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The Sound of Silence
Song

The Sound of Silence

Simon and Garfunkel
Album:
Sound of Silence

Song Meaning and Background of The Sound of Silence by Simon and Garfunkel


"The Sound of Silence" is characterized by its enigmatic and thought-provoking lyrics that invite interpretation. The song explores themes of isolation, disillusionment, and the breakdown of meaningful communication. The opening lines, "Hello darkness, my old friend / I've come to talk with you again," set a contemplative tone, immediately drawing the listener into a world of introspection.


The concept of silence is a recurring motif throughout the song, symbolizing not only a lack of audible sound but also a metaphorical silence in human connection. The lyrics paint a picture of a society that is unable or unwilling to engage in meaningful discourse, resulting in a pervasive sense of loneliness and alienation.


Its inclusion in the soundtrack of the film "The Graduate" solidified its status as a symbol of the 1960s counterculture.


With the remixed version, "The Sound of Silence" soared to the top of the charts, reaching number one on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1966. Simon & Garfunkel's success with the song marked the beginning of their illustrious career, paving the way for further hits and establishing them as one of the most influential musical acts of the 1960s.


Lyrics of The Sound of Silence by Simon and Garfunkel


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 streetlamp

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 share

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

And the sign said, "The words of the prophets

Are written on the subway walls

And tenement halls

And whispered in the sounds of silence."

Release Date

1964

Songwriter/s

Paul Simon

Producer/s

Tom Wilson

Label/s

Columbia

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