“Eleanor Rigby” by The Beatles Essay

“Eleanor Rigby” is an original song written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney of the one of the most famous bands of all time, the Beatles. The song was about the indistinct story of a woman named Eleanor Rigby who lived a heartrending and desolate life. The still and hollow life of Eleanor Rigby seemed to have followed her after her death as the song depicts the absence of people – neither her family nor friends – during Eleanor’s funeral. Lennon and McCartney wrote, “Eleanor Rigby died in the church, and was buried along with her name, nobody came.

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” This particular line suggests the silent passing of Eleanor Rigby – that is, as if she never existed when she was still alive, and when she died, her name got lost in the sea of people who were born and have died without leaving any sign of their existence. In general, Eleanor Rigby represents all the lonely people in the world who suffer the same emptiness and insignificance.

Considering the structure and the content of the song “Eleanor Rigby,” it may be classified as a ballad for various reasons.

The defined characteristics of a ballad fit the structure and content of the song. For one, the song tells a story (“Characteristics of a Ballad”), although indistinct, about the unpretentious life of Eleanor Rigby and the involvement of Father McKenzie in her interment. The indistinctiveness of Eleanor Rigby’s story entails the reading between the lines and the direct interpretation and assumption of her life and how Lennon and McCartney related it to the sea of lonely faces that live and die not knowing who they are, what they’re supposed to do, and such.

Second, the story of Eleanor Rigby is told through simple, uncomplicated language (“The Ballad). One can easily deduce what her life was all about, although the meaning necessitates a deeper look and understanding, the main idea of the song is clearly understood from the lyrics. Other features of the song that match its categorization as a ballad includes its dramatic and somber tone, the direction of the first few lines of the song which directly takes the reader or the listener toward cataclysm, and the focus of the song which is on a particular situation or experience.

(“Characteristics of a Ballad”) The feeling of loneliness and sadness is felt throughout the song, from the first line to its last. The repetitive tone of being abandoned and deserted is reflected leaving behind a depressive and sad state of mind. (Price) Next, the first line, “Ah, look at all the lonely people,” smashes directly into the catastrophic or tragic motif of the song – that is the lonely life of Eleanor Rigby, and her seeming demise even before her actual bereavement. The focus of the song is on her life and how it relates to other lives that are plagued by uselessness and non-existence.

The more specific features of the song that are readily observable, depicting its inclination to become categorized as a ballad, has something to do with the repetition of the lines throughout the song (“The Ballad”), particularly the following lines: “all the lonely people, where do they all come from, all the lonely people, where do they belong. ” In addition, the song was written on a third-person perspective, such that the author does not interfere with the events in the story constituting the song. The life of Eleanor Rigby was narrated in such a way that the author is identified as an observer or spectator.

(“The Ballad”) Through the basic and observable characteristics of the song, one can classify it as a ballad. From the narrative tone of the song, to the uncomplicated or simple use of language in depicting the story, from the dramatic tone of voice, to the direct theme of catastrophe and tragedy, the repetition of various lines, the third-person perspective, and the single focus of the song, which is on the life of Eleanor Rigby and every other individual she represents, everything comes together to form a lyrical ballad which is meant to be sang revealing various emotions of clarity. s

Works Cited

“The Ballad. ” (N. D.) Retrieved from Grinell. 11 December 2008. <http://www. cs. grinnell. edu/~simpsone/Connections/Poetry/Forms/ballad1. html>. “Characteristics of a Ballad. ” (N. D. ) Retrieved from Princeton Encyclopedia of Poetry and Poetics. 11 December 2008. <http://www. sip. uiuc. edu/people/rromero/notes/corrido_characteristics. htm>. Price, Richard. (2008). “REVEALED: The Haunting Life Story Behind One of Pop’s Most Famous Songs… Eleanor Rigby. ” Retrieved from Associated Newspapers Ltd. 11 December 2008. <http://www. dailymail. co. uk/femail/article-1088454/REVEALED-The-haunting-life-story-pops-famous-songs–Eleanor-Rigby. html>

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