The Real Eleanor Rigby? A Hospital Maid in Liverpool

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 11, 2008 7:20 PM CST

(Newser) – When Paul McCartney famously wondered where all the lonely people came from, he had a pretty good idea for at least one of them. The title character in "Eleanor Rigby"—long proclaimed by Sir Paul to be a fictional person—worked as a maid in a Liverpool hospital in the early 1900s, the Independent reports. The source? McCartney himself, who donated a 1911 hospital ledger with the name "E. Rigby" on it to a charity auction.

"I feel that when you're holding it, you're holding a bit of history," said the woman who received it from McCartney. She runs a UK music school for students with disabilities and hopes it will fetch a half-million pounds for the school later this month. McCartney has previously said that he may have subconsciously registered the Rigby name from a tombstone in a Liverpool cemetery.
(Read more Paul McCartney stories.)