EVERY UK NUMBER ONE SONG: ‘Yellow Submarine/Eleanor Rigby’ – The Beatles

What was the number one song in the UK on 18th August 1966?

The Beatles, yet again, are at number one with a double AA side- Yellow Submarine/Eleanor Rigby for 4 weeks.

Yellow Submarine: This is essentially a children’s song and that is exactly what Lennon & McCartney (though is more of a McCartney penned song) intended. It’s joyful, it’s bouncy, it’s as bright as the submarine itself. Ringo chants out the words and we all sing along. There’s no harm to it. It’s just a bit of fun.

Eleanor Rigby: Once upon time, when I was about 15, this was my absolute favourite Beatles song. I thought it was the saddest yet most beautiful song ever written. Alas, I then played it so much, I grew bored of it and cast it aside, writing it off as a Beatles song that has seen too much light along the lines of Hey Jude and Let It Be. Fast forward (several) years and it is only recently I have allowed Eleanor Rigby back into my life. Quite righty so. It is stripped back perfection. It’s haunting chorus, lyrics and string backing creates a song so emotive and delicate. Interestingly, it is one of the few Beatles songs that none of the Beatles play any instruments on. Thankfully, I love it again now. 15 year old me had it right.

Lyrics

Yellow Submarine:

In the town where I was born
Lived a man who sailed to sea
And he told us of his life
In the land of submarines
So we sailed up to the sun
‘Til we found a sea of green
And we lived beneath the waves
In our yellow submarine
We all live in a yellow submarine
Yellow submarine, yellow submarine
We all live in a yellow submarine
Yellow submarine, yellow submarine
And our friends are all aboard
Many more of them live next door
And the band begins to play
We all live in a yellow submarine
Yellow submarine, yellow submarine
We all live in a yellow submarine
Yellow submarine, yellow submarine
(Full speed ahead Mr. Parker, full speed ahead
Full speed ahead it is, Sergeant
Action station, action station
Aye, aye, sir, fire
Captain, captain)
As we live a life of ease
Everyone of us has all we need (has all we need)
Sky of blue (sky of blue) and sea of green (and sea of green)
In our yellow submarine (in our yellow, submarine, ha ha)
We all live in a yellow submarine
Yellow submarine, yellow submarine
We all live in a yellow submarine
Yellow submarine, yellow submarine
We all live in a yellow submarine
Yellow submarine, yellow submarine
We all live in a yellow submarine
Yellow submarine, yellow submarine

Eleanor Rigby:

Ah, look at all the lonely people
Ah, look at all the lonely people
Eleanor Rigby
Picks up the rice in the church where a wedding has been
Lives in a dream
Waits at the window
Wearing the face that she keeps in a jar by the door
Who is it for?
All the lonely people
Where do they all come from?
All the lonely people
Where do they all belong?
Father McKenzie
Writing the words of a sermon that no one will hear
No one comes near
Look at him working
Darning his socks in the night when there’s nobody there
What does he care?
All the lonely people
Where do they all come from?
All the lonely people
Where do they all belong?
Ah, look at all the lonely people
Ah, look at all the lonely people
Eleanor Rigby
Died in the church and was buried along with her name
Nobody came
Father McKenzie
Wiping the dirt from his hands as he walks from the grave
No one was saved
All the lonely people (ah, look at all the lonely people)
Where do they all come from?
All the lonely people (ah, look at all the lonely people)
Where do they all belong?

The Playlist

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