“The Sound of Silence” by Simon and Garfunkel

The Sound of Silence“, originally titled “The Sounds of Silence”, is a song by Simon and Garfunkel. It was written by Paul Simon and debuted on the album Wednesday Mornin, 3am in 1964.

Simon_&_Garfunkel,_Wednesday_Morning,_3_A.M._(1964).png

Lyrics

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 signs said
“The words of the prophets are written on the subway walls
And tenement halls
And whisper’d in the sounds of silence


What does the song mean to you?

When asked, Garfunkel stated that the song’s meaning was “the inability of people to communicate with each other, not particularly internationally but especially emotionally, so what you see around you are people unable to love each other.”

I’ve always loved this song, but perhaps one of the most powerful presentations was at the September 11th ten-year memorial service with Paul Simon. It seemed perfect. From that moment on, whenever I hear the song, it takes me back to that day. If you haven’t seen it, I hope you’ll watch it.

You can see the video performance here:

Books I’m looking forward to reading about Paul Simon and Simon and Garfunkel:

 

 

 

What do you think of this song?

Thanks for reading!

29 thoughts on ““The Sound of Silence” by Simon and Garfunkel

  1. starjustin

    A very emotional post! I especially enjoyed the video. 911 was an extremely difficult time for our country. Simon & Garfunkel are legendary in the realm of the music world. 🌈

    Liked by 1 person

  2. David R. Dowdy

    I’m going to be contrary and say that people can’t communicate nowadays because of the noise surrounding us. What bothers me in particular is the individual noise we create. I wish I could count the number of times I wanted to talk with someone and find they have earbuds in. Audible books, music, whatever. Too many people walk around talking on the phone using Bluetooth. They talk in soliloquy and I want to grab them by the lapels and tell them Hamlet already did that! Otherwise, I love the song and the tribute.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. So true, David and I agree. This makes the song resonate even more for me because people aren’t communicating the same. In a way, social media is anti-social and our devices disconnect us.

      In a weird way, the communication factor reminds me of September 11th in that the attack happened in the first place, what was happening on the ground and in the towers with all the communication issues between the police and fireman, people trying to call their families. It feels strange saying it, but I think about it often. I won’t ever forget it.

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Dave. Your comments always get my mind turning. 💖

      Liked by 1 person

  3. The song resonates with me because of the moments I wish to express myself, only to be held back by my own downfall. Those whispers on the tip of my tongue grow louder by the day. I’ve always loved this song; though, I must admit, “Cecilla” nabs my heart more.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for sharing that, Latanya. It’s very interesting. 💜

      Cecilia is a great one too. I wonder if they’ll ever get back together for a reunion? It’s sad they fell away from each other…

      Like

  4. Pingback: Music Monday – September 11th Memorial – James Taylor “You Can Close Your Eyes” – ReadRantRock&Roll

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