Richard Cory (song)

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"Richard Cory"
Song by Simon and Garfunkel
from the album Sounds of Silence
Released January 17, 1966
Recorded December 1965
Genre Folk rock
Length 2:57
Label Columbia Records
Songwriter(s) Paul Simon
Producer(s) Bob Johnston

"Richard Cory" is a song written by Paul Simon in early 1965, and recorded by Simon and Garfunkel for their second studio album, Sounds of Silence. The song was based on Edwin Arlington Robinson's 1897 poem of the same title.


The song tells the tale of a Richard Cory from the perspective of one of the men who works in his factory. The factory worker is envious of the advantages and enjoyments available to Cory, believing him (Cory) to be a satisfied man. The last verse of the song ends similarly to the Robinson poem: Richard Cory went home last night and put a bullet through his head. The chorus repeats again after this verse. This signifies that, despite Cory's unhappiness - explained by his suicide - the worker still "curses his [the worker's] poverty", and would still rather be Richard Cory.



The song was covered by Wings during their 1975-1976 Wings Over The World tour (available on the 1976 album Wings Over America). Denny Laine sang lead.

The song has also been covered by Van Morrison (and with his band, Them), The Watchmen, The Heptones, Angst, The Back Porch Majority, Yami Bolo, Cuby & the Blizzards, Chicago Loop and Martini Ranch, and the Monterey, CA band "Jet"

Jamaican singer Ken Boothe performed a version of the Paul Simon song in an early reggae style for his 1968 album More of Ken Boothe. It was recorded in the famous Studio One and produced by C. S. Dodd.

A live cover by Mark Seymour appears on Live At the Continental, which was packaged with King Without a Clue (1997).

The song inspired Steve Gerber's naming of Richard Rory.[1]


  1. ^ letters column, Man-Thing #6