writing the words that no one will hear...

Eleanor Rigby

John Lennon & Paul McCartney, composers

... music to live by ...

Aretha Franklin


The Beatles

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

Magnificent lyric and chord strucutre. Haunting melody. A perfect poem.


Collin said...

Eleanor Rigby is my fave song by The Beatles but also one of my all time favorite songs in general. Thanks for this post.

sam of the ten thousand things said...

It's on my short list of 5 of the their work. Great piece. I appreciate the listen, Collin.

KATE EVANS said...

I think they're great song lyrics but not necessarily great poems. I say this because songs capitalize on a combination of words, instruments and voice tone, modulation, etc. Poems capitalize on words, lines and stanzas. Lyrics can get away with more standard imagery and rhyme because the music and voice do a lot of work to add freshness. Words in poems have more work to do than in lyrics.

sam of the ten thousand things said...

All lyrics would not be great poems. I agree with that, Kate. The poem has to work much harder. But even in The Beatles body of work, this piece seems to find a separate place for me.

I guess it strikes me this way - Most poems, though not all, are meant to be more than their placement on the page. Once a work is voiced, it becomes something else. I don't take the poem in my head the same way as the poem in my mouth. Voicing the piece makes it something greater than its parts on the page. The work of a perfomance poet, for example, must depend on certain external forces such as music, the physical sound of the words, the room, crowd, noise, props, etc. - which function in a similar manner as music, tone, instruments, volume, combinations...

I'd heard Eleanor Rigby a 1000 times - but it came alive to me in a different way when I read it in a literary antholgy - placing it on the page beside other ballads: The Demon Lover, Sir Patrick Spence - I forget the others. The work became something more than song or even lyric. Other Beatle songs don't strike me this way.

Of course, this probably has more to do with who I was then, than with what I read. Thanks for the visit, Kate. Good stimulation.