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Paul McCartney Discusses The Real-Life Inspiration For 'Eleanor Rigby'

Paul McCartney's on the road right now to promote 'Egypt Station' - his latest solo album, but the former Beatle is also taking time to stroll down memory lane. In a recent interview with GQ, McCartney revealed the real-life inspiration for the timeless Beatles tune 'Eleanor Rigby.' The song was released in 1966, but the inspiration for it dates back decades earlier. 

"When I was really little, I lived on what we call a housing estate, which is like a project," McCartney revealed. "There were a lot of old ladies and I enjoyed sitting around with these old ladies because they had these great stories about World War II. And one in particular - who I used to kind of just visit and go shopping for [because] she couldn't get out. I remembered her, so I had that figure in my mind of a sort of lonely old lady. And over the years I'd met a couple others, and—I don't know, maybe the loneliness made me sort of empathize with them. I thought it was a great character, so I started this song about a lonely old lady who picks up the rice in the church who never really gets the dreams in her life."

So there you have it, aspiring songwriters. If you're stuck for inspiration, try a little good samaritanism. You might meet your muse while running errands for people in need.


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