About the song
If you are a fan of folk rock music, you probably know the song “The Sound of Silence” by Simon & Garfunkel. But do you know the story behind this iconic song? In this blog post, we will explore the history and meaning of this classic tune that has been covered by many artists over the years.
The song was written by Paul Simon in 1964, when he was 21 years old. He said that he was inspired by his childhood habit of singing in the bathroom with the lights off, which gave him a sense of comfort and reverb. He also said that the song was influenced by some college reading material that dealt with themes of alienation and isolation. The song was originally titled “The Sounds of Silence”, which reflected the plural nature of the silence that Simon felt in his life and in the world.
Simon and Garfunkel recorded the song as an acoustic ballad for their debut album, “Wednesday Morning, 3 A.M.”, which was released in October 1964. However, the album was a commercial failure and the duo split up shortly after. Simon moved to England and Garfunkel went back to college.
Meanwhile, the song started to gain some popularity in some radio stations in Boston and Florida, where it was played as an underground hit. This caught the attention of Tom Wilson, the producer of the album, who decided to remix the song by adding electric instruments and drums, without informing Simon and Garfunkel. He wanted to capitalize on the folk rock trend that was popularized by Bob Dylan and The Byrds.
The remixed version of the song was released as a single in September 1965 and became a huge success. It reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in January 1966 and sold over one million copies. The song also became a hit in many other countries, such as Australia, Austria, Germany, Japan and the Netherlands.
The success of the song brought Simon and Garfunkel back together and they quickly recorded their second album, which was named “Sounds of Silence” after the song. The album also included other famous songs, such as “I Am a Rock” and “Kathy’s Song”. The song was also featured in the 1967 film “The Graduate”, starring Dustin Hoffman and Anne Bancroft, which boosted its popularity even more.
The song is considered a classic of folk rock music and has been praised for its poetic lyrics and haunting melody. It has been interpreted in various ways by different listeners and critics, who have found different meanings and messages in the song. Some have seen it as a commentary on the social and political issues of the 1960s, such as the Vietnam War, the civil rights movement and the assassination of John F. Kennedy. Others have seen it as a reflection of personal feelings of loneliness, depression and alienation. Some have also seen it as a spiritual or religious song, with references to God, prophets and visions.
The song has been covered by many artists from different genres and styles, such as Disturbed, Pentatonix, Gregorian, Emiliana Torrini, Nouela and Paul Desmond. The song has also been parodied by Weird Al Yankovic, who made a humorous version called “The Sound of Squirrels”. The song has also been used in various media forms, such as TV shows, movies, video games and commercials.
“The Sound of Silence” is a song that has transcended time and space and has touched millions of people around the world. It is a song that speaks to the human condition and expresses universal emotions that everyone can relate to. It is a song that has become a part of our culture and history.