What’s In The Words: Paul Simon’s “Silence”

New York Subway

Stairs Leading To The New York Subway (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

“And the sign said, “The words of the prophets are written on the subway walls And tenement halls.”
– “The Sounds Of Silence” by [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Simon and Garfunkel[/lastfm]

I grew up watching New York City stations on TV, listening to New York City stations on the radio and reading The New York Times on Sunday morning.

But I didn’t live in New York City.

I lived four hours away in a small, rural New York State town. I watched the Mets on cable, listened to WABC late at night, and read The Times a day late.

The breadth of my experience of New York City was through someone else’s eyes and ears.

When I heard [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Simon and Garfunkel[/lastfm] sing that “the words of the prophets are written on the subway walls…and tenement halls,” my imagination sank into their world of silent raindrops and neon lights and desolate streets.

In [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Paul Simon[/lastfm]’s simple poetry, he crystallized everything I thought I knew about New York.

Read more What’s in the Words.

  • RainbowRay

    Love that song and remember it very well; have been listening to it since my teens. I also enjoy, “Scarborough Fair” (my hometown; a suburb of Toronto), “Me and Julio by the Schoolyard”, “The Boxer”, “Cecelia”, “Mother and Child Reunion” and “Bridge Over Troubled Waters”, just to name a few.

    Great group!


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