Song lyric Sunday prompt: clear/dark/light: “The Sound of Silence.”

For “Song Lyric Sunday” prompt by Jim Adams, I chose “The Sound of Silence” by Simon and Garfunkel. The rules are to post the lyrics and link to the YouTube video.

Original prompt site:

Now let me preface this by saying this song is WAAAAAY before my time.

But I like the significance of the contrast between darkness with artificial light; everyone looks uglier that way and it makes the revelation of the emotional chasm between people feel even sadder and more pathetic. How often in the course of a single day at work do we experience talking/hearing (even simply hearing is rare) rather than true speaking/listening? In most cases, I think it would be better not to say anything all than to open your mouth and have your isolation confirmed. Someone asks, “how are you?” and they pray you don’t answer with the truth. (I’m not even going to discuss phones.) Our inner lives remain dark to everyone else around us. But I’m not certain what kind of light would have to shine upon us to help us see more clearly.

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.”

5 thoughts on “Song lyric Sunday prompt: clear/dark/light: “The Sound of Silence.”

  1. An interesting interpretation. Back then, young men were being sent off to Vietnam with no real reason given as to why. There was silence from the fathers while their sons were dying for some “neon god.” Simon is equating that silence with cancer. But a great song can have many meanings.

    Liked by 1 person

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