Sunday, August 7, 2016

Simon & Garfunkel: Bridge Over Troubled Water (2009)

Paul Simon & Art Garfunkel [childhood school friends, both born in 1941] sing “Bridge Over Troubled Water” at NYC’s Madison Square Garden in 2009. The song is the title track on the duo’s fifth and final studio album, released by Columbia Records on January 26, 1970. The song, written and composed by Simon, got some of its inspiration from a gospel song, Wikipedia writes, “partly inspired by Claude Jeter's line ‘I'll be your bridge over deep water if you trust in me,’ which Jeter sang with his group, the Swan Silvertones, in the 1958 song ‘Mary Don't You Weep.’ ” At least Simon had the decency to acknowledge this fact, this artistic borrowing. 

You can hear earlier versions, including at NYC’s Central Park, September 19, 1981, [here], and at a live performance before the album was released on November 11, 1969, [here]. In addition, I highly recommend that you listen to the version by Elvis [here], in one of the finest performances of the song I have witnessed. It has universal human appeal, notably because its language is so easily understood and apprehended. We who were listening to music at this time, coming of age and of understanding and appreciation, thought that such music would always be made. We didn’t know then that this would not always be the case.