Sound of Silent – A Song a Day (3)

 

Image result for sound of silence

First, it was the silence of the night, that I feared, too often it was interrupted by yelling and screaming when my drunk parents started to fight.

Then later, when I lived with my Grandmother, I listened to the silence that surrounded the farm during the night. What I had feared for so long, was now comforting.

As an interpreter, I listen to people’s words and interesting enough, over the years I learned while listening and watching, that I could also interpret the silence in between. Fools said I, You do not know Silence like a cancer grows.

The lyrics of the song are beautiful. “People talking without speaking, people hearing without listening,” isn’t that the truth? Garfunkel once summed up the song’s meaning as, “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.”

The Sound of Silence

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

Written by Paul Simon 1963 • Copyright © Universal Music Publishing Group

And while all of us know and love the original from Simon and Garfunkle, I decided to share a different, more dramatic and powerful version of it today. One of the rare occasions that I chose a cover over the original.

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25 thoughts on “Sound of Silent – A Song a Day (3)

  1. Your music choices are very evocative. This is one that takes me back a VERY long way. I’ve always loved the haunting lyrics and melody of this song.
    First, let me say I LOVE this version. I find it interesting that you chose a cover version where the lead singer’s voice is very reminiscent of Leonard Cohen in his younger years … or maybe it’s just me.

    The other thing I found interesting is that Simon and Garfunkel’s version has a melancholy undertone. It is filled with sadness and for me, the climax is a feeling of overwhelming despair.

    This version however has an angry undertone. I don’t normally watch the video with a piece of music. I find it can influence my opinion of the song – either positively or negatively – so I was listening to the song while doing something else. Because I’m used to hearing the sadness in this song, that angry undertone caused me to stop and watch the video. In this version, the climax is almost a call to action.
    I think it is this angry undertone that others are reacting to, but I think they did this song justice and created a version that’s as powerful as the original.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. After I listened to Disturbed’s remake of this song, I realized over the decades I had sung along without knowing the correct lyrics takes on a different meaning now. I wonder what other songs I have misunderstood.

    Liked by 1 person

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