Disturbed – The Sound of Silence

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.


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.

Talk to me, Goose.

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