Monday, February 10, 2014

Simon & Garfunkel: Sounds Of Silence (1966)

Paul Simon & Art Garfunkel perform "The Sounds of Silence" on the Canadian TV series, Let's Sing Out (1963-1967), in this performance at University College, University of Toronto, on Feb 17, 1966.

As Youtube explains:
Originating from university campuses all across Canada, Let's Sing Out featured audience participation as students joined Canadian and American guest stars in familiar and popular folk songs. The weekly half-hour series was seen on Fridays throughout the CTV network, beginning October 11, 1963. Host for the show was Winnipeg-born Oscar Brand. The series aired on CTV until it was picked up by the CBC in the fall of 1966 and ran for one more season.
The song was written in the aftermath of the assassination of U.S. President John F, Kennedy, a song primary about post-adolescent angst, and a loss of meaning. This was one of two major events that shook the United States, the other being Watergate, 10 years later; perhaps, it has never recovered hope as a nation, and looked elsewhere for its core beliefs and values.

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
The Sounds of Silence
by Simon & Garfunkel

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 sounds of silence

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