Mystery `Eleanor Rigby' document goes to auction





LONDON – Eleanor Rigby: fact or fiction?

That question, which has bedeviled Beatles' fans for decades, may be answered in part by a 1911 hospital payroll sheet to be auctioned in London on Thursday.

The document, sent by Paul McCartney in 1990 to the director of a music charity who had asked for funding, contains the signature of a scullery maid named "E. Rigby" who worked in a Liverpool hospital.

The director of the company auctioning the document believes the woman who signed the payroll is the same Eleanor Rigby buried in 1939 in a Liverpool graveyard next to the church where McCartney met the young John Lennon.

"I've spoken to the person who lived in the house where she used to live, and they've confirmed that the signature is the same signature of the person in the graveyard," said Tom Owen of the Fame Bureau auction house, adding that the finding may contradict McCartney's longtime assertion that the song was based on a made-up character...

Interest is so high it's estimated the document may fetch $750,000...

The song "Eleanor Rigby," released in 1966 as a single and on the Beatles' "Revolver" album, represented a sharp break for the band, which until then had largely relied on cheerful tunes for their international hits.

With its haunting refrain, "Ah, look at all the lonely people," it is a devastating portrayal of an isolated woman whose death draws so little notice that no one attends her funeral.


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