Simon and Garfunkel – April Come She Will

This song is for Song Lyric Sunday for Jim Adams’s blog. This week’s prompt Begin/End/Finish/Start…This song is about the beginning and the end of love affairs.

I watched the Graduate in the mid-eighties and I sat there transfixed watching this classic film. How the music kept the movie going and this song hit me for some reason. I spent weeks (pre internet) tracking down the soundtrack of the film. I went to different record stores but with no luck but finally found it at the Great Escape, a second hand record store.

It was one of the first movies that I recognized how much music can make a movie. It was a great film regardless but without the music the movie would not have been the same.

April Come She Will was composed by Paul Simon. Running just 1:51, it is the shortest track on the album Sounds of Silence released in 1966. It was also on the Graduate soundtrack.

The song was the B side to the Scarborough Fair single.

From Songfacts

This song is also featured in the soundtrack to the film The Graduate. Meant to evoke the capriciousness of a young girl while relating it to how the seasons change, the lyrics were inspired by a nursery rhyme recited by an English girl with whom Simon had an affair. It stands to reason, then, that this would go along with the plot of The Graduate.

Listen for an echo of this song in “For Emily, Whenever I May Find Her,” from S&G’s subsequent album Parsley, Sage, Rosemary & Thyme.

This song isn’t the only one with a classical lyric inspiration on that album; “Richard Cory” is also based on the poem of the same name by American poet Edwin Arlington Robinson.

April Come She Will

April, come she will
When streams are ripe and swelled with rain
May, she will stay
Resting in my arms again
June she’ll change her tune
In restless walks she’ll prowl the night

July, she will fly
And give no warning to her flight
August, die she must
The autumn winds blow chilly and cold
September, I remember
A love once new has now grown old

20 Famous Duos

Many times you cannot think of one person without thinking of the other. That is true for many on this list. From Lennon – McCartney to Romeo and Juliet. It was a lot of fun coming up with these famous duos. Here are a few in no order…

 

1.  Lennon and McCartney – The most influential Rock/pop writing duo

The Beatles - It was twenty years ago today, Sgt. Pepper taught ...

2.  Andy Griffith and Don Knotts – Andy and Barney…Great comedic timing between the two…with Andy being the straight man.

20 wonderfully irrelevant Andy Griffith Show conversations

3.  Jack Klugman and Tony Randall – The Odd Couple

TV's 'Odd Couple' in the '70s: Jack Klugman & Tony Randall as ...

4. Abbott and Costello – Who’s on first? Great comedy team. I still like Abbot and Costello Meet Frankenstein

From the Archives: Lou Costello, Famed Comedian, Dies at 52 - Los ...

5. Belushi and Aykroyd – The Blues Brothers and part of the first cast of SNL

John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd | Oscars.org | Academy of Motion ...

6. Orville and Wilbur Wright – Credited as creating the first motorized plane.

Orville and Wilbur Wright: The Brothers Who Changed Aviation ...

7. Jagger and Richards – The Stones Glimmer Twins

Mick Jagger & Keith Richards, NYC, 1972 | Bob Gruen

8. Simon and Garfunkel – American folk-rock duo

You made me look like a fool': inside Simon and Garfunkel's Bridge ...

9. Laurel and Hardy – They made over 100 short and feature movies combined.

Laurel and Hardy – Three Shorts

10. Martin and Lewis – The hottest act in the 50s.

Jerry Lewis and Dean Martin's 20-Year Feud - Comedy Duo Jerry ...

11. Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak – The Apple architects.

Are You A Steve Jobs Or A Steve Wozniak? » Leaderonomics.com

12. Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield -Ben and Jerry’s  I’ll take some Cherry Garcia, please.

Ben & Jerry's Unveils "Pecan Resist" Flavor Ahead of Midterm ...

13. Phil and Don Everly – Two voices blended as one

Video: Phil Everly of the Everly Brothers dies at 74 (updated ...

14. Gerry Goffin and Carole King – Two of the top songwriters in the 60s.

Gerry Goffin | The Times

15. Cindy Williams and Penny Marshall – Laverne and Shirley

The most famous women duos in pop culture - Insider

16. Clyde Champion Barrow and Bonnie Parker – Infamous Bonnie and Clyde

Police kill famous outlaws Bonnie and Clyde - HISTORY

17. David Duchovny and  Gillian Anderson – Mulder and Scully from the X-Files

Agents Dana Scully and Fox Mulder Will Pick Up Their Badges Again

18. Jason Mewes and Kevin Smith – Jay and Silent Bob

Kevin Smith Teases 'Jay and Silent Bob' Reboot With Miramax

19. Batman and Robin – I couldn’t leave these guys out

Adam West and Burt Ward to return as Batman and Robin in new ...

20. Romeo and Juliet the two star crossed lovers from Romeo and Juliet….a tragedy written by William ShakespeareThe Balcony Scene in 'Romeo and Juliet' Is a Lie - The Atlantic

BONUS…How could I forget Bert and Ernie!!!

Frank Oz weighs in on 'Sesame Street' writer saying Bert and Ernie ...

 

 

 

 

 

 

Simon and Garfunkel – The Only Living Boy In New York

This was the B side to Cecilia. I’ve had two different bloggers mention this song to me in the past few days. I started to get into this song a little later than the others but it’s a beautiful song.

Paul Simon wrote this song about his partner Art Garfunkel going to Mexico to act in a movie called Catch-22, which was directed by Mike Nichols, who gave Simon & Garfunkel a big boost when he featured their songs in his 1967 film The Graduate. Simon was also going to be in the film, but Nichols cut his part, which separated the duo. Garfunkel spent months working on the film while Simon returned to New York, where he toiled away on the Bridge Over Troubled Water album.

Paul Simon sent letters to keep in touch with Garfunkel and update him on the album’s progress. Up to that point, the pair had always partnered musically and shared a bond, which was now breaking… Simon and Garfunkel split up after the album was released…Paul recorded as a solo artist, and Art pursued his acting career.

 

From Songfacts

Regarding the lyrics, “Tom get your plane right on time. I know that your eager to fly now,” before the folk duo became famous, they were known as Tom and Jerry. Tom was Art’s stage name, so this line symbolizes their increasing need for musical and personal freedom.

In a 1990 interview with SongTalk magazine, Simon said: “I liked the ‘aaahhhs,’ the voices singing ‘aaah.’ That was the best I think that we ever did it. It was quite a lot of voices we put on, maybe twelve or fifteen voices. We sang it in the echo-chamber.”

This song was addressed during a screening of the Simon & Garfunkel documentary Songs of America. At the screening, Garfunkel said, “I had Paul sort of waiting: ‘All right, I can take this for three months. I’ll write the songs, but what’s the fourth month? And why is Artie in Rome a fifth month? What’s Mike [Nichols] doing to Simon & Garfunkel?’ And so there’s Paul in the third month, still with a lot of heart, writing about, ‘I’m the only living boy in [New York]. You used to be the other one.”

This was used in the 2004 movie Garden State. Zach Braff, who wrote and directed the movie, thought the song worked perfectly to convey the loneliness of a character. Simon & Garfunkel rarely license the song, but they let Braff use it for a greatly reduced fee after seeing the scene. 

The session musician Joe Osborn played an 8-string bass on this track, which the album’s producer Roy Halee said was the featured musical element of the song. Years later, when Osborn tried to relearn his part to demonstrate it, he realized it was very difficult to reproduce live, as Halee spliced together various takes for the recording.

 

The Only Living Boy In New York

Tom, get your plane right on time
I know your part’ll go fine
Fly down to Mexico
Do-n-do-d-do-n-do and here I am,
The only living boy in New York

I get the news I need on the weather report
I can gather all the news I need on the weather report
Hey, I’ve got nothing to do today but smile
Do-n-doh-d-doh-n-doh and here I am
The only living boy in New York

Half of the time we’re gone
But we don’t know where,
And we don’t know where

Half of the time we’re gone
But we don’t know where,
And we don’t know where

Tom, get your plane right on time
I know you’ve been eager to fly now
Hey let your honesty shine, shine, shine now
Do-n-do-d-do-n-do
Like it shines on me
The only living boy in New York,
The only living boy in New York

Simon and Garfunkel – The Boxer

This is a truly great song. Wonderfully written by Paul Simon. The song peaked #7 in the Billboard 100, #6 in the UK, #3 in Canada, and  #9 in New Zealand.

This song was not recorded in one take and done. It 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. It was an interesting field trip for the recording crew who had to set up the equipment in the house of worship.

Paul 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!” 

 

From Songfacts

With all this material to work with, a standard 8-track recorder wasn’t enough, so the album’s producer, Roy Halee, brought Columbia boss Clive Davis into the studio to demonstrate his problem and lobby for a new, 16-track recorder. Davis, who didn’t become a legendary record executive by turning down such requests, bought him the new machine.

Simon found inspiration for this song in The Bible, which he would sometimes read in hotels. The lines, “Workman’s wages” and “Seeking out the poorer quarters” came from passages.

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. Other examples of placeholders that worked include the “I know” chorus in “Ain’t No Sunshine” and Otis Redding’s whistling in “(Sittin’ On) The Dock Of The Bay.”

In a 1990 interview with SongTalk magazine, Simon said: “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.”

Simon added that the essentially wordless chorus gave the song more of an international appeal, as it was universal.

The legendary session drummer Hal Blaine created the huge drum sound with the help of producer Roy Halee, who found a spot for the drums in front of an elevator in the Columbia offices. As recounted in the 2011 Making of Bridge Over Troubled Water documentary, Blaine would pound the drums at the end of the “Lie la lie” vocals that were playing in his headphones, and at one point, an elderly security guard got a big surprise when he came out of the elevator and was startled by Blaine’s thunderous drums.

The opening guitar lick came courtesy of the session player Fred Carter Jr., who Simon hired to play on the track. Simon would often use another guitarist to augment his sound.

This song was recorded about a year before the album was released.

Bob Dylan recorded a version of this on his 1970 album Self Portrait.

 

The Boxer

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 every 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

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

Simon & Garfunkel – I Am A Rock

I first found this song on Simon and Garfunkel’s greatest hits. At times everyone could relate to this song. Beautiful melody along with lyrics about someone shutting themselves from life. The verse I’ve built walls, A fortress deep and mighty, That none may penetrate, I have no need of friendship, friendship causes pain It’s laughter and it’s loving I disdain, I am a rock, I am an island… says it all.

The song peaked at #3 in the Billboard 100, #6 in Canada, #2  in New Zealand, and #17 in the Uk in 1966.

In the UK, this was released three times in a one year span: first as the original Paul Simon single in 1965, then in the summer of 1966, it was released as an EP and again as a single. The song was very popular there in 1966, but the chart position suffered because the sales of the single were diluted by multiple releases.

From Songfacts

This song is about a recluse locking himself away from the world. When he says, “I am a rock, I am an island,” he means away from everything and everyone. It’s far from autobiographical, as Paul Simon was doing his best to write a hit song with this effort, and didn’t write it for himself. The use of the word “rock” is interesting in that Simon considered himself a folk singer, and didn’t associate himself with rock music. In the vast majority of songs with the word “rock” in the lyrics, it is used to imply music or lifestyle, but for Simon, it was just a piece of stone. He did the same thing in 1973 for his song “Loves Me Like A Rock.”

This song has one of more perplexing histories of recordings and releases. Written by Paul Simon before he hit it big as a musician, the song was offered to the duo Chad and Jeremy, who turned it down. Simon then recorded it himself for his UK solo album (released in America 1981) The Paul Simon Songbook, which was released in the UK in August 1965. The single was issued in September but didn’t chart despite a performance by Simon on the show Ready, Steady. Go!

Simon was going solo at this time because the Simon & Garfunkel 1964 debut album Wednesday Morning, 3 A.M. had stiffed, and the duo split up. Late in 1965, the producer Tom Wilson overdubbed and remixed a track from that album, “The Sound Of Silence,” and it became a huge hit. Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel were summoned back to the studio, where they recorded the singles “I Am A Rock” and “Homeward Bound,” which were included on their Sound of Silence album. These songs were recorded with producer Bob Johnston at one of the Columbia Records studios in New York City, and now released with a more contemporary sound, “I Am A Rock” became a hit for the duo.

The guitarist on the Simon & Garfunkel hit version of this song was Ralph Casale, who was a top session player in the ’60s. He remembers organist Al Kooper and drummer Bobby Gregg – both associated with Bob Dylan – also performing on the song. Describing the sessions, Ralph told us: “The band was booked from 7:00 p.m. into the wee hours of the morning. I was given a lead sheet for ‘I Am A Rock’ with just chords and asked to play the electric twelve string guitar. The producer wanted a sound similar to the Byrds. It was important that session players became familiar with the current hits because many times producers describe the style they want by referring to well known groups. Paul Simon sang the figure he wanted me to play between verses and asked me to play it in thirds. The rest was left to me. ‘Homeward Bound’ was on that same date.”

I Am A Rock

A winter’s day
In a deep and dark
December
I am alone
Gazing from my window to the streets below
On a freshly fallen silent shroud of snow
I am a rock
I am an island

I’ve built walls
A fortress deep and mighty
That none may penetrate
I have no need of friendship, friendship causes pain
It’s laughter and it’s loving I disdain
I am a rock
I am an island

Don’t talk of love
But I’ve heard the words before
It’s sleeping in my memory
I won’t disturb the slumber of feelings that have died
If I never loved I never would have cried
I am a rock
I am an island

I have my books
And my poetry to protect me
I am shielded in my armor
Hiding in my room, safe within my womb
I touch no one and no one touches me
I am a rock
I am an island

And a rock feels no pain
And an island never cries

Simon and Garfunkel – Cecilia

One of the many songs on the greatest hits album. If I remember right it closed out the second side on the album. The main thing I remember about this song is the rhythm track. Cecilia was originally on the Bridge Over Troubled Water album. The song peaked at #4 in the Billboard 100 and #2 in Canada in 1970.

The greatest hits came out in 1972 and in 2003, the album was ranked number 293 on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.

 

 

 

From Songfacts

This song is about a guy who had a girlfriend, but then she broke up with him. Like it says in one of the verses, “I got up to wash my face, when I come back to bed someone’s taken my place.” But later on they get back together – “Jubilation, she loves me again.”

No too much should be read into the lyrics of this song. As Paul Simon explained in an interview with Rolling Stone: “Every day I’d come back from the studio, working on whatever we were working on, and I’d play this pounding thing. So then I said, ‘Let’s make a record out of that.’ So we copied it over and extended it double the amount, so now we have three minutes of track, and the track is great. So now I pick up the guitar and I start to go, ‘Well, this will be like the guitar part’ – dung chicka dung chicka dung, and lyrics were virtually the first lines I said: ‘You’re breakin’ my heart, I’m down on my knees.’ They’re not lines at all, but it was right for that song, and I like that. It was like a little piece of magical fluff, but it works.” >>

In the Catholic church, Cecilia is the patron saint of musicians. In this context, the song can be interpreted as the singer asking for musical guidance, possibly to help writing a song. Paul Simon says he can’t remember the specific inspiration when he was writing the song, but he knew Cecilia is the goddess of music. >>

According to the liner notes to Paul Simon’s Anthology album, the strange sounding rhythm to this particular track was Paul and Art slapping their thighs, while Paul’s brother Eddie thumped a piano bench and a friend named Stewie Scharff strummed a guitar with its strings slackened to the point of atonality. This all happened at a house Paul and Art were living in on Blue Jay Way in the summer of 1969, not long after the Charles Manson murders took place at the nearby home of the actress Sharon Tate. After they started the pounding and came up with the rhythm, they got out their Sony reel-to-reel tape recorder and made the recording. There was a 1:15 section that Simon thought was great, so they looped it in the studio, which wasn’t easy in 1969 – you had to actually cut out the tape and put it on the recorder in a loop. Their producer Roy Halee added some reverb, and they had their basic backing track from this home recording. 

Worked into the mix is the sound of drumsticks falling on the parquet floor of the Columbia Records studio in Los Angeles. Simon also played a bit of xylophone that was heavily processed and added to the track. They had a lot of fun recording it and were enjoying various experiments in sound.

When the Bridge Over Troubled Water album was finished, Paul Simon, Art Garfunkel and Roy Halee all thought this would be the first single, as catchy, upbeat songs were typically chosen to introduce a new album. Columbia Records president Clive Davis decided that the powerful, plaintive title track needed to be the album’s calling card, so he bucked convention and released that one as the first single instead. It was a shrewd move: “Bridge Over Troubled Water” went to #1 for six weeks a propelled the album to the top as well – it spent a total of 10 weeks at #1. “Cecilia” was issued as the second single.

In 1996 Suggs, the lead singer for Madness, teamed up with vocal duo Louchie Lou and Michie One to record a cover that peaked at #4 in the UK. This is the only time the song reached the Top 75 in Britain as surprisingly Simon & Garfunkel’s original 1970 single failed to chart there.

The Swedish pop group Ace Of Base recorded a song called “Cecilia” on their 1998 album Flowers that was based on the character in this song.

Cecilia

Cecilia, you’re breaking my heart
You’re shaking my confidence daily
Oh, Cecilia, I’m down on my knees
I’m begging you please to come home

Cecilia, you’re breaking my heart
You’re shaking my confidence daily
Oh, Cecilia, I’m down on my knees
I’m begging you please to come home
Come on home

Making love in the afternoon with Cecilia
Up in my bedroom (making love)
I got up to wash my face
When I come back to bed someone’s taken my place

Cecilia, you’re breaking my heart
You’re shaking my confidence daily
Oh, Cecilia, I’m down on my knees
I’m begging you please to come home
Come on home

Ba-ba-ba-ba-ba-ba-ba, ba-ba-ba-ba-ba-ba

Jubilation
She loves me again
I fall on the floor and I’m laughing

Jubilation
She loves me again
I fall on the floor and I’m laughing

Whoah-oh-oh, oh-oh-oh-oh-oh, oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh
Whoah-oh-oh, oh-oh-oh-oh-oh, oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh
Whoah-oh-oh, oh-oh-oh-oh-oh, oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh
Whoah-oh-oh, oh-oh-oh-oh-oh, oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh