Who really Wrote “Eleanor Rigby”? Unraveling the Beatles’ Collaborative Masterpiece

The Beatles

Decades after its release, “Eleanor Rigby” remains a timeless classic that showcases the Beatles’ creative genius. However, determining the true origins and contributions behind this iconic song proves to be a challenging endeavor. In Beatles Bible YouTube video, they delve into the mystery of “Eleanor Rigby” and examine conflicting accounts from John Lennon and Paul McCartney. By exploring various sources and witness testimonies, Beatles Bible aim to shed light on the question: Who really wrote “Eleanor Rigby”?

The Origins of “Eleanor Rigby”

The Music Room on Wimpole Street: Paul’s Inspiration
“Eleanor Rigby” began its journey in the music room of Paul McCartney’s residence on Wimpole Street, London. Here, Paul, accompanied by his then-girlfriend Jane Asher, crafted the song that would become a masterpiece. Inspired by the name “Daisy Hawkins,” McCartney initially composed a few bars and contemplated the story behind the lyrics. The theme of lonely people began to take shape, leading to the birth of “Eleanor Rigby.”

John Lennon’s Role: A Fragmented Account
Conflicting narratives surround John Lennon’s involvement in the creation of “Eleanor Rigby.” While Lennon claimed a significant role in writing about 70% of the lyrics in a 1972 interview, he later declared that the song was primarily Paul’s baby in 1980. Lennon’s recollections hint at a collaborative writing session where the lyrics were finalized. However, the exact extent of Lennon’s contribution remains a point of contention. McCartney’s account suggests that Lennon had minimal involvement in the lyrics but played a role in arranging the track.

The Collaborative Process

Recording Sessions and Contributions
The recording sessions for “Eleanor Rigby” witnessed the collaborative spirit of the Beatles in action. Paul McCartney took the song to John Lennon’s house in Weybridge, where they joined together with George Harrison and Ringo Starr. As McCartney strummed his guitar, the group collectively offered suggestions and lines, shaping the song’s evolution. Notably, George Harrison contributed the memorable line, “Ah, look at all the lonely people.” Witness accounts and recollections from producer George Martin indicate that everyone, including Paul, sought input from their fellow bandmates.

The Beatles at TVC animation Studios in London, 6th November 1967, L-R Ringo Starr, John Lennon, George Harrison, Paul McCartney. They were taking part in a short film called ‘A Mod Odyssey’ about the making of ‘Yellow Submarine’. (Photo by Mark and Colleen Hayward/Getty Images)

The Last Verse Controversy
One of the most debated aspects of “Eleanor Rigby” is the authorship of its final verse. Pete Shotton, a witness to the song’s creation, proposed an idea for the concluding verse involving Eleanor Rigby’s death and Father Mackenzie conducting her burial service, symbolizing the union of two lonely individuals. However, John Lennon dismissed the idea, expressing a different interpretation. The details surrounding the final verse remain murky, but testimonies suggest that it was likely written in the studio, leaving the exact contributions from each member uncertain.

The Verdict: A Collaborative Masterpiece

After analyzing multiple accounts and pieces of evidence, the truth behind the creation of “Eleanor Rigby” emerges. While Paul McCartney undoubtedly played a significant role in crafting the song, the Beatles’ collaborative spirit shines through. Each member, including John Lennon, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr, contributed lines and ideas that shaped the final composition. In the end, attributing precise percentages becomes challenging, but it’s safe to say that McCartney’s contributions dominate. The enduring beauty of “Eleanor Rigby” lies in its collective creation, making it a Lennon-McCartney-Harrison-Starr composition.

In conclusion, “Eleanor Rigby” remains a testament to the Beatles’ musical brilliance and their ability to weave complex narratives through collaborative songwriting. The mystery of who wrote what may never be definitively answered, but it is clear that the song represents the genius of all four Beatles coming together to create a timeless masterpiece.

What are your thoughts? Do you believe Paul or John had a more significant role in “Eleanor Rigby”? Join the discussion by leaving a comment below.