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Simon & Garfunkel — The Only Living Boy In New York
Album: Bridge Over Troubled Water
Avg rating:
8.5

Your rating:
Total ratings: 1326









Released: 1969
Length: 3:54
Plays (last 30 days): 0
Tom, get your plane right on time
I know your part'll go fine
Fly down to Mexico
Doh-n-doh-de-doh-n-doh
And here I am
The only living boy in New York

I get the news I need
On the weather report
Oh, I can gather all the news I need
On the weather report
Hey, I've got nothing to do today
But smile, de-doh-n-doh-de-doh
And here I am
The only living boy in New York

Half of the time we're gone
But we don't know where
And we don't know where

Ah-ah-ah
Ah-ah-ah
Ah-ah-ah-ah-ah-ah-ah
Here I am

Half of the time we're gone
But we don't know where
And we don't know where

Tom, get your plane right on time
I know that you've been eager to fly now
Hey let your honesty shine, shine, shine now
Doh-n-doh-de-doh-n-doh
Like it shines on me
The only living boy in New York
The only living boy in New York

Ah-ah-ah
Ah-ah-ah
Ah-ah-ah-ah-ah-ah-ah
Here I am

Ah-ah-ah
Ah-ah-ah
Ah-ah-ah-ah-ah-ah-ah
Here I am
Comments (153)add comment
There are no artists who better portray the beauty of the music which developed in the 1960's.
Was there ever any better harmony than these 2?
Great movie too.
Long Live                                                                                                                Radio Paradise
To me this is a STRONG                                                                               8 - Most Excellent                                                                                                       
i have loved this song forever, but even with reading the lyrics, i still can't figure out what it's really about. what's the story?
We should all have hair like Art G. 
Does Bill watch SNL - He must - A tribute to Sean Spicer {#Fight}
I love this song and will likely always love this song, but currently it belongs to Melissa McCarthy lol.
 GeorgeMWoods wrote:
Marc Cohn does an incredible version of this song. Maybe better than the original. 

 

EBTG's cover is also pretty well.

But those 2 NY gents are out of the league in all respect.

 
Marc Cohn does an incredible version of this song. Maybe better than the original. 
What a classic. Great arrangement, so much going on... yet it all fits together so well... never tire of hearing it.
I looked back in the comments for this, but didn't see it. For those who like this song, you may like this: Quadraphonic Mix - Simon & Garfunkel - The Only Living Boy in New York (Rear Speakers)

You can hear so much more in Simon's voice - and the harmonies and chant-like things going on in the background. Enjoy.
Quite possibly fave S&G song of all time.  Love it.  10. 
Yeah, thats what I love.
This is nice, but is there any chance of following it up with "The only living boy in New Cross"?
 amen

Orodrigues wrote:
Oh, man, don't make an old man cry...

 


Magic. Transcendent. Perfection. 
 bobcanna1 wrote:
They just don't make them like this anymore.... thanks Paul, Simon & RP!

 
I mean Art, not Simon .....  Wow, back to reality. 
They just don't make them like this anymore.... thanks Paul, Simon & RP!
Great segue!  I was just thinking how much the guitar in Allison Road sounded like the Birds!
Top 5 of all time. A perfect song, if that's possible.
 medoras wrote:
This song, among many others that Paul Simon has written, demonstrates why he is one of the most talented musical poets of the 20th. century.

With Art Garfunkel as a partner, it doesn't get much better.

 
^ Yes. {#Yes} {#Notworthy} {#Meditate} {#Good-vibes}
This song, among many others that Paul Simon has written, demonstrates why he is one of the most talented musical poets of the 20th. century.

With Art Garfunkel as a partner, it doesn't get much better.
Oh, man, don't make an old man cry...
yep, chills....
Sounds so fresh and new - could easily be coming out of on of the Nu Folk groups.

But of course it was recorded 45 years ago, unbefreakinglievable 
 On_The_Beach wrote:
"Heeeeere I aaam" . . . goosebumps every time.
Guess I gotta bump it to 10.
https://www.soundstagedirect.com/media/simon_and_garfunkle_bridge_over_troubled_water.jpg

 

I think I would enjoy that. Trying to find it. 

fiddler wrote:
I loved watching the documentary on the making of this album. I think it's called The Harmony Game. The reverb on this is THE real deal...apparently dragged all their gear over to the chapel on the campus of Columbia. It's chilling for me to think about what that session must have sounded like in there. That whole documentary is amazing! Such craftsmen in both writing and recording. MUCH can still be learned about the art of recording and producing from tracks like this and others from the pre-digital age. A true testimonial to the sonic beauty of not being lazy.

 


 fiddler wrote:
I loved watching the documentary on the making of this album. I think it's called The Harmony Game. The reverb on this is THE real deal...apparently dragged all their gear over to the chapel on the campus of Columbia. It's chilling for me to think about what that session must have sounded like in there. That whole documentary is amazing! Such craftsmen in both writing and recording. MUCH can still be learned about the art of recording and producing from tracks like this and others from the pre-digital age. A true testimonial to the sonic beauty of not being lazy.

 
Excellent post. 
There's something quite sublime about this. {#Good-vibes}
Quite simply, sublime.
I loved watching the documentary on the making of this album. I think it's called The Harmony Game. The reverb on this is THE real deal...apparently dragged all their gear over to the chapel on the campus of Columbia. It's chilling for me to think about what that session must have sounded like in there. That whole documentary is amazing! Such craftsmen in both writing and recording. MUCH can still be learned about the art of recording and producing from tracks like this and others from the pre-digital age. A true testimonial to the sonic beauty of not being lazy.

I have always loved S&G, but I have to say ... didn't really know this one until Garden State.  Nevertheless ... always enjoy hearing it now ...



 
more brilliance  {#Crown}
 djengs wrote:

Yep. Over-produced in places, but who can say? If that was the sound they were striving for, then exactly-produced. Some truly classic songs on this album, this being one.

 
Yes indeed.  I just ripped this album to my hard drive from the Collected Works compilation.  When I played it back, I was kinda horrified to hear that it was so poorly recorded, almost sonic garbage.  I loved the album from when it was new and played it endlessly, yet never heard it on anything good until this past week.  I still love it as an album and a time marker for the time(s) when it was released.

Perhaps it has been cleaned up with new technology.  I sure hope it has because it is so deserving of sounding so much better. 

Just to be clear not commenting on the track in the library here, didn't hear it this time around.
 oldsaxon wrote:
Isn't anyone going to say this would be better without Paul Simon? That's the usual result of playing one of his songs.

 
There would not be this song without Paul Simon. So, no.
{#Cheers} ........ yep, it's G O D L I K E
Hoka hey Bobert!  S & G musical masterpiece to be sure!
Hey, I've nothin' to do today but smile...

A damn fine ethos!


 oldsaxon wrote:
Isn't anyone going to say this would be better without Paul Simon? That's the usual result of playing one of his songs.

 

No.
Yeah, great song!
"Heeeeere I aaam" . . . goosebumps every time.
Guess I gotta bump it to 10.
https://www.soundstagedirect.com/media/simon_and_garfunkle_bridge_over_troubled_water.jpg
Isn't anyone going to say this would be better without Paul Simon? That's the usual result of playing one of his songs.
Always reminds me of someone who I thought I would spend the rest of my life with. However, she had other plans and they didn't involve me.
One of S&G's best tunes. The bassline is incredible.
What can I say to this best of!? Great stuff!
 Sasha2001 wrote:
Oh man, I miss my old city. Why did I move away? What a wonderfully evocative and poinient song 
 
funny, I came here to write the exact same thing.
Oh man, I miss my old city. Why did I move away? What a wonderfully evocative and poignant song.
 Orodrigues wrote:
Oh, man... Always 10.

 

Amen and God Bless Simon and Garfunkel!
Sad but absolutely gorgeous....{#Sad} {#Cheers}
This song paints pictures for me . . .
Oh, man... Always 10.
This is a nice chill track from S&G, not as twee as most of their songs.

This song is wonderful...  and this is an incredible album, originally from 1970...  love it...
 ad4tise wrote:
Great Song.  What happened to this type of MUSIC?

 
Came to the comments section to pretty much type what you did.

Some RPers hear Death Cab for Cutie; can't say I do. I like Death Cab but I get irritated halfway through "Codes and Keys": the singer's trying too hard to be clever and arch. Simon and Garfunkel may be tremendously dated--some critics say that they were falling out of fashion before "The Graduate"--but their voices are tremendously sincere and upfront. Maybe that's what's missing these days.  
This is as solid as a 10 gets.
 d-don wrote:


Nope. Great.
 
Yep. Over-produced in places, but who can say? If that was the sound they were striving for, then exactly-produced. Some truly classic songs on this album, this being one.
 bachbeet wrote:
It's a good song but 8.7?  They have other songs much better than this one.  And, I got tired of this album and thought it was overrated.  Good, not great.
 

Nope. Great.
 Ubaldo wrote:
One of the best from the best of the best.
 
Well said
This is my favourite song ever. Has been since I was a kid. So simple.
Church chords!
Ahhh ... we humans, can make things that are so simple and beautiful ... this song is one of those things ... {#Sunny}
One of the best from the best of the best.
.

Oh the music. Yeah s and G are good news.


this song breaks my heart. but in a good way.
 deepgaze wrote:
It struck me while listening to this song that it was years ahead of its time.  It has a current feel, sort of Death Cab For Cutie -ish.   It may have been one of those odd oversights, but I never heard this played on the radio back in the day.  It shows up quite a bit now. 
 
I'm pretty sure its appearance in the Garden State soundtrack had a lot to do with its resurgence. That said, this has always been one of my fave S&G tunes.
From Wiki: "Simon wrote this as a thinly veiled message to Art Garfunkel, referring to a specific incident where Garfunkel went to Mexico to act in the film Catch-22. Simon was left alone in New York writing songs for Bridge over Troubled Water, hence the lonely feelings of "The Only Living Boy in New York." Simon refers to Garfunkel in the song as "Tom", referring to their early days when they were called Tom and Jerry, and encourages him to "let your honesty shine . . . like it shines on me".<1> The background vocals feature both Garfunkel and Simon recorded together in an echo chamber, multi-tracked around eight times."
It struck me while listening to this song that it was years ahead of its time.  It has a current feel, sort of Death Cab For Cutie -ish.   It may have been one of those odd oversights, but I never heard this played on the radio back in the day.  It shows up quite a bit now. 
Hey! I've got nothing to do today but smile....    

amen 
I'd prefer Carter USM's "Only living boy in New Cross"...
 Orodrigues wrote:
One of the most beautiful songs of all times!
 
{#Yes}

Great Song.  What happened to this type of MUSIC?

This song is soooo good for the ears...


 
One of the most beautiful songs of all times!
Gaw-DAMN, I love this song!
Sublime.
Paul Simon is like poison ivy - after enough exposure you can develop a sensitivity.{#Skull}
 kcar wrote:
Wasn't this used in a Honda ad still running on US TV? 
 
Yeah, I think they just used the background chorus, effective.
Loved the car commercial that featured this....thanks Bill for turning me on to the actual song!
Gotta be in my top 10 all time favorite songs. I never get tired of this song or S & G
Wasn't this used in a Honda ad still running on US TV? 
This and American Tune — My very faves from S & G{#Daisy}
 birdland wrote:
My God, this is beautiful. I'd forgotten.

What sublime beauty...
 
Agreed.

It's a good song but 8.7?  They have other songs much better than this one.  And, I got tired of this album and thought it was overrated.  Good, not great.
 Businessgypsy wrote:
Sweet story, thanks for inviting us along!

 
Thanks, I guess I left out the part that made it really special - we were from New York! (well, NY state. . .)  As you can imagine, it was the one song that really spoke to me while we experienced some pretty wild adventures (way) South of the border!


bindi wrote:
This song came out when I was maybe 12 - our parents took us out of school for 3 - 4 months every year to go travel around Mexico - away from my friends, but exciting nonetheless. This tune naturally had special meaning to me.

Then, years later, I read the song was about when Art went down to Mexico to film what had become one of my favorite films ever - Catch 22.

I rated it as high as I could!

Sweet story, thanks for inviting us along!

 Shimmer wrote:
It pains me to see this listed as a song from "Best Of". It comes from "Bridge Over Troubled Water" which is itself one of the greatest records ever made.
 
It is indeed - and this is a heart-breakingly beautiful song. 
Whenever I hear Paul Simon sing it might make me feel happy, or sad, or wistful - but it definitely makes me feel something. I like that.
It pains me to see this listed as a song from "Best Of". It comes from "Bridge Over Troubled Water" which is itself one of the greatest records ever made.
{#Notworthy} my favourite Simon & Garfunkel song, yippeehh
I do not believe I've ever heard this song before! 
Why'd these guys break up anyway?
For some reason, this brings to
mind Yusef Islam's release

roadsinger cover art
It's nice to see the high rating and many great comments!  {#Clap}

I thought I was the only one!
 bindi wrote:
This song came out when I was maybe 12 - our parents took us out of school for 3 - 4 months every year to go travel around Mexico - away from my friends, but exciting nonetheless.  This tune naturally had special meaning to me.

Then, years later, I read the song was about when Art went down to Mexico to film what had become one of my favorite films ever - Catch 22.  

I rated it as high as I could!

 

More trivia: Paul Simon referring to Art Garfunkel as Tom is a reference to when their duo went under the name "Tom and Jerry".
 Govi wrote:
These guys were Pop icons, Top 40 playlist fodder for thousands of sound-alike Pop music radio stations since the mid-60s. Haven't y'all had enough of 'em yet? I have.
 

It's a Boomer thing . . . you wouldn't understand. 

{#Music}
 birdland wrote:
My God, this is beautiful. I'd forgotten.

What sublime beauty...
 
Here, here!  Well said.

America and this song are S&G at their peak.

This has always been one of my favorite S&G songs. Simon had an uncanny ability to pair words and music.
This song came out when I was maybe 12 - our parents took us out of school (in New York State)  for 3 - 4 months every year to go travel around Mexico - away from my friends, but exciting nonetheless.  This tune naturally had special meaning to me.

Then, years later, I read the song was about when Art went down to Mexico to film what had become one of my favorite films ever - Catch 22.  

I rated it as high as I could!


My God, this is beautiful. I'd forgotten.

What sublime beauty...


Someone said in the comments to a different S&G tune, their Concert in Central Park LP was all he listened to - and I couldn't stop thinking "You're not listening to The Only Living Boy ...???"

Back in the day (which for me is roughly '94, still in school), I had this on my record player, the needle carefully adjusted, as my wake up song. 10.

 

New York,  New York....; to the times i ask if history or this century them will bring others two extraordinary musicians and so amazing singers as Paul Frederic Simon & Arthur Ira Garfunkel, that had filled the imaginary one of some generations in the whole world. - ** 9 **




Oh, yeah, a great one... from the album Bridge Over Troubled Water...



Play it again Sam {#Hearteyes}
Love this so much, truly.
The whole is truly greater than the sum of its parts.
I'd forgotten how good this was until I heard Everything but the girl's version which is ace
Today has been a great day in terms of getting to hear lots of new music from favorite artists. I apparently need to conduct a serious raid on my parents' LP stash next time I go home, hook up the laptop, and burn me some vinyl onto my hard drive.
YourNameHere wrote:
Back "in the day" I would periodically travel to Manhattan for work. I'd work late into the night at the client's offices, open the window to hear the pouring rain and blast Simon & Garfunkel on my CD player. To me that was a perfect night in New York.
Back "in the day" I was listening to this on 8 track. Great song from a great duo from back "in the day."
Back "in the day" I would periodically travel to Manhattan for work. I'd work late into the night at the client's offices, open the window to hear the pouring rain and blast Simon & Garfunkel on my CD player. To me that was a perfect night in New York.
Why isn't there a 20 rating??
Ahhhh . . . what a great song. It'll never sound dated.
vaiodon wrote:
It's that old RP serendipity/coincidence thing again - a little New York segue with: Ryan Adams - New York, New York then this. I'm just packing to get a plane in the morning that'll take me to NY from here sunny Ireland for a long weekend's jolly. Gettin in the groove....
A long weekend of Jolly! now that sounds like fun and a fine City to choose for the aforementioned Jolly ...will there be any pints tossed on this occasion?
lizardman_tcs wrote:
"Good luck when exploring the black abyss" "You too" Line's kinda cheesy, but hey, great movie, and great moment when the song was used.
Sure is, and sure was. That movie had an excellent soundtrack that showed me a lot of things I was missing in the world, this song being one.
It's that old RP serendipity/coincidence thing again - a little New York segue with: Ryan Adams - New York, New York then this. I'm just packing to get a plane in the morning that'll take me to NY from here sunny Ireland for a long weekend's jolly. Gettin in the groove....
Govi wrote:
These guys were Pop icons, Top 40 playlist fodder for thousands of sound-alike Pop music radio stations since the mid-60s. Haven't y'all had enough of 'em yet? I have. :crashcomp:
I could NEVER have enough of them!!! :bounce: :bounce:
These guys were Pop icons, Top 40 playlist fodder for thousands of sound-alike Pop music radio stations since the mid-60s. Haven't y'all had enough of 'em yet? I have. :crashcomp:
moriars wrote:
Beautiful song and beautiful trubute to Jonh Lennon....
I love this song, too, but it was recorded in 1970 and has nothing to do with John Lennon (who is one of my heroes) or his death.
jojopuppyfish wrote:
I like Everybody but the Girl's version better
Everything But The Girl, but I can almost agree, a rare thing for a cover... I like the quire in this one though