Simon & Garfunkel were an American folk-rock duo consisting of singer-songwriter Paul Simon and singer Art Garfunkel.
Over the course of their career, Simon & Garfunkel’s music gradually moved from a basic folk rock sound to incorporate more experimental elements for the time, including Latin and gospel music. Their music, according to Rolling Stone, struck a chord among lonely, alienated young adults near the end of the decade.
Let’s hear their famous song- Sound of Silence
In The Sound of Silence he was expressing his angst toward his, and other’s, feelings of alienation in a post-modern world. Part of this alienation is viewed as a result of our inability to communicate effectively with one another, combined with our ready acceptance of thought and opinion as provided by the mass media. He also alludes that this is a result of our desire for, edging on addiction of, comfort as a result of our own affluence.
He uses an almost biblical suggestion in the passage,
And in the naked light I saw ten thousand people maybe more.
This is a suggestion he will use again, to great effect. He goes on the reveal what he believes is our inability, or unwillingness to communicate with one another, saying,
People talking without speaking.
People hearing without listening. People writing songs that voices never shared.
He also observes the populous, in general, is unwilling to take a stand against this norm. A sort of “don’t rock the boat” mentality, saying,
No one dared disturb the sound of silence.
There are covers-
Disturbed is an American heavy metal band from Chicago, formed in 1994.
Even cover from Israel:)
Taken from the israeli TV show “Rising Star”.
Aryeh and Gil Gat are two brothers from Jerusalem.
In this video they’re singing “The Sound of Silence” by Simon and Garfunkel.
Let’s move the the next song-
The boxer in the song is a metaphor: Despite having a strong memory for each and every defeat, setback, and humiliation the narrator has endured (“carries the reminder of every glove that laid him down or cut him til he cried out”), he will not give up but will persevere (“the fighter still remains”).
Though my story’s seldom told
I have squandered my resistance
For a pocketful of mumbles
Such are promises
All lies and jest
Still, a man hears what he wants to hear
And disregards the rest
I was no more than a boy
In the company of strangers
In the quiet of the railway station
Laying low, seeking out the poorer quarters
Where the ragged people go
Looking for the places only they would know
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
Kathy’s song !!!
Are you ready to “Mrs robinson”?
This song is about the state of the nation in the late 60’s. Ms. Robinson is an archetype of the generation that could no longer uphold the “perfectness” of the ’50s no matter how good their intentions. (hence why Jesus loves you, there were lots of wrongs committed with the best of intentions) The entire older generation of the 60’s was in a sort of institution, desperately trying to maintain an unmaintainable false image. Hide it from the kids, they’ll rip off the covers and expose everything. Government is not helping, anyway you lose. Also, an excellent note from the movie: Notice how after they “succeeded” in toppling the establishment’s expectations they sat in the back of the bus looking like they had no clue about what to do next? That was 60’s youth, and that conflict with one side wrong and the other side confused and directionless is what this song is about.
And for the end- relax with “Scarborough Fair”
“Scarborough Fair” is a traditional English folk song from the Middle Ages, referring to an old fair in Scarborough, Yorkshire. As a market fair, comprising of traders, merchants and other vendors, it started sometime in the 14th century and used to take place until the 18th century.
The music of the folk song is characterized by extensive harmonies and rising melodic lines. The purpose here was to develop a sensitive setting, akin to the story behind it. The song opens with acute melancholy, that then turns into a wonderful association of smooth harmonies and counter-melodies.
The popularization of “Scarborough Fair” today is due to Rock & Roll greats Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel, who were introduced to it by Martin Cathy, a British singer. The song was then re-written with a song of theirs, ‘Canticle’ and its popularity rose due to its anti-war lyrics during the Vietnam war period. Added fame was brought by its presence in the Dustin Hoffman movie “The Graduate” in the year 1967, considered as one of the greatest films of all time. The tune is also audible in Simon & Garfunkel’s other compositions, such as “Mrs. Robinson”.
So as you can see, Simon and Garfunkel are very impressive.
They are an integral part of the American folk-rock music.
Their voice and their passion to music are very special.
Now, when you had a chance to know Simon and Garfunkel’s music, try to hear the sound of silence in your life 🙂
Thank you very much for your attention! I hope you enjoyed!