Home

Why "Richard Corey" Song??

8865 views

28 posts

Last post 31/05/2013

      Pages

      Original post

      Why did Wings choose to cover "Richard Corey" by Paul Simon? I think Paul Simon wrote it. Or was it an old folk song with no known author? It was on an early Simon and Garfunkel album.
      Wings covered so few songs by other bands. Did they cover any others? Did Paul write "Soily"?
      I wonder what it was about "Richard Corey" that appealed to Paul, to make him want to have that on a Wings album, and perform it in concert.The theme is riches can't buy happiness. Perhaps the melody appealed to him more than the lyrics, the theme.
      Since Denny Laine sang it, did Denny pick it out, too? Did he want it covered?

        Like any cover I guess they just liked it and thought it was a good song for Denny to sing. If I remember right they change the lyric from Richard Cory to John Denver ??? at one point.

        Soily was written by Paul. Great rocker and closer for WOA.

          SusyLuvsPaul:Since Denny Laine sang it, did Denny pick it out, too?

          I thinks it was Denny's choice although i don't know why he didn't simply perform one of his own numbers, like Say You Don't Mind.

            Maybe while Denny was singing "Richard Corey" he was thinkin'

            And I wish that I could be
            Yes I wish that I could be
            I wish that I could be
            Paul McCartney

              To me, Wings' version of Richard Cory is better than the original. Denny did a wonderful job.

                SusyLuvsPaul:Why did Wings choose to cover "Richard Corey" by Paul Simon? I think Paul Simon wrote it. Or was it an old folk song with no known author? It was on an early Simon and Garfunkel album.
                Wings covered so few songs by other bands. Did they cover any others? Did Paul write "Soily"?
                I wonder what it was about "Richard Corey" that appealed to Paul, to make him want to have that on a Wings album, and perform it in concert.The theme is riches can't buy happiness. Perhaps the melody appealed to him more than the lyrics, the theme.
                Since Denny Laine sang it, did Denny pick it out, too? Did he want it covered?

                Soily is a Paul song Suze.

                  As a bit of background, "Richard Cory" is a poem by Edwin Arlington Robinson from the late 1800's, and is used as an example of the changing moods of society and culture during that time period, as well as quite a few other themes, such as not judging a person's life based on appearances, etc.

                  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.

                    Thanks everyone. I had read that poem before, walliebaby, and forgot. It's an elegant sounding poem. Literary of Paul Simon, isn't it, to have thought of making a song from it. A jewel in his crown

                      I loved Paul Simon's Richard Corey as I heard it at 16 growing up among these 'privledged people' and realizing what they were really like and how they hid it.

                      I never knew Wings covered it and I'd like to hear it.

                        Kathryn O:I loved Paul Simon's Richard Corey as I heard it at 16 growing up among these 'privledged people' and realizing what they were really like and how they hid it.

                        I never knew Wings covered it and I'd like to hear it.

                        Here you go. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uy4qAFsaVzI

                          It's nowhere near my favorite Paul Simon or Wings song, but I do enjoy the poem quite a bit for its depth. The song versions seem a bit too "pop" to really do the poem justice, but I was intrigued by the attempts by both Pauls to set the poem to music.

                            JimmyMcCullochFan:

                            Kathryn O:I loved Paul Simon's Richard Corey as I heard it at 16 growing up among these 'privledged people' and realizing what they were really like and how they hid it.

                            I never knew Wings covered it and I'd like to hear it.

                            Here you go. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uy4qAFsaVzI

                            thanks for that. FUnny how Paul Simon wrote an apology to the author of the original poem on the album jacket because they both used the same two lines about the bullet.

                              Apollo C. Vermouth:Like any cover I guess they just liked it and thought it was a good song for Denny to sing. If I remember right they change the lyric from Richard Cory to John Denver ??? at one point.

                              Soily was written by Paul. Great rocker and closer for WOA.

                              Does anyone know if there was any significance to changing to words at one point to John Denver? Was there any incident between Denver and Denny or Paul?

                                Iowa Hawkeye Beatlefan:

                                Apollo C. Vermouth:Like any cover I guess they just liked it and thought it was a good song for Denny to sing. If I remember right they change the lyric from Richard Cory to John Denver ??? at one point.

                                Soily was written by Paul. Great rocker and closer for WOA.

                                Does anyone know if there was any significance to changing to words at one point to John Denver? Was there any incident between Denver and Denny or Paul?

                                No. John Denver was in the audience at a Wings gig during the American tour & it was an homage to him.

                                  Apollo C. Vermouth:Like any cover I guess they just liked it and thought it was a good song for Denny to sing. If I remember right they change the lyric from Richard Cory to John Denver ??? at one point.

                                  Soily was written by Paul. Great rocker and closer for WOA.

                                  The changed lyric was done only one night and per Denny Laine it was a adlib by him. I know this because I asked hin on FB, A FB friend of mine actually knows Denny pretty well. This moment was captured on the WOA record.

                                    I've always wondered--why did Wings cover Richard Cory on their tour? Denny does a great job with it, but it's sort of an obscure song. Not even one of Paul Simon's best. Is there a story behind it?

                                      Not surprising that John Denver was at one of the shows. John was a huge Macca fan. Before John got big, he had covered several Paul songs on a couple of his very early albums. I remember he had covered a couple of the songs from Paul's first album (McCartney). I'm almost sure he covered Junk and maybe Every Night. On another early Denver album I believe he covered Let It Be and Mother's Nature Son. Someone might be able to confirm these covers.

                                      I believe that by the time Paul and Band made their Wings Over America Tour, John Denver had made it big in America. No surprise that Denny would ad lib his name if they knew John was in the audience. None the less, a very good ad lib by Denny. I do like Denny's singing on the song as well as his singing on Go Now. When Paul joins him, they sound really good together as well.

                                        Suzy,
                                        Forgot to mention, this is a great thread. I also wondered the same thing about Richard Cory being used when Macca had so many other songs he could have done. I like it anyway for its surprise element and as I said, I think they do a very good job on the song.

                                          SusyLuvsPaul:Maybe while Denny was singing "Richard Corey" he was thinkin'

                                          And I wish that I could be
                                          Yes I wish that I could be
                                          I wish that I could be
                                          Paul McCartney

                                          Heh, it rhymes better than John Denver, good idea!

                                            I really like this cover - and I'm not easily convinced when it comes to covers. ;)

                                            I actually knew this before I'd ever heard the S&G original.

                                            Fun to play on the old acoustic as well.

                                              Pages