THE ORIGINAL HANDWRITTEN score for the Beatles song Eleanor Rigby is to be sold at auction, alongside the deeds of the grave of the woman said to have been immortalised by the Fab Four.
“Each item is fantastic, unique and of significant historical importance in itself, so to have both come up at the same time is an incredible coincidence,” said Paul Fairweather from Omega Auctions, which is selling the items.
“I expect there to be fierce bidding from across the globe,” he said.
The score, expected to fetch £20,000 (€22,000), is written in pencil by the Beatles’s late producer George Martin and signed by both Martin and Paul McCartney.
It also includes notes specifying that it was to be recorded at London’s Abbey Road studio number two and that four violins, two violas and two cellos were to be used.
Eleanor Rigby was released in 1966 as the b-side to Yellow Submarine, and depicts its heroine as “wearing the face that she keeps in a jar by the door”.
McCartney previously said the name Eleanor was inspired by actress Eleanor Bron, who starred in the Beatles film “Help!” in 1965, and that Rigby came from the name of a wine merchant.
It emerged in the 1980s that the name is inscribed on a headstone in St Peter’s churchyard in Woolton, Liverpool, where McCartney met John Lennon at a party in 1957.
The two Beatles also revealed that they used to take short cuts through the church grounds.
The Guardian reports that when someone purchases a grave space, they are granted an “exclusive right of burial”. Once these rights expire, no more burials can happen in the space until the grace is purchased again.
According to the grave, Eleanor Rigby died in 1939 at the age of 44.
The last person buried in the family grave was laid to rest ten years later, in 1949. Whoever buys the deeds could technically be buried in the family plot in seven years’ time.
McCartney has stayed true to his story, saying in 2008 that “Eleanor Rigby is a totally fictitious character that I made up”.
“If someone wants to spend money buying a document to prove a fictitious character exists, that’s fine with me,” McCartney said at the time.
The deeds of the grave will be sold in a lot that includes a miniature Bible, dated 1899, with the name Eleanor Rigby handwritten inside, and are expected to sell for £5,000.
The Beatles Memorabilia Auction will be held in Warrington, near Liverpool, on 11 September.