Eleanor Rigby

The Independent has a story right now that Eleanor Rigby may have been a real person, although for years Paul McCartney has denied such.

But a fascinating document that is to be sold at auction this month suggests that he knew more than he was letting on. It is a page from an accounts log kept by the Corporation of Liverpool, which records the wages paid in 1911 to a scullery maid working for the City Hospital in Parkhill, who signed her name “E. Rigby”.

The document belongs to Annie Mawson, who runs a charity in Cumbria teaching music to children with learning difficulties and other disabilities. She received it from somebody working in McCartney’s office after she sent him a letter describing how she had taught a severely autistic boy to play “Yellow Submarine”. Now she hopes that the money raised from the sale will go towards paying for a permanent premises for her charity, the Sunbeam Music Trust.

If you want me to cry like a baby before a promptly kiss you needily on the mouth, play Eleanor Rigby. I’m not usually that kind of person, but the song just tears me up.

The idea that she might have been real is …

I don’t know. Just flu rambling on a Tuesday night that has nothing to do with politics, thank goodness.

Photo of the Eleanor Rigby statue in Liverpool.

4 comments for “Eleanor Rigby

  1. November 11, 2008 at 9:20 pm

    I love the thought that she was actually real since for me she has been real since I was 6 years old.

  2. November 11, 2008 at 10:46 pm

    I read this — such a cool story.

    I’m the same way about “Mary” by Patty Griffin… make me cry every time…

  3. November 12, 2008 at 1:19 am

    I just spent 30 minutes looking all over for the above photo because I knew I had seen it and wanted to use it for a story, and came here and….oops…I saw it here and you had already done the story!

    She’s very real, even if she wasn’t when Paul wrote it. Too many lonely people.

    Old Beatles trivia, Paul initially wrote it as “Father McCartney,(not McKenzie) but was afraid his dad wouldn’t like it.

    He also wrote this during his most fertile period. This song is on ‘Revolver,’ where he also has ‘For No One,’ ‘Here, There and Everywhere,’ ‘Got To Get You Into My Life,'(about pot)’and a couple of others.

    As someone who used to be hot and got old and speaks in Beatles metaphors, I often wonder how I went from being Penny Lane to Elenor Rigby. (I didn’t say that to sound pathetic, it’s something I’ve said several times to close friends)

  4. November 12, 2008 at 4:27 am

    Very cool. One of my favorites, too.

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