Friday, January 21, 2011

Slow Down: You Move Too Fast

One of the symptoms of an approaching nervous breakdown is the belief that one's work is terribly important. 
Bertrand Russell

There is more to life than increasing its speed
Mohandas K. Gandhi
Don't underestimate the value of Doing Nothing, of just going along, listening to all the things you can't hear, and not bothering.
—Pooh's Little Instruction Book, inspired by A.A. Milne


Writers: Paul Simon & Art Garfunkel.
Recorded: December 1965 – August 1966
Released:October 10, 1966
Album: Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme
Song Title: The 59th Street Bridge Song (also known as Feelin' Groovy)

The duo, known as Simon & Garfunkel created a certain feeling in the 1960s, which this song typifies.  The song is officially called The 59th Bridge Street Song, which was released as a single in March 1967, about six months after the album was released. The 59th Street Bridge is the unofficial name New Yorkers use for the Queensboro Bridge in New York City.

Last December 2010, however, the city announced that it would be called the Ed Koch Bridge, after one of New York's former mayors. I suspect that this won't have any effect on the song.

Album Cover: Simon and Garfunkel's Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme, 1966: The 59th Bridge Street Song is on this album

The song's message is not hidden or deep. It is a whimsical easygoing pop song with an equally easygoing message: slow down., enjoy what's taking place around you. Don't worry about making too many plans and overloading your circuits, so to speak. Make as many promises that are necessary, and no more.

The word "no" is a good one to use sometimes. It's often the case that when you say yes to something that you agree to do from a sense of duty, you will do it with some degree of resentment. Just kicking down the cobblestones, which is easier to do in summertime in certain northern geographical regions such as New York City, Toronto, Moscow or Montreal. You can imagine it, though, in your mind's-eye.

What's the point of working yourself to an early grave? I've come to watch your flowers growing?  That takes considerable time, and does not appeal to most people concerned about productivity and efficiency. Nevertheless, I think that you get the picture. Productivity and efficiency has its limits. It's hard to be productive or efficient if you are having fun.

In closing, I would like to leave you the instructive words of  Winnie-the-Pooh: "Don't underestimate the value of doing nothing."


The 59th Street Bridge Song (Feelin' Groovy)
By Paul Simon & Art Garfunkel

Slow down, you move too fast.
You got to make the morning last.
Just kicking down the cobble stones.
Looking for fun and feelin' groovy.
Hello lamppost,
What'cha knowing?
I've come to watch your flowers growing.
Ain't cha got no rhymes for me?
Doot-in' doo-doo,
Feelin' groovy.

Got no deeds to do,
No promises to keep.
I'm dappled and drowsy and ready to sleep.
Let the morning time drop all its petals on me.
Life, I love you,
All is groovy.