This song is based on the poem Richard Cory
by Edwin Arlington Robinson. In the poem, Richard Cory was the envy of all who encountered him. Everyone thought he had it all. They saw his money, felt his power, knew his intelligence, and never once did they doubt his happiness. They looked upon him as more than mere man, and they desired to be looked upon in that way, too. They assumed that living like Richard Cory would bring elusive happiness. The poem indicates that everyone kept their distance. Richard Cory lead an unbearably lonely life. His money did not buy happiness nor did it bring him friends.
Both the song and the poem tell of Richard Cory's ultimate suicide; however, the song ends slightly differently, declaring in the final chorus that even after his death, the people wanted to be like Richard Cory.
Neil - Adelaide, Australia