I’m not a big fan of the Beatles. I prefer them individually as opposed to the entire group. Ringo was always my favorite and I’m sure that opinion is unpopular too! But I digress…
I do enjoy some of their songs. However, the one I like the most is “Eleanor Rigby”, another one of their simpler songs. It is such a sad song, made sadder by my own interpretation of it. So here's my "Behind the Music" moment for my favorite Beatles' song.
Eleanor Rigby was the cleaning lady for the church. Never married, no children and no family: she was very lonely. Father McKenzie, being the priest, was always very kind to her and didn’t look down on her like the other townsfolk did because she was just a cleaning lady.
Father McKenzie was also rather lonely, because people revered him so much that they put him on a pedestal as their spiritual leader. They only visited for confession and the services; or if he did a home visit with the infirm.
One evening, his loneliness got the best of him. As Eleanor was leaving, he invited her to have a cup of tea with him before she made her way home alone. This became a habit, and they would sit by the fire and gently chat.
As you can imagine: they fell in love. They fought their feelings for each other, but the flesh is weak and they ended up…assuaging each other’s loneliness in a way unbefitting of a priest. They swore it would only happen the one time, but once the seal is broken…you know the rest.
When the townsfolk began to wonder at the change in demeanor of Eleanor, the secret smiles and pep in her step, they became suspicious. What did she have to be happy about? So they followed her one day, and discovered her with Father McKenzie! And they were not kind at all…
Eleanor Rigby died of a broken heart. Father McKenzie atoned for his sin, but lost his congregation. He was unable to save the soul of anyone else because no one would come to the church: much like no one attended Eleanor's funeral.
Man, what a heartbreaking story! Maybe I should become a writer…J This is just my musing of what the song is about. I bet if you were to ask Paul McCartney, I wouldn’t be too far off the mark!
Now go and listen to your favorite Beatles' song, and think about what it might mean...