♫ Homeward Bound ♫

I really thought I had played this one before, but a trip into the archives tells me I haven’t.  This may not be the best quality sound, but it is from a live concert they did in Central Park, and I like seeing them up close and personal, rather than just the song playing and a photo of an album cover to look at. 

Paul Simon lived in Brentwood, Essex, England when he wrote this song. When traveling back from Wigan, where he was playing, he got stuck at the train station and wrote this. The song has a double meaning: literally, wanting for a ticket home to Brentwood, but on the other hand, yearning to go to his home in the US.  Says Simon …

“That was written in Liverpool when I was traveling. What I like about that is that it has a very clear memory of Liverpool station and the streets of Liverpool and the club I played at and me at age 22. It’s like a snapshot, a photograph of a long time ago. I like that about it but I don’t like the song that much. First of all, it’s not an original title. That’s one of the main problems with it. It’s been around forever. No, the early songs I can’t say I really like them. But there’s something naive and sweet-natured and I must say I like that about it. They’re not angry. And that means that I wasn’t angry or unhappy. And that’s my memory of that time: it was just about idyllic. It was just the best time of my life, I think, up until recently, these last five years or so, six years… This has been the best time of my life. But before that, I would say that that was.”

The song was released as a single on January 19, 1966 by Columbia Records, and also appears on the duo’s third studio album, Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme from the same year, although it was recorded during the sessions for their second album Sounds of Silence and included on that album in the UK.

The song performed very well in the U.S., peaking at #5 on the Billboard Hot 100, remaining on the charts for 12 weeks. Internationally, the song performed best in Canada, where it hit #2; it was also a top five hit in the Netherlands, and hit #9 in the UK.

Homeward Bound
Simon & Garfunkel

I’m sittin’ in the railway station
Got a ticket to my destination
On a tour of one-night stands
My suitcase and guitar in hand
And every stop is neatly planned
For a poet and a one-man band

Homeward bound
I wish I was
Homeward bound
Home where my thought’s escapin’
Home where my music’s playin’
Home where my love lies waitin’
Silently for me

Every day’s an endless stream
Of cigarettes and magazines
And each town looks the same to me
The movies and the factories
And every stranger’s face I see
Reminds me that I long to be

Homeward bound
I wish I was
Homeward bound
Home where my thought’s escapin’
Home where my music’s playin’
Home where my love lies waitin’
Silently for me

Tonight I’ll sing my songs again
I’ll play the game and pretend
But all my words come back to me
In shades of mediocrity
Like emptiness in harmony
I need someone to comfort me

Homeward bound
I wish I was
Homeward bound
Home where my thought’s escapin’
Home where my music’s playin’
Home where my love lies waitin’
Silently for me
Silently for me

Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: Paul Simon
Homeward Bound lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

♫ Wonderful World ♫

When you hear the song title “Wonderful World”, you likely first think of the immortal Louis Armstrong … which I played twice last year and once already in June of this year.  I love Louis, love that song … but for tonight, I am playing a different song with a similar title … this one by Sam Cooke, another of my way-back-when favourites.

Wonderful World was originally written by music legends Lou Alder and Herb Alpert, but Cooke added the finishing lyrical touches, and the trio used the songwriting pseudonym “Barbara Campbell,” the name of Cooke’s high school sweetheart. Adler went on from this success to found Dunhill Records and manage big name artists such as Jan & Dean, The Mamas & The Papas, and Carole King. Not to be outdone, his writing partner, Herb Alpert, put the “A” in A&M Records after performing for several years with his band Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass.

Don’t let the bouncy rhythm and upbeat tempo fool you. According to Craig Werner, a professor of African American Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, the song may have a more politically charged meaning. In his book, A Change Is Gonna Come: Music, Race and the Soul of America, Werner writes that “Wonderful World” may be one of the first examples of Cooke’s crossover into politics, where he informs white listeners that he “don’t know much about history” and “don’t know much biology” as a comment that these are the things to forget about African-Americans, and all they need to remember is love.

Throughout the years, “Wonderful World” has been covered by a number of artists including Otis Redding, Bryan Ferry, Michael Bolton, and Rod Stewart. After Sam Cooke’s death in 1964, there were a rash of “tribute” covers released including a 1965 up-tempo version by Herman’s Hermits, which reached #4 on the US Pop Singles chart and #7 on the UK Singles chart, and a rendition by The Supremes released on their 1965 album “We Remember Sam Cooke.” In 1977, Art Garfunkel put his spin on the hit for his album, Watermark, which featured harmonies by friend, James Taylor, and former partner, Paul Simon.

Wonderful World
Sam Cooke

Don’t know much about history
Don’t know much biology
Don’t know much about a science book
Don’t know much about the French I took

But I do know that I love you
And I know that if you love me, too
What a wonderful world this would be

Don’t know much about geography
Don’t know much trigonometry
Don’t know much about algebra
Don’t know what a slide rule is for

But I do know one and one is two
And if this one could be with you
What a wonderful world this would be

Now, I don’t claim to be an A student
But I’m trying to be
For maybe by being an A student, baby
I can win your love for me

Don’t know much about history
Don’t know much biology
Don’t know much about a science book
Don’t know much about the French I took

But I do know that I love you
And I know that if you love me, too
What a wonderful world this would be

Latatatatata ah
History (Mmmm)
Biology (Well a-tatatatata)
Science book (Mmmm)
French I took, yeah

But I do know that I love you
And I know that if you love me, too
What a wonderful world this would be

Source: Musixmatch
Songwriters: George David Weiss / Robert Thiele

♫ I Only Have Eyes For You ♫

I had a song picked out … two songs, actually.  And then I discovered that I had already played both Chances Are and Everlasting Love.  Back to the drawing board.  I was in the mood for some really old 1950s tunes, and the first one that came to mind was this tune by the Flamingos.  I listened … I liked … I’m playing!  Simple, yes?

This song dates back to even before my time … eons ago!  It was written by Henry Warren and Al Dubin for the Busby Berkeley movie musical Dames in 1934, where it was introduced by Dick Powell and Ruby Keeler.

The Flamingos recorded it in 1959, and it also appeared on the American Graffiti soundtrack from 1973.

Frank Sinatra recorded this in 1962 with the Count Basie Orchestra, and Johnny Mathis named an album after this song in 1976. The Count Basie Orchestra did it again in 1990 with George Benson; Art Garfunkel made a very romantic version on his 1975 Breakaway album, which topped the UK chart, reached #18 on the US Hot 100, and was a #1 Adult Contemporary hit. The Lettermen did a version in 1966, and Jerry Butler covered it in 1972.  WHEW!  You know a song is good when that many artists cover it!

The Flamingos’ version was arranged and co-produced by Terry “Buzzy” Johnson, a Baltimore native who joined the group as a first tenor in 1956. Fellow Flamingo Nate Nelson encouraged him to go crazy with the song, but he couldn’t figure out what to do with it. All he knew was the other versions were way too vanilla for his taste. The answer finally came to him in a dream.  Says Johnson …

“I was laying down in my room with the guitar on my chest, playing around with the chords, but no matter what I tried it just didn’t fit. Finally, it was about 12 or one in the morning, and I was so tired that I fell asleep, and in my dream I heard ‘I Only Have Eyes For You’ just the way it came out on our record. I heard the ‘doo-bop sh-bop’ [backing vocals], I heard the way the harmony would sound – I heard the harmony so clear, and I heard the structure of the chords. As soon as I woke up, I grabbed the guitar off my chest and it was like God put my fingers just where they were supposed to be. I played those chords and I heard the harmonies, and so I called the guys. I woke them all up and I said, ‘Come over to my room right now! I’ve got ‘I Only Have Eyes For You’!’

They were like, ‘Are you crazy? It’s almost four o’clock!’ and I said, ‘I need you all now, otherwise I may not be able to remember.’ So they came to my room, all of them grumbling, and when they heard me do it they looked at me like, ‘What the hell is this?’ They laughed at me: ‘What’s ‘doo-bop sh-bop, goo-bop sh-bop, boo-bop sh-bop, loo-bop sh-bop, shoo-bop sh-bop”?’ You see, although in my dream it was ‘doo-bop sh-bop’, I had everybody doing a different thing, changing things around to make sure no one could really pick out what we were saying.”

George Goldner, who produced the track with Johnson, didn’t think it was commercial enough to be a single, so the group kept it as an album track and recorded a cover of Russ Columbo’s Goodnight Sweetheart for the first single. That is, until DJs got wind of I Only Have Eyes For You and changed their mind.

Jake Carey (bass) was the shortest member of the group, which made it difficult when he couldn’t reach the mic at the same level as the other guys during the recording session, where the music and vocals were being recorded simultaneously. To his dismay, they asked him to stand on a stack of phone books.

“He was mad as hell. He said, ‘I’m not a midget!’ but we told him, ‘We’re not going to bend our necks down to suit you. The mic has got to be at a certain level for all of us.’ So, we put Jake on three or four phone books and that’s how we recorded, with the background singers on one mic and the lead guy on another.”

Art Garfunkel performed his rendition on the second episode of Saturday Night Live, which aired on October 18, 1975 and was hosted by Paul Simon.

My own preference is The Flamingos version, but … I also like the Garfunkel version, and since I have so many UK readers,  I shall offer up both versions tonight.

I Only Have Eyes for You
The Flamingos

My love must be a kind of blind love
I can’t see anyone but you
(Sha bop sha bop)
(Sha bop sha bop)
(Sha bop sha bop)
(Sha bop sha bop)
(Sha bop sha bop)

Are the stars out tonight (sha bop sha bop)
I don’t know if it’s cloudy or bright (sha bop sha bop)
I only have eyes for you dear
(Sha bop sha bop)

The moon may be high
(Sha bop sha bop)
But I can’t see (sha bop sha bop) a thing in the sky
I only have eyes for you

I don’t know if we’re in a garden
Or on a crowded avenue
(Sha bop sha bop)

You are here
(Sha bop sha bop)
And so am I
(Sha bop sha bop)

Maybe millions of people (sha bop sha bop) go by
But they all disappear from view
And I only have eyes for you

Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: Al Dubin / Harry Warren
I Only Have Eyes for You lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Warner Chappell Music, Inc

♫ Sound of Silence ♫

I have played this one before, but it’s been over a year so I’m playing it again.  There is a reason that this one seems appropriate at this time.  A couple of reasons, maybe.  First, the noise of late has been deafening.  I’m talking about the situation here in the U.S.  We have mega fights on three fronts taking place simultaneously:  the November election, the confirmation process for the next Supreme Court justice, and the pandemic.  All three are highly contentious and it feels like there are many key players screeching like banshees.  The next two weeks promise to turn into sheer bedlam.  I, who am nearly deaf anyway, find the slightest noise has become annoying … a car revving its engine, a toilet flushing, the washing machine spinning make me want to scream “shut up!!!”  And so it came to me … I long for the sound of silence.

This song has an interesting history that I wasn’t aware of until tonight, because the last time I played it, I did not include any background trivia.

The song was written by Paul Simon over several months in 1963 and 1964. A studio audition led to the duo signing a record deal with Columbia Records, and the original ‘acoustic’ version of the song was recorded in March 1964 at Columbia Studios in New York City and included on their debut album, Wednesday Morning, 3 A.M.. Released on October 19, 1964, the album was a commercial failure and led to the duo disbanding; Simon returned to England, and Art Garfunkel to his studies at Columbia University.

In 1965, the song began to attract airplay at radio stations in Boston, Massachusetts, and throughout Florida. The growing airplay led Tom Wilson, the song’s producer, to remix the track, overdubbing electric instruments and drums. This remixed version was released as a single in September 1965. Simon & Garfunkel were not informed of the song’s remix until after its release!

Sounds like grounds for a lawsuit to me, but then … the song hit #1 in late December, so who can complain, right?  Simon & Garfunkel reunited and hastily recorded their second album, which Columbia titled Sounds of Silence in an attempt to capitalize on the song’s success. The remixed single version of the song was included on this follow-up album.

Paul Simon was often compared to Bob Dylan, who was also signed to Columbia Records, and while Simon has acknowledged Dylan’s influence on The Sound Of Silence, he was never trying to measure up to Dylan.  Simon says …

“I tried very hard not to be influenced by him, and that was hard. ‘The Sound Of Silence’, which I wrote when I was 21, I never would have wrote it were it not for Bob Dylan. Never, he was the first guy to come along in a serious way that wasn’t a teen language song. I saw him as a major guy whose work I didn’t want to imitate in the least.”

There is quite a bit more info about this song on Wikipedia and Songfacts, if you’re interested.  Meanwhile …

The Sound of Silence
Simon & Garfunkel
Produced by Tom Wilson

Hello darkness, my old friend
I’ve come to talk with you again
Because a vision softly creeping
Left its seeds while I was sleeping
And the vision that was planted in my brain
Still remains
Within the sound of silence

In restless dreams I walked alone
Narrow streets of cobblestone
‘Neath the halo of a street lamp
I turned my collar to the cold and damp
When my eyes were stabbed by
The flash of a neon light
That split the night
And touched the sound of silence

And in the naked light I saw
Ten thousand people, maybe more
People talking without speaking
People hearing without listening
People writing songs that voices never share
And no one dared
Disturb the sound of silence

“Fools”, said I, “You do not know
Silence like a cancer grows
Hear my words that I might teach you
Take my arms that I might reach you”
But my words, like silent raindrops fell
And echoed in the wells of silence

And the people bowed and prayed
To the neon god they made
And the sign flashed out its warning
In the words that it was forming
And the sign said:
“The words of the prophets are
Written on the subway walls
And tenement halls
And whispered in the sound of silence.”

Songwriters: Paul Simon
The Sound of Silence lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

♫ The Boxer ♫

In the two years I’ve been doing these music posts, I’ve only played three by Simon & Garfunkel, so it’s about time for another, don’t you think?

Released in 1969, this song hit #1 in Canada, #6 in the UK, and #7 in the U.S.

In a 1984 interview, Paul Simon said that he wrote this song when critics were writing harsh things about his music – he was the boxer. Said Simon …

“I think the song was about me: everybody’s beating me up, and I’m telling you now I’m going to go away if you don’t stop. By that time we had encountered our first criticism. For the first few years, it was just pure praise. It took two or three years for people to realize that we weren’t strange creatures that emerged from England but just two guys from Queens who used to sing rock’n’roll. And maybe we weren’t real folkies at all! Maybe we weren’t even hippies!” 

This song took over 100 hours to record, with parts of it done at Columbia Records studios in both Nashville and New York City. The chorus vocals were recorded in a church: St. Paul’s Chapel at Columbia University in New York. The church had a tiled dome that provided great acoustics.

Sometimes what is put in as a placeholder lyric becomes a crucial part of the song. That was the case here, as Simon used “Lie la lie” in place of a proper chorus because he couldn’t find the right words.

“I thought that ‘lie la lie was a failure of songwriting. I didn’t have any words! Then people said it was ‘lie’ but I didn’t really mean that. That it was a lie. But, it’s not a failure of songwriting, because people like that and they put enough meaning into it, and the rest of the song has enough power and emotion, I guess, to make it go, so it’s all right. But for me, every time I sing that part, I’m a little embarrassed.”

During a New York City concert in October 2010, Paul Simon stopped singing midway through The Boxer to tell the story of a woman who stopped him on the street to tell him that she edits the song when singing it to her young child. Simon told the audience that she removed the words “the whores” and altered the song to say, “I get no offers, just a come-on from toy stores on Seventh Avenue.” Simon laughingly commented that he felt that it was “a better line.”

box of tissuesOn 3 June 2016 at his concert in Berkeley, California, Paul Simon again stopped singing partway through The Boxer, this time to announce in one sentence breaking news: “I’m sorry to tell you this in this way, but Muhammad Ali passed away.” He then finished the song with the last verse modified as: “In the clearing stands a boxer and a fighter by his trade…”  

 

The Boxer
Simon & Garfunkel

I am just a poor boy
Though my story’s seldom told
I have squandered my resistance
For a pocket full of mumbles, such are promises
All lies and jests
Still a man hears what he wants to hear
And disregards the rest

When I left my home and my family
I was no more than a boy
In the company of strangers
In the quiet of the railway station
Running scared,
Laying low, seeking out the poorer quarters
Where the ragged people go
Looking for the places
Only they would know

Lie la lie, lie la la la lie lie
Lie la lie, lie la la la la lie la la lie

Asking only workman’s wages
I come looking for a job
But I get no offers
Just a come-on from the whores
On Seventh Avenue
I do declare
There were times when I was so lonesome
I took some comfort there, le le le le le le le

Lie la lie, lie la la la lie lie
Lie la lie, lie la la la la lie la la lie

Then I’m laying out my winter clothes
And wishing I was gone
Going home
Where the New York City winters
Aren’t bleeding me
Leading me
Going home

In the clearing stands a boxer
And a fighter by his trade
And he carries the reminders
Of ev’ry glove that laid him down
Or cut him till he cried out
In his anger and his shame
“I am leaving, I am leaving”
But the fighter still remains, mmm mmm

Lie la lie, lie la la la lie lie
Lie la lie, lie la la la la lie la la lie
Lie la lie, lie la la la lie lie
Lie la lie, lie la la la la lie la la lie
Lie la lie, lie la la la lie lie
Lie la lie, lie la la la la lie la la lie
Lie la lie, lie la la la lie lie
Lie la lie, lie la la la la lie la la lie
Lie la lie, lie la la la lie lie
Lie la lie, lie la la la la lie la la lie
Lie la lie, lie la la la lie lie
Lie la lie, lie la la la la lie la la lie
Lie la lie, lie la la la lie lie
Lie la lie, lie la la la la lie la la lie
Lie la lie, lie la la la lie lie
Lie la lie, lie la la la la lie la la lie

Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: Paul Simon
The Boxer lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group, Warner Chappell Music Inc

 

♫ Bridge Over Troubled Water ♫ (Redux)

I played this one back in 2018, but … it just seems so appropriate for the current times that I’m playing it again …


Did you know that Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel met in grade school when they both appeared in a production of Alice in Wonderland. Paul was the White Rabbit and Art was the Cheshire Cat.  They began recording together in high school as Tom and Jerry — yes, as in the cartoon cat and mouse.

Simon and Garfunkel split up in 1970, and Garfunkel went on to become a math teacher at a private school in Connecticut.

The album, Bridge Over Troubled Water, was the last the duo recorded together before their breakup, and it remains, to this day, the biggest selling album ever for Columbia Records.  Paul wrote the title song, although Art Garfunkel sang it alone.  It was one of the few songs to top the US and UK charts at the same time. It was #1 in the US for six weeks, #1 in the UK for three.

In 1971, this won five Grammy Awards: Song of the Year, Record of the Year, Best Contemporary Song, Best Engineered Record, and Best Arrangement Accompanying Vocalists. The album also won Album of the Year.  Just about everybody and their brother has tried to jump on this bandwagon with a recording of their own, including Elvis Presley, Mary Blige & Andrea Bocelli, and Aretha Franklin.

In June 2017, a charity version was recorded by Artists For Grenville, a group comprising 50 well-known British vocalists and musicians. They were collected together by Simon Cowell to record a charity single to raise money for the families of the victims of the Grenfell Tower fire in June 2017. The song immediately climbed to #1 on the UK singles chart.

Bridge over Troubled Water
Simon & Garfunkel

When you’re weary, feeling small
When tears are in your eyes, I’ll dry them all (all)
I’m on your side, oh, when times get rough
And friends just can’t be found
Like a bridge over troubled water
I will lay me down

Like a bridge over troubled water
I will lay me down

When you’re down and out
When you’re on the street
When evening falls so hard
I will comfort you (ooo)
I’ll take your part, oh, when darkness comes
And pain is all around
Like a bridge over troubled water
I will lay me down

Like a bridge over troubled water
I will lay me down

Sail on silver girl
Sail on by
Your time has come to shine
All your dreams are on their way
See how they shine
Oh, if you need a friend
I’m sailing right behind
Like a bridge over troubled water
I will ease your mind
Like a bridge over troubled water
I will ease your mind

Songwriters: Paul Simon
Bridge over Troubled Water lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

♫ Sounds of Silence ♫

I have the sounds of booming fireworks reverberating through my head and chest … hours and hours they boomed here in da hood.  What is wrong with people?  1:00 a.m., and still they are booming.  Silence.  All I ask for is a bit of silence.  And then it hits me … Echo, the sounds of silence … where have I heard that before???  Ahhhh … the  💡 comes on … Simon & Garfunkel, circa 1965.  I first played this song almost exactly a year ago, July 18, 2018.  Perhaps this should be my forever July 4th song, yes?  Apologies that I have no trivia to accompany tonights selection, but … it is late, I am exhausted, and my bed is calling.

The Sound of Silence
Simon & Garfunkel
Produced by Tom Wilson

Hello darkness, my old friend
I’ve come to talk with you again
Because a vision softly creeping
Left its seeds while I was sleeping
And the vision that was planted in my brain
Still remains
Within the sound of silence

In restless dreams I walked alone
Narrow streets of cobblestone
‘Neath the halo of a street lamp
I turned my collar to the cold and damp
When my eyes were stabbed by
The flash of a neon light
That split the night
And touched the sound of silence

And in the naked light I saw
Ten thousand people, maybe more
People talking without speaking
People hearing without listening
People writing songs that voices never share
And no one dared
Disturb the sound of silence

“Fools”, said I, “You do not know
Silence like a cancer grows
Hear my words that I might teach you
Take my arms that I might reach you”
But my words, like silent raindrops fell
And echoed in the wells of silence

And the people bowed and prayed
To the neon god they made
And the sign flashed out its warning
In the words that it was forming
And the sign said:
“The words of the prophets are
Written on the subway walls
And tenement halls
And whispered in the sound of silence.”

Songwriters: Paul Simon
The Sound of Silence lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

♫ Scarborough Fair ♫

In the last week or so, daughter Chris who is a lover of all things British, discovered a new television show to love called “Rosemary & Thyme”.  It’s fairly interesting, actually, about two middle-aged British women playing detective and solving murders every week.  I jokingly refer to the title of the show as “Parsley, Sage, Rosemary & Thyme”, ala the song Scarborough Fair by Simon and Garfunkel.  And as payback for my humour, I have had this song looping through my head for two days now, so in a ritual of exorcism, I am sharing it here with you!

Scarborough is a small town on the coast of England. The “Scarborough Fair” was a popular gathering in Medieval times, attracting traders and entertainers from all over the country. The fair lasted 45 days and started every August 15th. In the 1600s, mineral waters were found in Scarborough and it became a resort town. Today, Scarborough is a quiet town with a rich history.

In Medieval England, this became a popular folk song as Bards would sing it when they traveled from town to town. The author of the song is unknown, and many different versions exist. The traditional version has many more lyrics.  Paul Simon learned about this song when he was on tour in England, where he heard a version by a popular folk singer named Martin Carthy. When Carthy heard Simon & Garfunkel’s rendition, he accused Simon of stealing his arrangement. Carthy and Simon did not speak until 2000, when Simon asked Carthy to perform this with him at a show in London. Carthy put his differences aside and did the show.

The lyrics are about a man trying to attain his true love. In Medieval times, the herbs mentioned in the song represented virtues that were important to the lyrics. Parsley was comfort, sage was strength, rosemary was love, and thyme was courage.

Scarborough Fair
Simon & Garfunkel

Are you going to Scarborough Fair?
Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme
Remember me to one who lives there
For once she was a true love of mine

Have her make me a cambric shirt
Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme
Without no seam nor fine needle work
And then she’ll be a true love of mine

Tell her to weave it in a sycamore wood lane
Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme
And gather it all with a basket of flowers
And then she’ll be a true love of mine

Have her wash it in yonder dry well
Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme
where water ne’er sprung nor drop of rain fell
And then she’ll be a true love of mine

Have her find me an acre of land
Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme
Between the sea foam and over the sand
And then she’ll be a true love of mine

Plow the land with the horn of a lamb
Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme
Then sow some seeds from north of the dam
And then she’ll be a true love of mine

Tell her to reap it with a sickle of leather
Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme
And gather it all in a bunch of heather
And then she’ll be a true love of mine

If she tells me she can’t, I’ll reply
Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme
Let me know that at least she will try
And then she’ll be a true love of mine

Love imposes impossible tasks
Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme
Though not more than any heart asks
And I must know she’s a true love of mine

Dear, when thou has finished thy task
Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme
Come to me, my hand for to ask
For thou then art a true love of mine

Songwriters: Arthur Garfunkel / Paul Simon
Scarborough Fair lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc, Universal Music Publishing Group

♫ Bridge Over Troubled Water ♫

Did you know that Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel met in grade school when they both appeared in a production of Alice in Wonderland. Paul was the White Rabbit and Art was the Cheshire Cat.  They began recording together in high school as Tom and Jerry — yes, as in the cartoon cat and mouse.

Simon and Garfunkel split up in 1970, and Garfunkel went on to become a math teacher at a private school in Connecticut.

The album, Bridge Over Troubled Water, was the last the duo recorded together before their breakup, and it remains, to this day, the biggest selling album ever for Columbia Records.  Paul wrote the title song, although Art Garfunkel sang it alone.  It was one of the few songs to top the US and UK charts at the same time. It was #1 in the US for six weeks, #1 in the UK for three.

In 1971, this won five Grammy Awards: Song of the Year, Record of the Year, Best Contemporary Song, Best Engineered Record, and Best Arrangement Accompanying Vocalists. The album also won Album of the Year.  Just about everybody and their brother has tried to jump on this bandwagon with a recording of their own, including Elvis Presley, Mary Blige & Andrea Bocelli, and Aretha Franklin.

In June 2017, a charity version was recorded by Artists For Grenville, a group comprising 50 well-known British vocalists and musicians. They were collected together by Simon Cowell to record a charity single to raise money for the families of the victims of the Grenfell Tower fire in June 2017. The song immediately climbed to #1 on the UK singles chart.

Bridge over Troubled Water
Simon & Garfunkel

When you’re weary, feeling small
When tears are in your eyes, I’ll dry them all (all)
I’m on your side, oh, when times get rough
And friends just can’t be found
Like a bridge over troubled water
I will lay me down

Like a bridge over troubled water
I will lay me down

When you’re down and out
When you’re on the street
When evening falls so hard
I will comfort you (ooo)
I’ll take your part, oh, when darkness comes
And pain is all around
Like a bridge over troubled water
I will lay me down

Like a bridge over troubled water
I will lay me down

Sail on silver girl
Sail on by
Your time has come to shine
All your dreams are on their way
See how they shine
Oh, if you need a friend
I’m sailing right behind
Like a bridge over troubled water
I will ease your mind
Like a bridge over troubled water
I will ease your mind

Songwriters: Paul Simon
Bridge over Troubled Water lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

Sounds of Silence

In a comment earlier this evening, Keith happened to mention Simon & Garfunkel, and immediately this song came to mind … and stayed … and stayed … and so, I am sharing this one with you, dear friends …

The Sound of Silence
Simon & Garfunkel
Produced by Tom Wilson

Hello darkness, my old friend
I’ve come to talk with you again
Because a vision softly creeping
Left its seeds while I was sleeping
And the vision that was planted in my brain
Still remains
Within the sound of silence

In restless dreams I walked alone
Narrow streets of cobblestone
‘Neath the halo of a street lamp
I turned my collar to the cold and damp
When my eyes were stabbed by
The flash of a neon light
That split the night
And touched the sound of silence

And in the naked light I saw
Ten thousand people, maybe more
People talking without speaking
People hearing without listening
People writing songs that voices never share
And no one dared
Disturb the sound of silence

“Fools”, said I, “You do not know
Silence like a cancer grows
Hear my words that I might teach you
Take my arms that I might reach you”
But my words, like silent raindrops fell
And echoed in the wells of silence

And the people bowed and prayed
To the neon god they made
And the sign flashed out its warning
In the words that it was forming
And the sign said:
“The words of the prophets are
Written on the subway walls
And tenement halls
And whispered in the sound of silence.”