Simon & Garfunkel - Richard Cory Lyrics




They say that Richard Cory owns one half of this whole town,
With political connections to spread his wealth around.
Born into society, a banker's only child,
He had everything a man could want: power, grace, and style.

But I work in his factory
And I curse the life I'm living
And I curse my poverty
And I wish that I could be,
Oh, I wish that I could be,
Oh, I wish that I could be
Richard Cory.

The papers print his picture almost everywhere he goes:
Richard Cory at the opera, Richard Cory at a show.
And the rumor of his parties and the orgies on his yacht!
Oh, he surely must be happy with everything he's got.

But I work in his factory
And I curse the life I'm living
And I curse my poverty
And I wish that I could be,
Oh, I wish that I could be,
Oh, I wish that I could be
Richard Cory.

He freely gave to charity, he had the common touch,
And they were grateful for his patronage and thanked him very much,
So my mind was filled with wonder when the evening headlines read:
"Richard Cory went home last night and put a bullet through his head."

But I work in his factory
And I curse the life I'm living
And I curse my poverty
And I wish that I could be,
Oh, I wish that I could be,
Oh, I wish that I could be
Richard Cory.





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Simon & Garfunkel Richard Cory Comments
  1. Robert Cabrera

    I was in my did had a gun

  2. Claude LeBel

    So much suffering hiding behind our facades. Truth vs appearances.

  3. Joseph Harder

    I wonder how many poor people in Oakland , California wished that they could be William Knowland, or how many aspiring writers wished they could be Ernest Hemingway.

  4. The Hobgoblin

    I dont think these fucks even understood the poem. It seems to be taken out of context
    But hey ho the young will always read wrong and ruin the truth
    Very sad.

  5. Daniel Foster

    My 6th grade teacher made us listen to this every morning for a month straight. We dissected the lyrics and studied their meaning. 25+ years later and the last line of the verse is still stuck in my head.

  6. Connor McLernon

    To me this says that everyone has vulnerabilities, everyone has insecurities, and just because someone in born into a life of privilege doesn’t make those insecurities any less debilitating than they are for people that are less fortunate.

  7. Multilobster

    Hey Mr Lynch

  8. Ivy Hoss

    I remember the first time I heard this song, and how shocked I was. I had to immediately re-listen to the whole song and it's one of my favorites now

  9. T R

    Amateurish rewrite of a classic poem. It's actually not a very good or strong song.

    Sergio De Monroy

    ¡Ya siéntese señora!🙄

    William Quiterio

    Songs aren’t poems, numbskull.

  10. Phin McDermott

    I think the most interesting part of the song is that even after the speaker learns that Richard Cory killed himself, he still wishes he could’ve had that life. Really speaks to the ignorance of people.

  11. Cole Parker

    This song came into my head when I read how Epstein killed himself, (Maybe).

  12. Leo Wise

    I always thought this to be one of the best songs of Simon and Garfunkel. Just one thing I don't get, why does he not learn from the fact that "he put a bullet through his head?"

  13. Tom Marcinko

    Citing for an essay on Tolstoy's "The Death of Ivan Ilyich."

  14. Yo Yossarian

    I saw this in my English class....

  15. Asher Lenze

    It's a shame Richard Cory's dead, but wasn't he a most Peculiar man?

    Joey Korsmit

    Is that a pun I smell

    Pablo Pérez

    ThE peculiar Man was his employee

    BLAZINGJEKENZE

    “He was a gentleman from sole to crown”

    I don’t think so.

  16. Caz Gerald

    Um, in 1965 (when this song was written) what US factory worker was in poverty? Thanks Paul Simon and your ilk for influencing future generations to disparage blue collar work. I wonder if any of your roadies ever considered you as Richard Cory?

    William Quiterio

    1. There’s no indication this narrative takes place in 1965; it’s in fact based on a poem written decades earlier.
    2. It in no way disparages blue collar work; it is in fact about the class and status anxiety that even a reasonably comfortable factory worker might experience.
    3. Stop being dumb.

  17. socraticgadfly

    I have written a new, even darker twist, on Edwin Arlington Robinson's original Richard Cory: https://wordsofsocraticgadfly.blogspot.com/2019/04/richard-cory-redux.html

  18. LadyWildePlays

    I always think Richard Cory would be more effective it it ended at the last verse without a last runthrough of the chorus
    Like if it just cut-off at 2:16 it'd be like :open_mouth: Plot Twist

    Master of procrastination 2.0

    I don't think so.
    The fact that he still sings ," Oh I wish that I could be Richard Cory", even after he knows the guy killed himself, leaves me wondering...

    Inés de Erausquin

    Well, that's where the poem ends. I think it has much more impact - the man, rich, handsome, generous and envied by all, is still wretched enough to end his own life. The shock of the last line, especially the first time I read the poem, was incredible.

    tim moynihan

    @Master of procrastination 2.0 I think you're right he still hankers after the American materialist dream is the point PS is making.

  19. Doug Birkeland

    The poem was recited by actor Paul Lambert playing poetry publisher Ben Nicholson in the Perry Mason episode "The Case of the Envious Editor"

  20. Paul Dickinson

    Anyone else think this should've been played in Mortal Engines at some point?

  21. Hugar 34

    Irony at its finest

  22. Jaime Garcia

    Heard this song many times in Vietnam. Made me realize that there were people worse off. I immediately thought of this song when Anthony Bourdain sadly took his own life.

  23. Soul Storm

    I also like to imagine the songs got an American Psycho vibe to it. That the protagonist was so bitter that he shot Richard Corey, but got away with it because he's a nobody, unlike Richard Corey.

    Only because the line goes "they SAID RC went home last night and put a bullet through his head."

    Wouldn't the ultimate defeat of someone so cursed by RC's fame be denied his involvement?

    I'm not saying this Is how you should interpret the song, just a different perspective.

  24. Budahbaba

    Folks, the truth is, i am not much of a S&G fan. I concede that they made beautiful music too. But i just don't buy these trust fund Jew boys singing the woes about how hard life on the street is. As if spending a night alone on the street even came close enough to cast a shadow on them as it sailed by to claim some one else. That fact alone mostly spoils their music for me.

    This song is an exception though. I remember as a small child, i didn't fully understand how to use the phonograph yet, but i knew where on the circles of the vinyl was that phrase "Richard Corey went home last night, and put a bullet through his head!" I kept bouncing the needle onto that spot, until my mother began panicking that i was obsessed with death.

    I have always been glad that i heard this song at such a young age. It taught me a basic fact that money does not buy peace of mind. I am not saying it doesn't buy happiness -ask any beggar in India. It does. But it does not buy you something worth living for. You have to find that yourself. And i am not saying that in the attitude of "sorry, your on your own on that one, it's none of my business.", no, i am just saying that satisfaction with your life is, and always has been, a personal discovery. Thinking that some one else has more satisfaction with their life simply because they are rich is a fallacy.

    B S Hancock

    Trust the art, not the artist, I believe Bruce Springsteen said.

  25. Timothy Gray

    Donald Trump is an alien

  26. colby kramer

    They say that Richard Cory owns one half of this whole town,
    With political connections to spread his wealth around.
    Born into society, a banker's only child,
    He had everything a man could want: power, grace, and style.
    But I work in his factory
    And I curse the life I'm living
    And I curse my poverty
    And I wish that I could be,
    Oh, I wish that I could be,
    Oh, I wish that I could be
    Richard Cory.
    The papers print his picture almost everywhere he goes:
    Richard Cory at the opera, Richard Cory at a show.
    And the rumor of his parties and the orgies on his yacht!
    Oh, he surely must be happy with everything he's got.
    But I work in his factory
    And I curse the life I'm living
    And I curse my poverty
    And I wish that I could be,
    Oh, I wish that I could be,
    Oh, I wish that I could be
    Richard Cory.
    He freely gave to charity, he had the common touch,
    And they were grateful for his patronage and thanked him very much,
    So my mind was filled with wonder when the evening headlines read:
    "Richard Cory went home last night and put a bullet through his head."
    But I work in his factory
    And I curse the life I'm living
    And I curse my poverty
    And I wish that I could be,
    Oh, I wish that I could be,
    Oh, I wish that I could be
    Richard Cory.

  27. George Powell

    One of the better poem-to-song(s) extant.

  28. Mike Avery

    Somehow, in the aftermath of Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain's suicides, this came to mind. As some have said, "Be kind to all you meet, for you have no idea what burdens they are struggling with." RIP Kate, RIP Anthony.

    B S Hancock

    Beautiful, Mike. So very, very true. When in doubt, try to be kind. There will never be enough of it in this world.

    Herbert Norkus

    Victims of the clinton hit squad..not suicides! Bodycount of those found dead that knew something is now around 176 people.

  29. dmotorhead

    There's a theme going on here with "a most peculiar man". Apart from both being about suicide I think the main lesson in both songs is people don't learn. That's my take

  30. Rachel Andelman

    Thought of this song when I heard the news about Anthony Bourdain.

    TheTranceCartel

    Rachel Andelman I see I wasn't the only one.

    Ranny

    When I heard of Anthony Bourdain's death I thought first of the poem “Richard Cory” by Edward Arlington Robinson and then was reminded of S&G's song.

    Aboring Fart

    His Illuminati buddies turned on his sense of taste, and when he first ate his own stuff he got a rope.

    B S Hancock

    I always thought of Anthony Bourdain as a deeply depressed person. Don't know why, but in his face he looked disturbed and empty. I wondered if he was a substance abuser because of the tremendous amount of alcohol he consumed. He never seemed to be enjoying himself in the same way that I have seen genuinely joyful people living life to its fullest.

  31. TSH

    They say that Richard Cory owns one half of this whole town,
    With political connections to spread his wealth around.
    Born into society, a banker's only child,
    He had everything a man could want: power, grace, and style.
    But I work in his factory
    And I curse the life I'm living
    And I curse my poverty
    And I wish that I could be,
    Oh, I wish that I could be,
    Oh, I wish that I could be
    Richard Cory.
    The papers print his picture almost everywhere he goes:
    Richard Cory at the opera, Richard Cory at a show.
    And the rumor of his parties and the orgies on his yacht!
    Oh, he surely must be happy with everything he's got.
    But I work in his factory
    And I curse the life I'm living
    And I curse my poverty
    And I wish that I could be,
    Oh, I wish that I could be,
    Oh, I wish that I could be
    Richard Cory.
    He freely gave to charity, he had the common touch,
    And they were grateful for his patronage and thanked him very much,
    So my mind was filled with wonder when the evening headlines read:
    "Richard Cory went home last night and put a bullet through his head."
    But I work in his factory
    And I curse the life I'm living
    And I curse my poverty
    And I wish that I could be,
    Oh, I wish that I could be,
    Oh, I wish that I could be
    Richard Cory.

  32. Deschie Tri Aksara

    Jacob Teacher brought me here.

  33. Disharmon1zed

    נודר קטלן רצח

  34. Sean Mil

    שיר בן זונה

    Disharmon1zed

    Sean Mil נודר בן זונה

  35. Eric Quitugua

    That bass in the beginning is really hitting the brown note.

  36. Pixel1962

    McCartney does a great version of this on 'Wings Over America'

  37. Pat Downs

    This is a pretty awful outtake .

  38. Wishful Thinking

    The poem "Richard Cory" by Edward Arlington Robinson was reworked by Simon and Garfunkel and was the inspiration for this song.
    It' s basically the same but there are a few differences.

    Nicholas Avasthi

    Wishful Thinking most notably the final chorus.

    Nihilistic

    I think the poem is more about assumption but the song focuses on becoming someone like Richard Cory - who killed himself.

  39. Tatiana Febles

    AP literature brought me here

  40. Turtleproof

    So, was Pres Trump talking about Richard Cory to the boyscouts this week?

  41. Jessymandias

    'Richard Cory went home last night And ate some bon-bons in his bed"

    Mike Ramirez

    Well, at least stress-eating's gonna kill you a lot slower than suicide.

  42. Graham Jeffries

    trump and hilary

  43. Graham Jeffries

    both scumbags

  44. athééosl Sarkkos

    Donald Trump or Richard Cory ?

    athééosl Sarkkos

    for putting a bullet in his head

    John6yt

    Hillary should put a bullet through her fat head

    Dr Parnassus

    Giving to charity, spreading his wealth around? Doesn't sound like Trump

    Dr.Who1980 Productions

    Lord christ in heaven, please don't ruin the meaning of such a song. It speaks that the way others will see a person's life is an illusion as they can never know what that person is living then and there.

    Herbert Norkus

    Oh theres always some fucking asshole thinks hes clever using a 54 year old song to bash the president...why dont YOU go " richard corey" yourself???

  45. Zach Moyer

    I read this story in English class last school year XD

    thespeez spezio

    I read this in eighth grade in English class in 1979. My teacher brought in the album and played the song for us. That was when I REALLY began to appreciate S&G!

    Dr. Richmann

    My English, Mr. Charlie Phillips, played this back in 1971 and some other S&G songs. We talked about the lyrics.

    Ella K

    I’m here because of school too lol

    destroyuttobots

    Same here

    kyrindrainian

    Yeah some story called the necklace brought me here because my teacher lol

  46. Joe Lusk

    this song takes me back to my high school days when we had the Richard Cory story in our literary class. It gives me goose bumps every time I hear it.

  47. G35xS

    We did this song in class and now I'm hooked!LOL

    Chris Havekotte

    G35xS #d###d#d

    kyrindrainian

    Same!!!

    amaya papaya

    sameeee

  48. Scott Nevison

    music of this caliber and depth simply does not exist nowadays...Thank you for the wonderful memories..

    Quack Dragon

    +Scott Nevison it probably does somewhere if you look well enough

    Degree7

    Quack Dragon Ya well, keep lookin, lol

  49. Wellan 10

    RICHARD ORGYYYYYYYYY

    DJY2_tanker

    boi that just destroys the soing

  50. Frank Williamson

    He still wants to be the Richard Cory that put a bullet thru his head.  That's cursing the life you are living for sure.

    Bardlee

    He realises in the end to be his own man, I think it goes from "wish" to "wished"

    Fabulous Metrocop

    Yeah. I guess it's about the vicious cycle of people thinking money can buy them happiness, then having that illusion ruin them.

    DrSamba

    +Ray Ogden The song is based on the poem by Edwin Arlington Robinson written when he was 28.

    B S Hancock

    @Fabulous Metrocop A lot of people, myself included, see others' lives only from the outside in. You think because of people's wealth, status, beauty, relationships, etc., they are far more joyful inside than you are when you are battling depression. You see the outward things that you believe you would love to have that you don't have and they do. The truth is, those people may be struggling with depression far deeper than your own or maybe they really are as joyful as you imagine. Like Brother Chuck Berry sang, you never can tell.

    The art of The unknown

    Even after three years I still want to be Richard cory, dead and done.

  51. Yann Fernandes

    It´s a good music, I listened to this music by  first time with Paul McCartney & Wings , with Denny Laine, but this version is better than Wings.

    joe

    @Yann Costa hardly. Paul and co. did it far better.

    Bill Fairbrother

    +br Both versions are good. Simon & Garfunkel did it first, and I grew up enjoying the orginal artists. I don't think it matters whether or not one is better or worse than the other. Enjoy both! :)

    marty3888

    I had no idea they did this. I was doing a quiz on Simon & garfunkel lyrics. "Wish that I could be...wish that I could be" i was supposewd to say what comes next. And I got it right because I have the album "Wingts over America." So this quiz was the first time I found out it's not a Paul Mcartney song.

  52. Leah

    When I was little, my mom would put this album on for me almost every day. This was probably my favorite song in the album. I was fully aware of what was happening in the song, yet it never spooked me. I appreciate this song so much for teaching me real life lessons at such a young age in such a frank but eloquent manner.

    DJY2_tanker

    you are right about the song being from the workers perspective but i was only talking about what was going in the life of Richard Cory

    DJY2_tanker

    the thing is your being hypothetically and I don't see why we are having the conversation even though both sides have brought up valid pionts good day

    Lenni

    Thanks to the Them! (The Band „Them“ mit Simon and Garfunkel xD)

    Well Then

    littlereli shaking and cring right now

    Bo McGillacutty

    Beats Church. My big brother explained it to me when I was little. Albums often played.

  53. jamesbachreeves

    What utter crap.  It adds NOTHING to the brilliant, understated poem, except maybe some insipid clichéd adolescent angst.

    jamesbachreeves

    You flatter me with "analytical."  I meant it more as a rant.  I am very fond of the poem of the same name (by Edward Arlington Robinson), and the song is to the poem as a comic book to a novel.  But if I did wax analytical, it wouldn't convince anyone, so I didn't bother.     

    Tenderermean000

    @jamesbachreeves i think the song helps with the idea to nake people realise everybody interprets things differently. This is their interpretation while yours may be different.

    Luneth

    You MUST know genius, as evidenced by your favor towards Hatsune Miku.

    Nicholas Dinu

    Luneth don't listen to the topic starter, just check his channel... Don't ever trust anyone on music with nothing but Japanese cartoons in their profile.. They are teenagers and just discovering

    William Quiterio

    Er, it adds a melody and an involving, passionate performance. Poetry and music are different mediums, dude, and viewing the words to this song in isolation is some next-level missing-the-point crap.

  54. Yossi Halperin

    I would also say it describes Ned Vizzini the writer publishes numerous books, a film another book in the works and writing for tv. Then one day he jumps out of a window

    TAR ICO

    His death was actually caused by defenestration. JFGI.

  55. perfectsplit

    I guess this song is very true to life, as exemplified by Robin Williams's tragedy.

    Al more

    Its actually based on a poem of Edwin robinson yes entitled RICHARD CORRY..
    Richard is a wealthy well educated and all but he find himself Unhappy and commited suicide shot his brains out

    Sigmund Reese

    perfectsplit robin williams’ story is completely different. He had lewey body dementia, a terrible neurological disease which was the main cause of his suicide.

    B S Hancock

    @perfectsplit Robin Williams was someone who was seen as very kind and generous. He was, by all accounts that I have read, a very good person. As wrong as it is to say, when someone whom you perceive as deserving of his good fortune ends his life, it goes against deeply held beliefs of what life's lessons are. I still believe the good deserve to be rewarded even though I know that very good people who have lived very good lives commit suicide every day.

    Joey Korsmit

    Robin willams was an amazing actor comedian and beloved by many, even so he took his own life much like Richard cory

    Pablo Pérez

    @perfectsplit or m Jackson

  56. Kwe Rose

    Whenever Richard Cory went down town,
    We people on the pavement looked at him:
    He was a gentleman from sole to crown,
    Clean favored, and imperially slim.

    The song is based on this poem by Edwin Arlington Robinson - http://www.poemhunter.com/poem/richard-cory

    publicdoename

    Yes, it is based upon Robinson's poem of the same title. As a lifelong lover of poetry, it is of my opinion this song is superior to the poem. The poem isn't bad, it simply does not simultaneously enlighten and gut punch the reader in the same way as this version does. Simon is a true poet as is Dylan. They are modern day troubadours, though Simon is retiring from the craft after one last tour. Sad. I would like to see him one last time but I don't believe he will be around my area and even if so, I imagine ticket prices are such only the Richard Corys are able to afford them.

  57. drmjr78

    Paul McCartney & Wings also performed this song on Wings Over America, with Denny Laine (original lead singer for the Moody Blues) singing lead.

    B S Hancock

    Great version, too. Love Wings.

    me & you

    The Grateful Dead did this live too

  58. bigbadbillb

    I have a version of this by Van Morrison and Them, also, but it doesn't hold a candle to this version.

  59. bigbadbillb

    Super clean and clear recording. Haven't heard this track in over 30 years. One of the best S&G tunes in my opinion. An album cut....NOT a hit single, but shoulda been.
    Thank you for posting.

    Greg Cummins

    Best version is original MONO Columbia LP. Much better than Stereo version. Especially opening guitar licks.

  60. gresham

    love it remember when I was a little kid!

  61. blitzshriek999

    Finally! The only balanced version on yt so far-now i can dance