A song-by-song analysis/commentary that every (*more or less) tune written and published by Paul Simon.




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Is it important to analysis this song? It"s among the many straightforward of every one of Simon"s songs, informing the story of a marriage, native its prelude v to its epilogue. The "moral that the story" is even spelled the end in the last chorus.Now, there is a mistake in the lyrics at Simon"s website. It claims "He was old/she was young." This is wrong. In the song itself, Simon seems to sing: "He to be old/ he to be young." This, when it appears self-contradictory, is corroborated by 2 sources. One is the liner notes of the album.The various other is the new book Lyrics: 1964-2011, which ns purchased at Paul Simon"s concert below in the Chicago area critical night. (Now that the book is out, who at the website must really invest a couple of days doing line-by-line proofreading.)The difference is enormous. The incorrect version appears a straightforward statement of fact as to their relative ages. The correct version gives one that the just enigmatic present of the totality song. "He was old," in years, perhaps-- however in every other way, he to be "young." Romantic, impulsive, ambitious...The story starts through a older guy attracted come a younger, married woman (her husband is immaterial to all concerned, dismissed together a just "someone"). Our hero would certainly "tip his heart" rather of his hand (the term originates from playing cards), an interpretation that he made his amorous intentions known. However even though she at first "withdrew," she hears the sound of the distant train as much as the does ("everybody" hears, it, after all).The next procedures seem automatic and also inevitable: "Eventually" they marry, "sure enough" they have a boy. But even when she to be pregnant, "disagreements had begun."It is no clear as soon as the child is born, loved one to their divorce. But divorce castle do, although they "they remain in contact." The heat "Let united state say it’s for the child," means that this is not the true reason, yet one that seems reasonable and acceptable come both and also to the families and also community associated (is the real reason the they space still rather attracted to each other?).The word "disagreements" comes up again, this time through regard to the "marriage contract," however again much more is walking on. Definitely lawyers can (although expensively) dispute that, professionally and coolly. Your "conversations," at the same time are "hard and wild" and also obviously about things much more personal and also intimate than just legalities.Was over there something,,, there? Well, "from time come time, he simply makes she laugh/ She cooks a enjoy the meal or two." Here, we have a disagreement, to borrow a word, around lyrics again. The website and also album note say "he renders her laugh," while the tune itself and the Lyrics publication have the "he simply makes she laugh." This is no as crucial an worry as the debated pronoun above, yet it does walk to a central theme of the song.Which is the it had actually to happen this way, going ago to as soon as he "doggedly" hounded and wooed her. This goes with the "eventual" and also "sure enough" phases discussed above to just how they "just dropped apart." and now, that "just renders her laugh." that doesn"t it seems to be ~ to typical to, yet something he states "just" strikes her together terribly amusing.The stare breaks, during the divorce chapter, for the speaker to insert an observation about the characters: "Two disappointed believers/ Two world playing the game." lock do believe in love, however are disappointed by marriage. Rather of loving every other and also working towards compromises because that the development of the union, they space "playing" against each other, every trying to success and breakthrough his or her own interests.The expression "negotiations and love songs" would become the location of one of Simon"s compilations that hits, yet here it method that love songs, v which one hopes to win the love of the other, are frequently little more then sales pitches, in i m sorry the singer really hopes to win, period. However while dogs follow cars, what would a dog do with a auto if it recorded one? What good is to win if, now that you have actually sealed the deal and also gotten married, the game is over? then the power battle moves right into the marital relationship itself, v everyone losing.Why? Why does every one of this need to happen, through the forgone nature that one "train" automobile following the following down a predetermined track? that is not outside fate exactly, Simon theorizes, yet how our brains space wired (or "woven") because that ambition and innovation of our situations: "The believed that life can be better/ Is woven indelibly/ into our hearts/ and our brains."It"s not the track that needs to it is in explained, after all. It"s the people in the story, a story so lacking in detail that the personalities never even get names. We have all heard the some pair that this story, in some form, has actually happened to. So it is essential to asking why such a story is so sadly common.Still, there is part growth. "The boy and also the girl acquire married," yet after lock divorce, "the man and also the woman remain in contact." lock haven"t merely grown older, they have grown up.And, if one of two people one walk marry again, it could actually go "better." for her, she left her very first marriage because that this man. But this time, she leaves her second husband for herself. Certainly, she will need to be mature enough to think of the affect this would have actually for she child. Yet if she walk marry again, it should be because that the right reasons.Meanwhile, he to be old when he started this adventure, and now the is a father.

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Still, that is "dogged" and "young" in a way, so perhaps he will have an additional shot as well.Did ambition and also competition damage this marriage, even prior to it had begun? Yes. Will the very same thing take place in the following go-round? Well, as Samuel Johnson explained, "Second marital relationship is the triumph that hope end experience."Next Song: Rene and also George Magritte through Their Dog after ~ The War