Eleanor Rigby … say what?

Posted: October 28, 2014 in Conspiracy theories, Music, Pop culture
Tags: ,

Eleanor RigbyI love the Beatles. Maybe I should curb this habit of over-analyzing their song lyrics. But I heard “Eleanor Rigby” on the radio, and I can’t help myself.

Just as a reminder, here are the lyrics to the song (I won’t bother repeating the chorus. You get the idea.)

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

All the lonely people
Where do they all come from?
All the lonely people
Where do they all belong?

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

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

I always figured it was just a mournful meditation on loneliness and isolation. But today, I realized there was something that always puzzled me about the song.

I’m thinking specifically of the last verse, and the reference to Father McKenzie “wiping the dirt from his hands as he walks from the grave.” Father McKenzie’s denomination is never specified. I’m guessing Anglican. Possibly Catholic. I was raised Catholic, and I’m not as familiar with the Anglican church. But I’m going to go out on a limb here and assume that Anglican priests, like their Catholic counterparts, just deliver the funeral service for their congregants. They aren’t expected to pick up a shovel afterward and actually bury them.

So I can’t think of a reason why Father McKenzie would be burying Eleanor Rigby himself, unless … HOLY CRAP! FATHER MCKENZIE IS A PSYCHO!

Kind of puts the song in a whole new light, doesn’t it?

And another thing. How come on the back of the Sgt. Pepper album, Eleanor Rigby is the only one with her back to the … never mind. That’s a totally different thing altogether.


  1. Ashes to ashes dust to dust. Some services have the officiant throw a symbolic handful of dust on the coffin to symbolize returning to Earth.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s