RDP #42 – Groove with Simon & Garfunkel

Those definitely were the days, my friends.

This song has always made me happy. It reminded me of waking up in New York and just enjoying life. I was young. So were they. And they lived sort of next door, so you never know. I might be the next great songwriter.

The 59th Street Bridge Song (Feelin’ Groovy)

Slow down, you move too fast
You got to make the morning last
Just kicking down the cobblestones
Looking for fun and feelin’ groovy
Hello lamppost, whatcha knowing?
I’ve come to watch your flowers growing.
Ain’t cha got no rhymes for me?
Doot-in’ doo-doo, feelin’ groovy!

Got no deeds to do, no promises to keep
I’m dappled and drowsy and ready to sleep
Let the morning time drop all its petals on me
Life, I love you, all is groovy.

Songwriters: Paul Simon
The 59th Street Bridge Song (Feelin’ Groovy) lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group




I would be surprised if almost everyone in my age grew — boomers — who grew up in the U.S. didn’t immediately hear this song in their head when they saw this prompt.

“The Sounds of Silence” was published in 1964 and became a generational anthem. What it means or doesn’t mean is immaterial compared to the way the lyrics and the music felt to us. It spoke to our loneliness, our fears of the future, our hopes that we could change the world coupled with angst about personal powerlessness.

The Sound Of Silence (3:08) MIDI
P. Simon, 1964

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 turn 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 shared
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

In 1964 I was a sophomore in college. Seventeen years old. Afraid of everything, afraid of nothing. In love, in fear, in hope. About to launch my personal ship of state. I had already left my parents home and was living on my own, making a million mistakes almost by the hour.

I bought this album and played it until the grooves wore out.

The version I’ve included on here is not the original recorded version. It’s the “reunion” of Simon & Garfunkel many years later. Not a lesser version, just a little bit different. The song still resonates … but maybe it says something different to me today than it did all those years ago.