Photo: Angel Chevrestt via NY Daily News/TheBeatles.com


Illustrator and comedian Daniel Spenser has gained some attention recently by rewriting the lyrics to the Beatles‘ “Eleanor Rigby” as a shopping list.

Spenser who writes for Full Frontal with Samantha Bee and Last Week Tonight with John Oliver explained to Food & Wine magazine how the idea came about. “A little while back I heard the song ‘Eleanor Rigby’ on the radio (which I think is on computers now) and started thinking about other names that’d fit in place of Eleanor Rigby.”

“Then names became phrases and then phrases became any group of words that added up to five syllables. After a while, it kind of became hard for me not to place any group of words into the song,” he said.

Focusing on the verse where Eleanor Rigby’s name is mentioned, Spenser replaces that part with various five-syllable grocery items he finds in Trader Joe’s. Lyric swaps include products like Shelled Edamame, Maple Leaf Cookies and Mini Beef Tacos to name a few.

“I started seeing a lot of Li’l Riggies (a term the person sitting next to me invented right this moment for words/phrases that fit into the song) on signs, merchandise, etc.,” Spenser told Food & Wine. “It was sort of like that movie A Beautiful Mind only instead of discovering new frontiers in mathematics I was helping no one and being an idiot. I put it on Twitter and people were into it! Now I am one of the Beatles.”

Spenser’s lyric swap has inspired others to do the same, and while Trader Joe’s has yet to respond it would be interesting to see why the company has so many five-syllable products. Coincidence probably, but fun all the same.