Eleanor Rigby- John Lennon

John Winston Ono Lennon lived from 1940 to 1980 and was a
singer, guitarist, and songwriter. He was born in Liverpool,
England but was moved to his mother’s older sister’s house
because they couldn’t take care of John due to an unstable life.
His mom was still around, however, and taught him his first guitar
chords and often let him skip school to rehearse with his early
bands. John’s ingenuity and ability to twist the language was
evident even in the early stages of his life. While at Liverpool
College of Art he amused his friends with nonsense songs and
parodies. The rock and roll revolution came to England in 1955
that attracted Lennon and his friends mostly because of the
antiauthority attitudes and postures. These influences convinced
him to form his first band in 1957 called the Black Jacks. While
attending an annual performance in Woolton, England in June
of 1957, John met Paul McCartney and soon after talking for a
little, Paul joined John’s band to start one of the most famous
and recognizable bands of all time. (John Lennon,
Contemporary Heroes)
Ah, look at all the lonely people
Ah, look at all the lonely people
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?
Paul McCartney (from Observer Music Monthly
November 2008): "When I was a kid I was very
lucky to have a real cool dad, a working-class
gent, who always encouraged us to give up
our seat on the bus for old people. This led me
into going round to pensioners' houses. It
sounds a bit goody-goody, so I don't normally
tell too many people. There were a couple of
old ladies and I used to go round and say, 'Do
you need any shopping done?' These lonely
old ladies were something I knew about
growing up, and that was what 'Eleanor Rigby'
was about - the fact that she died and nobody
really noticed. I knew this went on."
"Eleanor" from actress Eleanor Bron.
Eleanor Bron acting in a movie.
He got "Rigby" from a store in Bristol
called Rigby and Evens Ltd Wine and
Spirit Shippers on 22nd King Street
Hyperbole: figurative language- A boldly
exaggerated statement that adds emphasis
without intending to be literally true; an
This line is talking about how people try to
escape reality by living on “fantasy island” and
not dealing with the harsh truth of life.
This could also deal with the famous MLK “I
have a dream” speech preached during the
same decade which deals with the world
being happy and treated equally with no
She wears that face so that no one can
see the loneliness and emptiness that she
feels. It is a false impression that she is
giving to everyone that she sees. This
song is obviously about feeling lonely
and depressed. When Eleanor goes out
she tries to make people think that she is
cheerful and not all alone. DEPRESSION
Father McKenzie writing the words of a
sermon that no one will hear
No one comes near.
Look at him working. Darning his socks in
the night when there's nobody there
What does he care?
Father Tommy McKenzie, who was the
compere (master of ceremonies) at
Northwich Memorial Hall.
Word used during this time period which
is just another word for sewing up the
holes or rips in a piece of material.
Assuming Eleanor told him that she
would commit suicide he is darning his
socks so that he looks good for the
funeral even though he doesn’t really
care that Eleanor will die and knows that
no one will come to the funeral
Eleanor Rigby died in the church and was
buried along with her name
Nobody came
Father McKenzie wiping the dirt from his
hands as he walks from the grave
No one was saved
All the lonely people
Where do they all come from?
All the lonely people
Where do they all belong?
LITERARY: Diction: An author's choice of
words. Since words have specific
meanings, and since one's choice of
words can affect feelings.
 meaning she murdered herself in the
church because she couldn’t deal with
LITERARY: Couplet- A stanza of two lines,
usually rhyming
 This means Father McKenzie buried her
and not even he will remember her
LITERARY: Wiping the dirt from your hands
is a phrase often used to illustrate that
you are going to get rid of something
and forget about it. So obviously if the
minister at her funeral is that anxious to
be rid of her memory then who else is
there to care and remember her?
LITERARY: Elegy- A lyric poem lamenting
 The most bone chilling line in this song.
This means that there is so many people
in this world, yet we are all still lonely and
to live a life alone is death.
LITERARY: Anaphora- The deliberate
repetition of a word or phrase at the
beginning of several successive verses,
clauses, or paragraphs
 This is the chorus of the song and is trying
to tell how many people are in this world,
yet we are all still lonely.
Works Cited

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