Wednesday, October 26
I'm going to give you a back story- the lyrics to this song, and the title, are taken from a poem by Edwin Arlington Robinson. I remember reading the poem, probably in eleventh grade, and thoroughly enjoying it. (when I think about whether or not the term "enjoy" is appropriate, I decide that that is just what I'm going to use. I apologize if I cannot express myself any better than that.) Anyway, at the time that I read the poem I made the immediate connection with a Pearl Jam song that closely mirrored the thought behind Robinson's words. All of these writings are about perception and reality, and our perception of happiness... Richard Cory by Paul Simon 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, 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 they 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, 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 and so I'll give you the poem- Richard Cory 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, "Good-morning," 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 that 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. and I will give you the lyrics to the Pearl Jam song- Soon Forget by Eddie Vedder Sorry is the fool who trades his soul for a corvette. Thinks he'll get the girl he'll only get the mechanic. What's missing? He's living a day he'll soon forget. That's one more time around. The sun is going down. The moon is out but he's drunk and shouting. Putting people down. He's pissing. He's living a day he'll soon forget. Counts his money every morning. The only thing that keeps him horny. Locked in a giant house that's alarming. The townsfolk they all laugh. Sorry is the fool who trades his love for hi-rise rent. Seem the more you make equals the loneliness you get. And it's fitting. He's barley living a day he'll soon forget. That's one more time around and there is not a sound. He's lying dead clutching Benjamins. Never put the money down. He's stiffening. We're all whistling a man we'll soon forget.