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Friday, April 29, 2011

Eleanor, Gee I Think You're Swell



Paul Rose plays the Beatles' Eleanor Rigby

I've made it my business for the last couple of years to write stories in a couple of lines. You have to have pregnant thoughts. The words have to do double and triple duty. There must be ambiguity, hints of things around the corner you can't spare the text to explain, but not just plain obscurity. You can't waste time. Since there can be no filler between the important stuff, any filler you rely on takes the place of important stuff and the attempt fails.

Paul McCartney is supposed to be a kind of amiable dunce to John Lennon's sophisticated artiste. A music hall tuba player gone global. If so, then what the hell is this? It's worthy of Yeats or Joyce, and neither of them could play the radio.

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 MacKenzie 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?

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

Ah, look at all the lonely people

Eleanor Rigby died in the church and was buried along with her name;
Nobody came
Father MacKenzie 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?

6 comments:

Casey Klahn said...

You're giving away your trade secrets, Greg. I am all ears.

John Lien said...

Nice bit of guitar work thar. I'm guessing he was sampling and looping which is a neat technique I hadn't seen/heard before.

Thud said...

There is a little statue of eleanor rigby in a side street outside a restaurant I visit once in a blue moon...the statue works too.

Anwyn said...

Even with what little I know of the Beatles, I have thought for a while that Paul was the right end of the Lennon-McCartney stick.

John P. said...

Which brings to mind the Royal Wedding the most salient feature of which, in my opinion, is they didn't invite Muchelle Obummer!

All the lonely people indeed. Face in a jar; sophistry on parade!

MC said...

Don't you just want to do murder to those laughers and gigglers and chatterers discourteous enough to carry on while the guy's playing? Or maybe it's just me.

We were privileged, a few years ago, to have Steve Earle play a small acoustic gig in our little Scottish island. He stopped part way through a song and asked if the people who wanted to talk could maybe go somewhere else and do it. What indignation from the chatterers! More power to his elbow, say I.