Paul Simon’s incredible body of work

I bought Paul Simon’s most recent album, So Beautiful or So What, on the day it came out in April 2011, but I’ve paid real attention to it only in the past month. Like nearly all his work, it has a way of sticking with me. As you review his body of work, you’ll find it sometimes comforting, sometimes thought-provoking, sometimes disturbing, and sometimes just plain fun. It’s always worth coming back to.

I’ve been listening to the song in the video above, Questions for the Angels, several times a day for the past week or so. Here are a few of the questions it poses:

  • If you shop for love in a bargain store, and you don’t get what you bargained for, can you get your money back?
  • If an empty train in a railway station calls you to its destination, can you choose another track?
  • If every human on the planet and all the buildings on it should disappear, would a zebra grazing in the African savanna care enough to shed one zebra tear?

Other lyrics that have stayed with me over the years include:

From Train in the Distance: Everybody loves the sound of a train in the distance, everybody thinks it’s true …. The thought that life could be better is woven indelibly into our hearts and our brains.

From The Boxer: I have squandered my resistance for a pocketful of mumbles, such are promises, all lies and jests, still a man hears what he wants to hear and disregards the rest.

From Slip Slidin’ Away: God only knows, God makes his plan. The information’s unavailable to the mortal man. We’re workin’ our jobs, collect our pay, believe we’re gliding down the highway, when in fact, we’re slip slidin’ away.

From Outrageous: Who’s gonna love you when your looks are gone? God will, like he waters the flowers on the window sill.

What lyrics stick you over time, either from Paul Simon or others? Let me know.

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