“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:

Continue reading ““The Sound of Silence” by Simon and Garfunkel”