♫ Slip Slidin’ Away ♫

I hadn’t really given a thought to tonight’s music post yet, had just finished putting ‘Jolly Monday’ on the schedule and decided to take a short break and visit my friend Carolyn’s latest blog post, during the course of which, a word or two immediately brought this song into my head.  And as we all know, once a song finds its way into my head, it usually ends up here!

Slip Slidin’ Away is a 1977 song written and recorded by Paul Simon of Simon & Garfunkel fame, which appears on his compilation album Greatest Hits, Etc.  What I did not know, and was surprised by, is that the backup vocals were done by the Oak Ridge Boys … one of the few country groups I can tolerate.

According to Simon, the song is about how we can all watch our dreams pass us by and end up like the absentee father in the third verse, kissing his son as he sleeps and then heading back home. It can sometimes seem like we are fated to do so.  Simon wasn’t quite happy with the song, saying …

“The last verse is a powerful one, but the chorus, it keeps coming back to the chorus,” he said. “You know what that chorus is going to say. I always felt it should be shorter, but I didn’t know which verses to take out. Either the last verse or the father/child verse. But they all seemed like they had to be in there, so I left it. But I always felt that the record and the song stayed on a plateau. It didn’t build.”

I always liked this one, though I never paid much attention to the lyrics, but it’s one of those I hadn’t thought of in ages.  It charted at #5 in Canada and the U.S., and #36 in the UK.

Slip Slidin’ Away
Paul Simon

Slip slidin’ away
Slip slidin’ away
You know the nearer your destination
The more you’re slip slidin’ away

I know a man
He came from my home town
He wore his passion for his woman
Like a thorny crown
He said Delores
I live in fear
My love for you’s so overpowering
I’m afraid that I will disappear

Slip slidin’ away
Slip slidin’ away
You know the nearer your destination
The more you’re slip slidin’ away

I know a woman
Became a wife
These are the very words she uses
To describe her life
She said a good day
Ain’t got no rain
She said a bad day’s when I lie in bed
And think of things that might have been

Slip slidin’ away
Slip slidin’ away
You know the nearer your destination
The more you’re slip slidin’ away

And I know a father
Who had a son
He longed to tell him all the reasons
For the things he’d done
He came a long way
Just to explain
He kissed his boy as he lay sleeping
Then he turned around and headed home again

He’s slip slidin’
Slip slidin’ away
You know the nearer your destination
The more you’re slip slidin’ away

God only knows
God makes his plan
The information’s unavailable
To the mortal man
We work our jobs
Collect our pay
Believe we’re gliding down the highway
When in fact we’re slip slidin’ away

Slip slidin’ away
Slip slidin’ away
You know the nearer your destination
The more you’re slip slidin’ away

Slip slidin’ away
Slip slidin’ away
You know the nearer your destination
The more you’re slip slidin’ away
Mmm

Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: Paul Simon
Slip Slidin’ Away lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

Note to readers:  The original video I posted would not play in the UK, but thanks to Clive I have switched it for one that will play.  Thanks, Clive!

22 thoughts on “♫ Slip Slidin’ Away ♫

  1. Jill, thanks for highlighting these lyrics. Sometimes it takes a fresh look to get the full meaning. Simon’s lyrics are often quite profound, even when he is cleverly rhyming or coining. Keith

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Sadly, the video isn’t available here but I know the song well, having been a fan of his ever since the early Simon and Garfunkel days. This is a lovely song, but I think it shows how good he is that for me this isn’t even close to being his best song: he has so many great ones in his catalogue!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh drat! It would be nice if YouTube let you know that a video is copyright protected in other countries! Sorry, my friend! Now a question … and I agree with you that this is far from his best … what would you say is his very best?

      Liked by 1 person

      • No worries, it’s the bane of my life too. Hardly a week goes by without an American reader telling me a video won’t play there, and it even happened to an Australian recently. Here’s a link that does work here, if you want to edit it into your post – I do that a lot! https://youtu.be/-rGDzbV75EI

        That is an almost impossible question to answer! If pressed, I’d probably go for a couple of S&G songs, both from Bridge over Troubled Water: first, Song For The Asking, second, The Boxer. But there are so many good ones: the entire Graceland album, Me And Julio, Mother And Child Reunion…. The list just goes on!

        Liked by 1 person

        • Thank you, Clive! I have updated the video with the one you sent and added a note to readers.

          I had never heard “Song for the Asking” until just a few minutes ago when I went to check it out! The Boxer is among my favourite S&G songs, too!

          Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: Slip Sliding A Way | Ramblings of an Occupy Liberal

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