Paul Simon is one of the finest song writers of the last hundred years. I recently had a bit of a friendly argument on whether Simon’s work is as great as that of the other Paul- Paul McCartney. I say it is. What do you say?
Anyway, I was surfing around Youtube and came across this old performance of Simon and Garfunkel playing their adaptation of the Edwin Arlington Robinson poem “Richard Cory.” (Update: 3/16/07: Unfortunately, this video clip has been removed from YouTube. If anyone is familiar with the original source of the clip, please let me know. Update 05/23/08 it has been reposted, listen while you can!). Though this song is on the second Simon and Garfunkel Album- Sounds of Silence, it as not permeated through the American consciousness as other songs on the album have (such as I am a Rock). Regardless, this is a fine song and arguably the video (now removed) of Simon and Garfunkel surpasses the album version (at least in terms of energy). There is also a Wings version of the song, which I think is inferior. What do you say to that, Sir Paul? 😉
Lyrics to the original poem are below:
by Edwin Arlington Robinson
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.
And he was always quietly arrayed,
And he was always human when he talked;
But still he fluttered pulses when he said,
And he glittered when he walked.
And he was rich, yes richer than a king,
And admirably schooled in every grace:
In fine, we thought that he was everything
To make us wish we were in his place.
So on we worked, and waited for the light,
And went without the meat and cursed the bread;
And Richard Cory one calm summer night,
Went home and put a bullet through his head (via link)