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Simon & Garfunkel — American Tune
Album: The Concert in Central Park
Avg rating:
7.9

Your rating:
Total ratings: 1234









Released: 1982
Length: 4:12
Plays (last 30 days): 0
Many's the time I've been mistaken
And many times confused
Yes, and often felt forsaken
And certainly misused
But I'm all right, I'm all right
I'm just weary to my bones
Still, you don't expect to be
Bright and bon vivant
So far away from home, so far away from home

And I don't know a soul who's not been battered
I don't have a friend who feels at ease
I don't know a dream that's not been shattered
Or driven to its knees
But it's all right, it's all right
We've lived so well so long
Still, when I think of the road
We're traveling on
I wonder what went wrong
I can't help it, I wonder what went wrong

And I dreamed I was dying
And I dreamed that my soul rose unexpectedly
And looking back down at me
Smiled reassuringly
And I dreamed I was flying
And high up above my eyes could clearly see
The Statue of Liberty
Sailing away to sea
And I dreamed I was flying

We come on the ship they call the Mayflower
We come on the ship that sailed the moon
We come in the age's most uncertain hour
And sing an American tune
But it's all right, it's all right
You can't be forever blessed
Still, tomorrow's going to be another working day
And I'm trying to get some rest
That's all I'm trying to get some rest
Comments (134)add comment
love Simon and Garfunkel
But  The ship that sailed the moon
The Mayflower Yuck Wasn't that the begining of the end  sis-boom-bah-ekk
 boober wrote:
{#Stupid}He uses a lot of big words
 
No he doesn't. Unless one missed a few years of school and can't be bothered to read.
this is terrible, and I apologize in advance, but it still cracks me up.

Q- What's the definition of art?

A -The lame half of Simon and Garfunkel

I know, I know, sorry!
I love a lot of S&G, and a lot of Paul Simon's solo work - some of it is among the best.

For me, this particular song is nowhere near in that league - it's a bit cheesy for my taste.
Paul Simon often seems to get overlooked as one of the best songwriters ever but I think he deserves the recognition for songs such as this.
That Magic.
 Businessgypsy wrote:
Interesting little artifact of the Carter administration malaise.

 
But originally written in the Nixon Administration
For me, the original Paul Simon solo version captures a feeling that this just doesn't.
 vandal wrote:

American Tune isn't even within the same realm of existence as Bridge Over Troubled Water. . .  

 
That's a funny way to put it, but I agree.  I think many of their tunes are fantastic - or even transcendent - but never felt that so much about this one.
I think that it starts out a bit rusty, but, wow, it gets going well soon enough, and then settles right into their peerless quantum harmony!
Doensn't get much better than S&G.
 joelbb wrote:
Paul Simon went all the way back to J. S. Bach to steal this tune.  In the end, for all his ability, he's a whiny, musical klepto.

 
Bach used an existing melody for his music. It's an old hymn.
{#Stupid}He uses a lot of big words
Do we need this today or what.  I do.  Thank you.
Just turned on RP at work, this song is the first I'm hearing, right from the beginning... it's gonna be a good day. {#Good-vibes} 
 xkolibuul wrote:

And exactly which music is sui generis?  

 
Well, Phil Collins lives half the year in Switzerland so I suppose that would be Suisse Genesis.

What? 
I love these guys,

Almost got to see this concert...made it to the park with a cooler full of Heineken to meet friends me and my then wife met on our honeymoon the year before and due to the overwhelming amount of people we never met up and never got close to the stage so we listened to the concert and ended up making about $20 selling a good portion of the beer.  What a great day - just glad we didn't get a ticket for illegally selling beer.


 Businessgypsy wrote:
Interesting little artifact of the Carter administration malaise.

 
Oh, gosh, you're right. I'd forgotten the time period and this did fit it well.
So good. 
Interesting little artifact of the Carter administration malaise.

This is soul-crushing dull.



Everybody in my multitude of mushrooming churches loves this song...
 joelbb wrote:
Paul Simon went all the way back to J. S. Bach to steal this tune.  In the end, for all his ability, he's a whiny, musical klepto.
 
And exactly which music is sui generis?  
this song makes me cry....
Paul Simon went all the way back to J. S. Bach to steal this tune.  In the end, for all his ability, he's a whiny, musical klepto.
 Queue wrote:
I love S&G, and appreciate the significance of this concert,  but I can't stand that "piano" that pervades throughout. 

Give me the original recordings any day over this Central Park stuff.
 
That's a Fender Rhodes electric piano through a phaser effect.



Everybody in my hotel room loves this song...

 
 CMax wrote:
One on my favorite concerts. 18 in new york, with new university friends.. getting cozy with the girls on the next blanket over.  great memories.. an american moment.
 

Yep — that was me there too, age 18...
I'm generally not a fan of live shows, especially these huge ones.  Good tune, but I prefer the studio version.
Simon - Garfunkel = listenable

Simon + Garfunkel  = The Folksmen (minus one)

 eswiley2 wrote:
Second only to Bridge Over Troubled Water.
 
American Tune isn't even within the same realm of existence as Bridge Over Troubled Water. . . 
 
 Queue wrote:
I love S&G, and appreciate the significance of this concert,  but I can't stand that "piano" that pervades throughout. 

Give me the original recordings any day over this Central Park stuff.
 
With the electric piano, think of the concert in central park as the largest Bar Mitzvah ever . . .

I love S&G, and appreciate the significance of this concert,  but I can't stand that "piano" that pervades throughout. 

Give me the original recordings any day over this Central Park stuff.
One on my favorite concerts. 18 in new york, with new university friends.. getting cozy with the girls on the next blanket over.  great memories.. an american moment.
 catnip wrote:
I'm not a great one for live versions, but this one does it for me. My sister (hello Fishtank Lady!) and I used to have a cassette version of the Concert in Central Park which we took on holiday with us aged twelve or so, and forced our parents (classical music lovers mostly) to listen to it almost constantly over the course of a two-week car tour of south-western France. I am surprised that they still talk to us, and I'm also surprised that I can still listen to it, but the first thing my sister and I did before going on a road trip in southern Spain more than twenty-five years later was stop by the record shop and pick up a CD copy. Worth every centimo (even if I still have the cassettes).

Still sends shivers down the spine...
 
Thanks for sharing this lovely memory! It made me grin, and also gave me a new appreciation for Simon and Garfunkel, because some of their music can still give me shivers, too - in the best possible way...  {#High-five} to a "kindred spirit."

 daisymaybee wrote:
One of my very, very favorites!
 
 


Yes, this song is a contender...  from one of America's greatest musical poets...  and this concert was poignant...



One of my very, very favorites!
 
Second only to Bridge Over Troubled Water.
"Words by Paul Simon music by JS Bach" I thought I recognized that tune. O Sacred Head Now Wounded. "Pas­sion Chor­ale, Hans L. Hass­ler, Lust­gar­ten neu­er teutsch­er Ge­säng, 1601; har­mo­ny by Jo­hann S. Bach, 1729."

 TanteJensen wrote:
Ok, this is being very smartassy, BUT the church song (by Paul Gerhardt) is a cover as well. The original melody and text were written bei Hans Leo Haßler around 1600, and it was a love song: "Mein G'müt ist mir verwirret, das macht ein Jungfrau zart" ("Dazed and confused, and the reason is a girl" roughly). 

 

Cool!
Many hymns are borrowed from an older traditional melody. {#Yes} 
beautiful melody, beautiful song
The Concert at Central Park was such an important album for those of us coming into musical maturity in the early 80s. I believe it was also given away as a free cassette when you bought a Betamax video player so that it was the only pre-recorded video in a lot of households around then.

I too had it on double cassette and fell in love with those live versions of classic songs. Thanks for playing this. 
seiferth wrote:
The anthem of those under 50 despite when it was released. Yeah there are oblique references to WWII and it ignores the recent more imperialist America but basically, it's what it's like nowdays. What a beautiful song.
Hardly, but it did capture the malaise of the Carter Administration perfectly. We've moved on.

I'm surprised they didn't have the decency to look back and realise they had been treated to potentially the best ever live album by way of Concert in Central Park
I'm not a great one for live versions, but this one does it for me. My sister (hello Fishtank Lady!) and I used to have a cassette version of the Concert in Central Park which we took on holiday with us aged twelve or so, and forced our parents (classical music lovers mostly) to listen to it almost constantly over the course of a two-week car tour of south-western France. I am surprised that they still talk to us, and I'm also surprised that I can still listen to it, but the first thing my sister and I did before going on a road trip in southern Spain more than twenty-five years later was stop by the record shop and pick up a CD copy. Worth every centimo (even if I still have the cassettes).

Still sends shivers down the spine...


I remember listening to this song a few years back, in my car just coming off the freeway, and how it hit me so hard. It was one of those moments that comes along every once in a while.
 bhudevi wrote:
Eva Cassidy does an amazing cover of this song
 

Yes she does.  Eva has some gems in her collection.  This song
American Tune kept me going when I lived overseas.
Still a great tune {#Music}
The anthem of those under 50 despite when it was released. Yeah there are oblique references to WWII and it ignores the recent more imperialist America but basically, it's what it's like nowdays.  What a beautiful song.
 On_The_Beach wrote:
I usually like Art's vocals but in this case I prefer Paul's version on There Goes Rymin' Simon.
 
I would love to hear the studio version on RP. TGRS is such a great album.

a great song, performed with all the musical excitement you'd expect in the lounge of the holiday inn on the highway just outside of town.

snore.
Simon and Garfunkel are two brilliant, and brilliantly matched poets, who happen to harmonize beautifully. I can see them back in the days of King James, as jester's and singers, being fed at the whim of the King...ohhhhh yeah, they were fed royally!!
Okay, there is a big part of this that is taken from an old hymn, 'Oh Sacred Head, Now Wounded*.  The 'Come on the ship they call Mayflower' part is where I can hear it.... 

  okay, just saw where pyro and bokey were talking about this earlier.... Note to self, read back-posts before commenting....
I usually like Art's vocals but in this case I prefer Paul's version on There Goes Rymin' Simon.
 vit wrote:
These guys provide some of the same good vibes for me as good classic Brooklyn hip hop. I think it's the culture of the city of New York just steeped into every verse. Subdued vivacity? Some sort of wisdom? Exceptions as the norm? Hell I don't know, but love or hate NYC as a place its culture has put out some awesome music.

  I'm a West coaster born and bred and have to agree that NYC is one helluva place. This song is beautiful, too.


how appropriate a song for our times... odd, especially considering it's 36 years old.
I'm an American and I love Simon and Garfunkel.

These guys provide some of the same good vibes for me as good classic Brooklyn hip hop. I think it's the culture of the city of New York just steeped into every verse. Subdued vivacity? Some sort of wisdom? Exceptions as the norm? Hell I don't know, but love or hate NYC as a place its culture has put out some awesome music.

 oldsinger wrote:
How can you not love S&G music!
 

Let me refrain that: How can you?

Sometimes I just want to retreat from the workaday world and listen to Simon & Garfunkel all day long.

{#Daisy}
Ok, this is being very smartassy, BUT the church song (by Paul Gerhardt) is a cover as well. The original melody and text were written bei Hans Leo Haßler around 1600, and it was a love song: "Mein G'mÃŒt ist mir verwirret, das macht ein Jungfrau zart" ("Dazed and confused, and the reason is a girl" roughly). Sry, but I can't stand the christians getting any credit they don't deserve. :devil_pimp: Still great.
Eva Cassidy does an amazing cover of this song
pret-a-porter wrote:
wah wah wah oh woe is me - it's so hard to be a united statesian am I missing something or is this song a very offensive apologist polemic for colonialism
I'd say you're missing everything. This is a song about hope, facing the future with optimism and determination. In fact, I think it is ultimately about redemption. OBTW, wasn't Canada a colony at one point, too? I guess we just took two different paths to independence.
ruthless wrote:
Just as valid now as it was in the 70's.
More so. Just brilliant.
philbertr wrote:
So well said!
Sweet and nostalgic...for both the America we expected and don't quite have yet, and for the sweet musical marriage that S & G once had :cry:
I started 2008 listening to Paul Simon, my vinyl There Goes Rhymin' Simon and Still Crazy After All These Years. Seemed to me like a great way to start a new year. :clap: I love this song, and the sweet harmonies.
bokey wrote:
Hey I remember that(with the help of google) #172 in The Lutheran Hymnal.Wow.Elemenatary school flashbacks. (allright,I'll go stand in the corner again.All I did was ask how we could possibly know if the bible is true) 1. O sacred Head, now wounded, With grief and shame weighed down, Now scornfully surrounded With thorns, Thine only crown. Men mock and taunt and jeer Thee, Thou noble countenance, Though mighty worlds shall fear Thee And flee before Thy glance. How art thou pale with anguish, With sore abuse and scorn! How doth Thy visage languish That once was bright as morn!
Wow, thanks for this! I had heard something familiar in the tune, but never pinned it down. Damn, these guys sound smooth in this concert!
Just as valid now as it was in the 70's.
steeler wrote:
Understated brilliance. Quiet dignity. Elegantly probing.
So well said!
stet wrote:
The Central Park concert album that this comes from is total one-stop shopping for S&G.
I concur - I have their box set but only listen to the Central Park album.
The Central Park concert album that this comes from is total one-stop shopping for S&G.
Understated brilliance. Quiet dignity. Elegantly probing.
badabumm wrote:
Strange, I know this song from church. I'm a protestant Lutherian and the song was called "Oh Haupt voll Blut und Wunden" <"oh head, covered with blood and wounds" it would rougly translate> and was about Jesus at the cross. Definitely heard it before 1990, when S&G came out with theirs. . .
Hey I remember that(with the help of google) #172 in The Lutheran Hymnal. Wow. Elemenatary school flashbacks. (allright,I'll go stand in the corner again. All I did was ask how we could possibly know if the bible is true) 1. O sacred Head, now wounded, With grief and shame weighed down, Now scornfully surrounded With thorns, Thine only crown. Men mock and taunt and jeer Thee, Thou noble countenance, Though mighty worlds shall fear Thee And flee before Thy glance. How art thou pale with anguish, With sore abuse and scorn! How doth Thy visage languish That once was bright as morn!
Very nice.
My favourite S & G. I like the music as much as the lyric.
Classic White Boy Soul.....S&G can truly grasp your soul and tear it into very neat bite sized pieces..... :cool:
wah wah wah oh woe is me - it's so hard to be a united statesian am I missing something or is this song a very offensive apologist polemic for colonialism
How can you not love S&G music!
Mmmmm one of my most favorite bands of all time!
meower215 wrote:
& now, with the possibility for change. . . possibility I say, not probability..... but there is finally hope
Unfortunately we're going to have to wait until after Xmas to see the sparks really fly. (Except for Rumsfeld.) Still, that just puts it closer to the 2008 elections, which can't hurt under the new CW.
I'm singing it, so it is from so many years
mojoman wrote:
To put this song in it's cultural context, it was released at the height of the Nixon Watergate scandal, the bad end to the Vietnam War and other "downers." It was incredibly meaningful then. I wonder if that's why Bill has chosen it now.
& now, with the possibility for change. . . possibility I say, not probability..... but there is finally hope
Relaxing harmony
To put this song in it's cultural context, it was released at the height of the Nixon Watergate scandal, the bad end to the Vietnam War and other "downers." It was incredibly meaningful then. I wonder if that's why Bill has chosen it now.
Willie Nelson does an excellent cover of this song.
This song always brings tears to my eyes.
So corny it's good!
Daveinbawlmer wrote:
:yawn: :yawn: :yawn: :yawn: :yawn: :yawn:
You've lost your soul.
:yawn: :yawn: :yawn: :yawn: :yawn: :yawn:
I heard this today and am still singing it after 11 hours. So perfect. Yes Edie is a lucky girl, and she's earned it too.
After 9/11 I listened to this a lot and drew comfort from it. Beautiful song.
eclipse601 wrote:
Trying this again, miffed it the first time. Your dose of trivia for the day ... Bach also lifted it. The original author was a guy named Hans Leo Hassler, who wrote it as a song of unrequited love in about 1600 or so. All three (Hassler, Bach, and Simon) used it well, but Hassler gets credit for the killer Tune.
Beatles did that as well, with "Michelle," I believe, having either the chorus or verses lifted somewhat from Bach :curtain: :yes:
There are still some things that can bring a cynical codger to tears...almost
Tragically timely, and so many years after it was written.
We come on the ship they call the Mayflower We come on the ship that sailed the moon We come in the age's most uncertain hour And sing an American tune. But it's alright, it's alright You can't be forever blessed. Still, tomorrow's going to be another working day And I'm trying to get some rest That's all I'm trying to get some rest. Priceless. :sunny:
Sigh. I don't care that he looks like a troll, or that he's about 4 inches shorter than me, or that he's already married to that large-mouthed Edie Brickell (they ARE still married, right?)... I would be Paul Simon's love slave, just to hear him strum his guitar and sing to me on a regular basis. Sigh. (Plus, we share the same birthday... we could celebrate together! Of course we'd invite all you RPeeps.)
It doesn't get any better than this. :clap: :clap: :clap: :notworthy: :notworthy: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap:
:notworthy: :notworthy: :notworthy: :clap: :clap: :notworthy: :notworthy: :notworthy:
Another Saturday night, stuck in front of the computer, writing the dissertation -- school's started and I'm a migrating teacher at two different universities. And I finally heard from my friend in NO and she and her family are OK. I'm just trying to get some rest ... I really needed to hear that song.
As true today as it was 30 some years ago. Sad.
And I don't know a soul who's not been battered I don't have a friend who feels at ease I don't know a dream that's not been shattered or driven to its knees But it's alright, it's alright, for we live so well, so long Still, when I think of the road we're traveling on I wonder what's gone wrong, I can't help it I wonder what's gone wrong
:sleep:
Mrs. Fish's favorite. She asked me to say thanks, Bill. Outstanding tune.
Clear, pristine beauty.
Especially a song like this makes clear how much they owe to The Everly Brothers, but in some ways they took it (much) further. Really beautiful for an incurable, inveterate romantic.
I agree, make it the national anthem! I saw them live in my town.....the songs were still profound and spoke clearly of all the things within the human spirit-it was and is timeless music and lyrics...it held up today as well as it did back in those days....it was awesome to hear such inspiration floating over the airwaves :clap:
I've thought for at least 20 years that this should be made the national anthem. It's truly beautiful and awe-inspiring -- and honest. Ditch that old English drinking song with the lyrics about the fort being attacked that nobody can sing.
Love this song, but prefer Paul's solo original. Willie Nelson also does a nice version of this and of Graceland on his great Across the Borderline CD.
Songs like these are the reason I keep listening to RP.
skindy wrote:
Just beautiful. Paul Simon is simply a genius, and arguably the best songwriter of the last 50 years, hands down. The pairing of his writing and voice with the voice of Art Garfunkel is one of the great gifts of music! :notworthy:
:nodhead: :clap: :goodvibes: :music:
WOW!! Simon and Garfunkel really know how to rock!!! :drummer:
depski2003 wrote:
Has anyone ever heard the Indigo GIrls' cover on this song? They do it acapella - just their two beautiful voices intertwining in major and minor harmonies. If you have never heard it, find it! It may be the only cover that I've ever thought was better than the original - and considering that Paul Simon was the original, that's saying something! 8)
I would love to hear that!
Playlist: 8:49 am - Simon and Garfunkel - American Tune 8:41 am - Don McLean - American Pie 8:37 am - Steve Forbert - The American In Me 8:34 am - Tom Petty - American Girl Cool....
Has anyone ever heard the Indigo GIrls' cover on this song? They do it acapella - just their two beautiful voices intertwining in major and minor harmonies. If you have never heard it, find it! It may be the only cover that I've ever thought was better than the original - and considering that Paul Simon was the original, that's saying something! 8)
eclipse601 wrote:
Trying this again, miffed it the first time. Your dose of trivia for the day ... Bach also lifted it. The original author was a guy named Hans Leo Hassler, who wrote it as a song of unrequited love in about 1600 or so. All three (Hassler, Bach, and Simon) used it well, but Hassler gets credit for the killer Tune.
Dang, you RP folk are so sharp! Thanks for the information. P.S. I also agree with those who state that Paul Simon is one of the best American songwriters of the last 50 years.
Hummingbird wrote:
Simon based the verses on a beautiful chorale from Bach's St. Matthew Passion. (He did a similar classical-to-pop-adaptation with Orlando di Lasso's Benedictus on the album Wednesday Morning 3AM, with equally satisfactory results. It's one of the most gorgeous songs I know, the harmonies want to make you cry!)
Trying this again, miffed it the first time. Your dose of trivia for the day ... Bach also lifted it. The original author was a guy named Hans Leo Hassler, who wrote it as a song of unrequited love in about 1600 or so. All three (Hassler, Bach, and Simon) used it well, but Hassler gets credit for the killer Tune.
badabumm wrote:
Definitely heard it before 1990, when S&G came out with theirs...
Yes, as explained below, Paul Simon borrowed religious music, but... 1990?!?! - That's the release date of this particular CD (maybe remixed/remasterd, bonus tracks added). They haven't recorded any new songs together in my lifetime.
glad my P's raised me right... love this tune!
badabumm wrote:
Strange, I know this song from church.
Simon based the verses on a beautiful chorale from Bach's St. Matthew Passion. (He did a similar classical-to-pop-adaptation with Orlando di Lasso's Benedictus on the album Wednesday Morning 3AM, with equally satisfactory results. It's one of the most gorgeous songs I know, the harmonies want to make you cry!)