it worse by adding yet another one, but the list of cover versions is sprawling. Many of the more recent cover versions are by acts whose notability is dubious - either without a Wikipedia page of their own, or with a page that is borderline self-promotional. Perhaps this can be tidied up? I'm new to editing so don't want to mess it up, otherwise I'd have a crack myself Eoghan London (talk) 15:53, 14 September 2011 (UTC)


"The original stereo mix had Paul's voice only in the right channel during the verses, with the string octet mixed to one channel, while the mono single and mono LP featured a more balanced mix" Dude! it's normal if it is mono! In mono you have one only channel that you cannot pan! They were forced to put the voice and the instruments on one single channel because they had only one in mono. Seriously, who wrote that part of the article ? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:03, 22 August 2012 (UTC)


This is getting kind of annoying. All throughout these Beatles song articles are flimsy sources taken out-of-context to support POV genre changes. This change makes up a footnote (Scheer 2006?) with no accompanying book to support an editor's own opinion that it's a pop song. Then some dubious Billboard review of a piano covers album from 1970 that was probably found by Googling "Eleanor Rigby" and "pop" together, and cherrypicking the most favorable source: actually found the review: "Carmen Cavallaro's piano diversity is well served in this repertoire of compositions by the Beatles, Bacharach ... the pop flavor of the Beatles' 'Eleanor Rigby,' 'Let It Be' and 'Yesterday' and Bacharach's 'Raindrops... ". Really? That's the the most reliable source that can be found on this topic? And another editor using the Carlin book Paul McCartney: a life to support "baroque" as the song's genre. Just b/c it's a book source doesnt mean it cant be checked online: (Carlin p. 132) "...a baroque-inspired portrait of loneliness...". Adding these is one thing, but reordering baroque over rock just shows that it's a subjective and not encyclopedic decision. Dan56 (talk) 05:02, 2 January 2013 (UTC)

Sorry to annoy you, but I think that calling the song ONLY rock is a little misleading. "Eleanor Rigby" is certainly not your typical rock song.
"Adding these is one thing, but reordering baroque over rock just shows that it's a subjective and not encyclopedic decision."
So, if I had added baroque to the infobox with rock listed first, it would have been okay? Unless you have the ability to read my mind, you can't know for a fact that my edit was subjective. --John of Lancaster (talk) 14:38, 2 January 2013 (UTC)

The song pretty much has all the ingredients of a typical baroque pop song, with its instrumentation i.e. cellos to violins and arrangements being "baroque-inspired". Lacking any rock and roll energy and the stereotypical rock quartet of lead and rhythm guitars, bass guitar and drums, rock to be honest seems rather misleading and unclear. ---Hattiethecat1234 (talk) 16:01, 2 January 2013 (UTC)

Maybe the both of you should rethink your opinions on this song if you're going to let it affect how you edit this article. I dont need to read either of your minds, just your comments above calling it "misleading" b/c of your opinions. Dan56 (talk) 23:06, 2 January 2013 (UTC)
Funny how neither of you addressed the issues with the sources you provided, as though that was second to "rock" being "misleading". Dan56 (talk) 23:07, 2 January 2013 (UTC)
It's not just my opinion. A reliable source calls the song "baroque-inspired". Again, I am fully aware that a reliable source calls the song rock and I wasn't suggesting removing it. I just think that having it as the only genre is a bit misleading, especially when a reliable source makes mention of its baroque infulence (which very few rock songs have) and that we should include baroque in the genre as well. We can even put it behind rock in the infobox. Would that be okay? --John of Lancaster (talk) 00:00, 3 January 2013 (UTC)
Also, the Allmusic review describes it as "one example of why the Beatles' appeal reached so far beyond the traditional rock audience". --John of Lancaster (talk) 00:34, 3 January 2013 (UTC)
An influence doesnt belong in the genre field. It's duly noted in the lead, as can that Allmusic quote (although the quote attributes the "beyond" part to the subject matter/lyrics), but it isnt a baroque song. And using your previous train of thought of citing Wikipedia articles, it doesnt bother you that it says "Western art music composed from approximately 1600 to 1750"? Dan56 (talk) 10:06, 3 January 2013 (UTC)
You told me earlier that I shouldn't go by what other Wikipedia articles say, so why are you suggesting that I do so now? Why would it bother me? Many musicians in the 1960s incorporated baroque into their music. --John of Lancaster (talk) 20:30, 3 January 2013 (UTC)
I was being facetious; citing baroque music wouldnt have helped you there, yet now it's baroque pop? Dan56 (talk) 00:06, 4 January 2013 (UTC)
I know you were being facetious. Don't be. You informed me that I shouldn't go by what other Wikipedia articles say and I understand that now. There's no need to hold it over my head forever. Don't remind others of past misdeeds. No, it's not baroque pop. I was simply showing you an example of how it says on Wikipedia that musicians in the 1960s incorporated baroque into their music. --John of Lancaster (talk) 19:56, 4 January 2013 (UTC)

Slate article[edit]

Interesting stuff: Decoding “Eleanor Rigby”. GregorB (talk) 00:19, 22 February 2016 (UTC)

John Lennon line in lyrics[edit]

John Lennon wrote "wearing a face that she keeps in a jar by the door." This line is exquisite poetry and John Lennon was very proud of the line. To say that John Lennon did not contribute to the lyrics is misinformation. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:57, 28 April 2016 (UTC)

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