Paul Simon as “Neil” on SNL
Happy 50th birthday to the song, Sounds of Silence
"The Sounds of Silence is a major work. We were looking for a song on a larger scale, but this was more than either of us expected. Paul had the theme and the melody set in November, but three months of frustrating attempts were necessary before the song ‘burst forth.’ On February 19, 1964, the song practically wrote itself.
"It’s theme is a man’s inability to communicate with man. The author sees the extent of communication as it is on only its most superficial and ‘commercial’ level (of which the ‘neon light’ is representative). There is no serious understanding because there is no serious communication - ‘people talking without speaking - hearing without listening.’ No one dares the risk of reaching out (‘take my arms that I might reach you’) to disturb the sound of silence. The poet’s attempts are equally futile (‘…but my words like silence raindrops fell within the well of silence’) The ending is an enigma. I find my own meaning in it, but like most good works, it is best interpreted by each person individually. The work tells us that when meaningful communication fails, the only sound is silence"
Simon & Garfunkel perform eight songs at Neil Young’s Bridge School Benefit, November 6, 1993
Here is my song for the asking
Ask me and I will play
So sweetly, I’ll make you smile
Jerry Landis (aka Paul Simon) — I’d Like To Be (The Lipstick on Your Lips)