Isaac Kaplan

"Is it any wonder I've got too much time on my hands?"

Monday, December 18, 2006

Top Ten Simon & Garfunkel Songs

CORRECTION: Paul first heard the lyrics to "April Come She Will" from a girl he met in England, who told him it was an English nursery rhyme. "Richard Cory" was based on a poem that Paul read in junior high.

- Been busy like crazy lately, so all I've had time for is a quick top-ten list. I should be back in the saddle in a few days, however.

Every yeshiva guy's first foray into secular music leads to Simon and Garfunkel, a couple of Jewish guys from Queens. Their stuff does have a Jewish sound, with the harmonies, the acoustic guitars, and all. Some of their stuff is great, other stuff is super-cheesy.

I also happen to think Paul's solo stuff is much, much better than his stuff with Artie. I have a draft titled "Why I hate Art Garfunkel" in the works. For now, let's just say that if Simon and Garfunkel never break up, we never get Graceland.

Anyway, here's the list:

10 I Am A Rock - it's my Dad's favorite; I had to put it up here. (Simon did this one in his '00 tour; I thought that version was better than the original.)
9 At the Zoo - Paul gets Orwellian.
8 Leaves That Are Green - Catchy tune, depressing lyrics - that's very Jewish.
7 The Sound of Silence - this is #1 on most people's list; I'm a little sick of it, and the thought of the Variations version gets me nauseous. Still a haunting classic, though.
6 A Hazy Shade of Winter - the Bangles did a cover of this in a lame comeback attempt. Their butchering of this song pissed me off. I love the opening riff to this one.
5 April Come She Will - one of my favorites from the Central Park concert.
4 Scarborough Fair - classic. My uncle claims that Paul ripped this tune from a "Dror Yikra" he heard when he was young. It's probably a Jewish rumor.
3 Mrs. Robinson - they did not sing this one in the yeshivas. In one place I attended, there was an old joke about how someone asked the mashgiach if you could sing a song with Jesus' name in it. To which the mashgiach replied, "you mean Mrs. Robinson?" Sorry for ruining your day with that one.
2 Cecilia - they sure as hell didn't sing this one in yeshiva. Very catchy tune; great stuff.
1 The Boxer - this classic never gets old. The tune and the lyrics are just incredible. I once read that Paul was originally ticked off about the "lai lai lai" part, because he had no words for it. But in the end, the song would simply not be the same without it.

Overrated stuff:
Homeward Bound - nothing special; another song mutilated by Veroba and Co.
Feelin' Groovy - cheesy. I hate this song. I cringed when they played this in the '03 reunion tour. The thought of a couple of 60-year-olds singing this is just plain creepy.
Bridge Over Troubled Water - maybe I'm just sick of it.
America - I know everyone gets excited about the New Jersey Turnpike reference, but I think this song is nice but no effect.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Clay Aiken's version of BOTW on American Idol was beautiful.

4:56 PM  

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