This guy’s voice. I get goosebumps every time. Apparently, he was sick for his performance on Conan.
On the back cover of “Wednesday Morning, 3 A.M.” Simon and Garfunkel, who wrote the original song, published a letter Garfunkel had written to Simon after the studio asked Garfunkel to write song descriptions for the album.
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.
Its theme is 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 sign’ is representative). There is no serious understanding because there is no serious communication — ‘people talking without speaking — hearing without listening.’ No one dares take 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 silent raindrops fell within the wells 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 words tell us that when meaningful communication fails, the only sound is silence.Garfunkel
I also read somewhere that Garfunkel’s version represents a warning, while Disturbed’s version represents rage since the warning was ignored.
Hello darkness, my old friend I've come to talk with you again Because a vision softly creeping Left its seeds while I was sleeping And the vision that was planted in my brain Still remains Within the sound of silence In restless dreams, I walked alone Narrow streets of cobblestone 'Neath the halo of a street lamp I turned my collar to the cold and damp When my eyes were stabbed by the flash of a neon light That split the night And touched the sound of silence And in the naked light, I saw Ten thousand people, maybe more People talking without speaking People hearing without listening People writing songs that voices never shared And no one dared Disturb the sound of silence "Fools" said I, "You do not know Silence like a cancer grows Hear my words that I might teach you Take my arms that I might reach you" But my words, like silent raindrops fell And echoed in the wells of silence And the people bowed and prayed To the neon god they made And the sign flashed out its warning In the words that it was forming Then the sign said, "The words on the prophets are written on the subway walls In tenement halls" And whispered in the sound of silence
High five to Cody who introduced this version to me a while back.