Paul McCartney launches ‘A Life In Lyrics’ podcast by explaining The Beatles’ ‘Eleanor Rigby’

Paul McCartney has launched his ‘A Life In Lyrics‘ podcast today (October 4) with the first episode breaking down the creation of The Beatles‘ ‘Eleanor Rigby’.

The 12-part series which is based on the best-selling book, is hosted by the poet Paul Muldoon, who wrote the foreword to The Lyrics: 1956 to the Present, will give listeners an unrivalled opportunity to sit in on conversations between McCartney and Muldoon.

Episode one sees Macca break down the Beatles track ‘Eleanor Rigby’. He explained where the title for the song came from, sharing that the name for the song came from a grave that he and his late bandmate John Lennon saw.


“There is a grave which John and I wandered around endlessly talking about our future,” he recalled in the podcast. “And there is a grave there [with the name Eleanor Rigby]. I don’t remember ever having seeing that gravestone but it’s been suggested to me that psychologically I would have seen it”

He also shared where the famous lyric “Wearing a Face That She Keeps in a Jar by the Door” originated from, attributing the words to his mother and her love and use of Nivea cold cream.

“My mum’s favourite was Nivea and I love it to this day. It kind of scared me a little that women used quite so much cold cream, and it was my dread, when I got older and got married, that I would marry someone who would [wear a lot of cold cream] and put one of those big shower caps on and the curlers and have masses of things… So that played on my mind quite a bit, so she’s wearing a face that she keeps in a jar by the door,” he said.

Macca revealed that he had envisioned the track as a narrative film and said: “What I was seeing was like a film, just in my imagination. I’ve got two protagonists that are lonely, she and then him. You don’t feel so sorry for him, but he’s lonely. So ‘all the lonely people now’, becomes the chorus… She dies and he’s the one who buries her, and he’s wiping his hands as he walks from the grave, ‘no one was saved’ and that’s the wrap up to the story”

Elsewhere in the episode, the legendary musician gave some insight on his love for songwriting “Oh my God, I wanted to become a person who wrote songs,” he said, “And I wanted to be someone whose life was in music.”

The Beatles celebrate the completion of their new album, 'Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band', at a press conference held at the west London home of their manager Brian Epstein. The LP is released on June 1st. (Photo by John Pratt/Keystone/Getty Images)
The Beatles celebrate the completion of their new album, ‘Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band’, at a press conference held at the west London home of their manager Brian Epstein. The LP is released on June 1st. (Photo by John Pratt/Keystone/Getty Images)

He also discussed his aversion to classical music training, explaining how the marjoity of musicians from his generation can’t read music. He went on to say that when he is teaching a kid how to play piano, he usually shows them a few chords to get started. “You get C, D Minor, E Minor, F, G, A Minor, right there, that’s like most of the Beatles songs. That’s more than you need to know,” he said.

‘McCartney: A Life In Lyrics’ was co-produced by Pushkin Industries and iHeartPodcasts. Superfans can binge all of the first season immediately with a Pushkin+ subscription. A new episode will come out every week.

Season one will feature 12 episodes and Season 2 will follow with an additional 12 episodes set for release in February of 2024.

In other Beatles news, Ringo Starr has recently said that the “final” Beatles song – which has been made with help from AI –  “should have been out already”.

Speaking as part of a new interview with AP News, Starr has shed light on the supposed release date for the long-awaited track – explaining that it was supposed to have been already released by now.

“The rumours were that we just made it up. Like we would do that anyway… This is the last track, ever, that you’ll get the four Beatles on the track. John, Paul, George, and Ringo.”

When asked about when fans can expect to hear the track or find out the title, he responded: “It should’ve been out already.”