♫ The 59th Street Bridge Song (Feelin’ Groovy) ♫

I can’t believe I haven’t played this one before, but I’ve searched my archives three times now and cannot find it, so apparently I haven’t played it!  Well, let me just remedy that oversight tonight!

The 59th Street bridge (officially the Queensboro Bridge), goes over the East River in New York City, connecting Queens to Manhattan. Simon & Garfunkel are from New York, which has a very hectic pace. In this song they remind us to slow down and appreciate the simple pleasures in life, like cobblestones and flowers.

When he performed at Tufts University in 1966, Simon said of this song:

“I spent most of the year 1965 living in England, and at the end of that year in December, I came back to the United States, ‘The Sound Of Silence’ had become a big hit, and I had to make this adjustment from being relatively unknown in England to being semi-famous here, and I didn’t really swing with it. It was a very difficult scene to make, and I was writing very depressed-type songs until around June of last year. I started to swing out of it, I was getting into a good mood, and I remember coming home in the morning about 6 o’clock over the 59th Street Bridge in New York, and it was such a groovy day really, a good one, and it was one of those times when you know you won’t be tired for about an hour, a sort of a good hanging time, so I started to write a song that later became the 59th Street Bridge Song or Feelin’ Groovy.”

The Queensboro Bridge is notoriously noisy and mechanical. You walk on metal graters that vibrate as the traffic zooms by, creating a dangerous and exciting sensation. This could be the background for “Slow down, you move too fast…”

Despite being one of Simon & Garfunkel’s best-known songs, this was never a hit for them. However, in 1967 a more pop-oriented version by Harpers Bizarre with higher vocals peaked at #13 in the US and #34 in the UK.  Personally, I prefer Simon & Garfunkel’s version.

This is one of the first uses of the word “Groovy” in a popular song. It gave the songwriters Carole Bayer Sager and Toni Wine inspiration for the first “Groovy” hit: “A Groovy Kind Of Love.”

Two members of the Dave Brubeck Quartet played on this track: bassist Gene Wright and drummer Joe Morello.

59th Street Bridge Song (Feelin’ Groovy)

Simon & Garfunkel

Slow down, you move too fast
You got to make the morning last
Just kicking down the cobblestones
Looking for fun and feeling groovy
Ba da-da da-da da-da, feeling groovy

Hello lamppost, what’cha knowing
I’ve come to watch your flowers growin’
Ain’t you got no rhymes for me?
Doo-ait-n-doo-doo, feeling groovy
Ba da-da da-da da-da, feeling groovy

I got no deeds to do, no promises to keep
I’m dappled and drowsy and ready to sleep
Let the morningtime drop all its petals on me
Life, I love you, all is groovy
Ba da-da da-da da-da
Doo-ait-n-doo-doo, ba-don-dah-don don
Ba da-da da-da da-da
Doo-ait-n-doo-doo, ba-don-dah-don don
Ba da-da da-da da-da dum

Writer/s: Paul Simon
Publisher: Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Universal Music Publishing Group
Lyrics licensed and provided by LyricFind

21 thoughts on “♫ The 59th Street Bridge Song (Feelin’ Groovy) ♫

  1. This is a case where the cover made the original famous (another is He Aint Heavy, He’s My Brother). In my ears there is little to choose betwee S&G, and Harpers Bizarre. The latter is the first one I noticed, though I probably heard it first on PSR&T and didn’t really pay attention.
    Still, for anyone who wants to hear the other, here it is. The harmonizing is quite good, I think.

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  2. Pingback: ♫ The 59th Street Bridge Song (Feelin’ Groovy) ♫ — Filosofa’s Word | Ned Hamson's Second Line View of the News

  3. I much prefer the S&G version of this. Use of ‘groovy’ is difficult, though. The Mindbenders released Groovy Kind Of Love nearly a year before this album came out, but I guess they all knew each other in New York in those days and the word was becoming commonplace – there’s a track on S&G’s previous album which includes it in the title.

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