Like A Great Gatsby

Play Video

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.

Comments

Be the first to comment...

Editor's Picks

Dar Williams

Dar WilliamsSongwriter Interviews

A popular contemporary folk singer, Williams still remembers the sticky note that changed her life in college.

Goodbye, Hello: Ten Farewell Tour Fake-Outs

Goodbye, Hello: Ten Farewell Tour Fake-OutsSong Writing

The 10 biggest "retirement tours" that didn't take.

Who's Johnny, And Why Does He Show Up In So Many Songs

Who's Johnny, And Why Does He Show Up In So Many SongsSong Writing

For songwriters, Johnny represents the American man. He has been angry, cool, magic, a rebel and, of course, marching home.

Does Jimmy Page Worship The Devil? A Look at Satanism in Rock

Does Jimmy Page Worship The Devil? A Look at Satanism in RockSong Writing

We ring the Hell's Bells to see what songs and rockers are sincere in their Satanism, and how much of it is an act.

Danny Clinch: The Art of Rock Photography

Danny Clinch: The Art of Rock PhotographySong Writing

One of rock's top photographers talks about artistry in photography, raising funds for a documentary, and enjoying a County Fair with Tom Waits.

Psychedelic Lyrics

Psychedelic LyricsMusic Quiz

Whoa man! Do you know which band came up with these cosmic lyrics?