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Sunday, April 5, 2015

Song Review : 'The Sound of Silence' by Simon and Garfunkel

The song reminds me of Edvard Munch's 'Skrik' or 'The Scream',which is the popular name given to each of four versions of a composition, created as both paintings and pastels between 1893 and 1910.The imagery of The Scream has been compared to that which an individual suffering from depersonalization disorder experiences, a feeling of distortion of the environment and one's self.The artist might have been affected by the same disease Pink (The Wall) had been suffering from - isolation,distortion of ideas and torment of silence,as if silence is a new sensation of sound,as if silence is something that often screams loud,loud and louder than sound does.


This painting from 1893 is supposedly the  first completed version of 'The Scream'




'The Sound of Silence' Lyrics
(Credit : www.azlyrics.com)

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 sign said, The words of the prophets are written on the subway walls
And tenement halls
And whispered in the sound of silence.




'Sounds of Silence' - An Album by Simon and Garfunkel

About The Song
(Credit : Wikipedia)

Simon stated in interviews that the song was written in his bathroom, where he turned off the lights to better concentrate. "The main thing about playing the guitar, though, was that I was able to sit by myself and play and dream. And I was always happy doing that. I used to go off in the bathroom, because the bathroom had tiles, so it was a slight echo chamber. I'd turn on the faucet so that water would run (I like that sound, it's very soothing to me) and I'd play. In the dark. 'Hello darkness, my old friend / I've come to talk with you again'."According to Simon, Garfunkel originally wrote the lyric as "Aloha darkness, my old friend."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."



'Wednesday Morning,3 A.M' by Simon and Garfunkel


Song Review

The best part of 'Sounds of Silence' is no doubts the lyrics. Each line sounds like something different to the ears and immediately creates a strong sensation - the impacts generated are so instant that it leaves you having an urge to excavate out whatever magic lies within the words.
The tune is not as special as the lyrics are but it is somehow interesting,mostly because of the constant harmony in the song that has been used by the duo.The song opens with a repetition of combination of two notes on a keyboard or piano that retains for about 3 seconds,immediately being followed by "Hello darkness,my old friend", a line I think a lot of relatively quiet people would find a relevance to.The contrast of a deep voice singing in a lower scale paired with a high-pitched,softer voice is often a very good idea in progressive rock/country rock.The song is very unique in its kind as well,the lyrics,the tune,the finishing and instrumentals are very genuinely combined with each other.
The presence of soft guitar notes,softer piano/keyboard notes and the guitar itself used in accordion with the song as the basic component of the instrumentals,even for the rhythmic part,instead of using drums gives a special value to this alternate genre of rock music.
The voices,personally I do not feel are very appealing or very attractive,they would just do the job of singing.As a song,however,I love the entire creation.

Lyrics - 5/5
Melody - 4.5/5
Instrumentals - 5/5
The voice(s) behind - 4.5/5

As A Song - {(19/20) * 100%} = 95%

Perspectives On The Song

I totally disagree with the idea of  the song being a comment on the John F. Kennedy assassination, as the song was released three months after the assassination mostly because Kennedy had got very less to do with silence and he has nothing to do with people's communication with each other,other than weaving traps of conspiracy that let other countries fight with each other and the state machinery of the United States of America can successfully dominate the economy of the world.
Not just from a personal view but very logically,this song,or silence,or something as delicate and bold,something so juxtaposing as sounds of silence can have nothing to do with John F. Kennedy,at the least.

Disclaimer - The photographs used do not belong to me.
Information credit : Wikipedia
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