Welcome to Go ROCK Yourself, this week’s song of the week has seen a resurgence in a way. Recently Disturbed did a rendition of it that brought it back to the forefront. However, we will be specifically mentioning the original artist version of the song. If you have not heard the original version, here is the video below this paragraph.
This song has a bit of an eerie beginning, a lone guitar surrounds the lyrics like waves crashing around a sailboat making its way through the Indian Ocean. In order to understand where the song is coming from, first we must recognize the time period it was written in. Although some say that the song is about the JFK assassination, Paul Simon has stated in interviews that the song was written when he was 21, which was much before John F Kennedy was even elected as President. In order to uncover what Simon & Garfunkel may have been talking about, we will conduct a lyrical analysis beginning with the first verse that is listed below.
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
Within the sound of silence
To me, this is talking about fear within oneself about any given situation. It is that fear of the unknown that is mentioned. Sometimes there are random things that can “softly creep” into our minds that make us shudder. It is obvious that the vision that “left it’s seeds while sleeping” that is mentioned in this lyric was not a pleasant one. It has to of been a vivid vision that remains. The sound of silence is more than just the title of the song, it is an idea about darkness that is found within ourselves, even though the world around us may be silent, we still feel pain on the inside, which is the sounds 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
A lot of times whenever there is depression, there is a feeling of loneliness, whenever you hear the “sound of silence” you start to notice things around you that you have not paid much attention to. That is why in this verse it mentions the streets and the neon in the second part of the section. Below is the remainder of the song
People writing songs that voices never share
And no one dare
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
And the words that it was forming
And the sign said,
“The words of the prophets are written on the subway walls
And tenement halls.”
And whispered in the sound of silence.
The reason I grouped all of the rest together is because it focuses on one ideal. It is almost group think without a prompt. Unspoken fear of embarrassment is what cripples creativity. If by chance you have something that you created, you must share it, it does not matter if 10 or 20 people do not like it. The reason it does not matter is because that is 10 or 20 people out of several billion who live on this earth. Never ever give up on what you dream, because if you do, you will just become part of the crowd. Not to mention you will have to deal with the sound of silence, also known as, regret.
Silence has no physical sound, but it does have feeling that can affect you in a very negative manner if you are not careful.
We only have one life to live, live it without fear. Everyone is important.