Like A Great Gatsby

Songfacts®:

  • Elliott Murphy was born on Long Island, just like the Gatsby character from F. Scott Fitzgerald's classic 1925 novel, The Great Gatsby. The book is about millionaire Jay Gatsby, a furiously driven man who pulled himself out of poverty. It's still frequently taught in high schools and universities across the United States. The shared birthplace was just one reason Murphy felt a connection with the character.

    "I had always felt a connection to Fitzgerald as The Great Gatsby was set on Long Island where I grew up, and my own father, Elliott Sr. and his brother, Arthur, were Gatsby-like figures, poor boys who reinvented themselves," Murphy said in a Songfacts interview. "In fact, my Uncle Arthur lived in Great Neck, which is where the fictional East Egg of Gatsby was located in and where Fitzgerald himself lived for a while."
  • Murphy also drew inspiration for the song from his relationship with a young woman named Geraldine in 1972 in Montreux, Switzerland. Murphy was living in a hotel and had a very formal relationship with the finishing-school student, only allowed to see her for one chaperoned hour of tea a day. She's the "dream lover" he's waiting for in the song.
  • The line "too many pictures gonna make you sad" refers to Murphy's feelings regarding the death of his father, which happened when Murphy was only 16 years old.

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