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  Abstract 0387
  Heinonen, Yrjö (2001), "The mystery of Eleanor Rigby. Meditations on a gravestone." In: Yrjö Heinonen, Markus Heuger, Sheila Whitely, Terhi Nurmesjärvi and Jouni Koskimäki (eds.), Beatlestudies 3. Proceedings of the Beatles 2000 conference. Jyväskylä: University of Jyväskylä (Department of Music, Research Reports 23), 2001, 299-312.
  In the churchyard of St. Peter's Church, Woolton, Liverpool there is a gravestone with a name Eleanor Rigby. Paul McCartney has denied any conscious connections between the real Eleanor Rigby and the song of the same name he wrote in early 1966. The aim of this article is to explore possible subconscious associations between the name in the gravestone and the unlucky heroine of the song. The approach is based on the psycho-analytic theory, and the method consists of the following stages: (1) an exploration of the genesis of the song; (2) a textual analysis; (3) an intertextual analysis; (4) a biographical account; and (5) an interpretation of the results of the previous stages within the psycho-analytic framework.
  "Eleanor Rigby" was mainly written by McCartney who wrote all music, including ideas for the arrangement. He also wrote most or all of the lyrics for the first verse. Ideas for the second verse, refrain, chorus, and the third verse were drafted in collaboration during a weekend at John Lennon's house. The third verse seems to be finished by Lennon at the recording studio. "Eleanor Rigby" combines elements from traditional British ballads and folk-rock, art music (Bach), musicals (Oliver) and film music (Psycho, Vertigo), "gothic" rock of the mid-1950s, and both the early and contemporary styles of the Beatles. Literary associations include Charles Dickens (Great Expectations, Oliver Twist) and Edgar Allan Poe (Annabel Lee). The most obvious model of Eleanor Rigby is Lady Havisham, the old spinster in Great Expectations. Two aspects are common for most of the above-mentioned sources: (1) considering the loved one an idealized image rather than a woman (man) of flesh and bones; and: (2) the presence of death, often in the form of grave of gravestone.
  The name "Eleanor Rigby" occurred to McCartney in Bristol while visiting Jane Asher, who was playing in Old Vic's production of Great Expectations. The "fairytale romance" of the two had recently got chilly. In this light, the song "Eleanor Rigby" may have been based on McCartney's nightmarish image of himself ("Father McKenzie") and Jane Asher ("Eleanor Rigby") as two old, lonely, unmarried people. Furthermore, the heroine of the song "was buried along with her name" and nobody attended her funeral. Ten years earlier, McCartney himself had not attended his own mother's funeral and no stone was erected, by her grave. Obviously there is evidence enough to keep the myth about the gravestone of the real Eleanor Rigby alive.
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