It's a a hushed and misty morning in Devon, perfect for a bit of time-traveling...so let's go back to the 1960s with the music of Simon and Garfunkel.
I was a child in that legendary era, and the musical poetry of Paul Simon, Leonard Cohen, Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, Joni Michell, Janice Ian and other songwriters of the '60s and early '70s whetted my taste for printed poetry and literature as much as any books on the shelves. I'm grateful to have been born at a time when these masters of the form were on the pop radio airways. I'd listen to them on a transitor radio clutched under my pillow at night (at a highly impressionable age), and a sizable portion of what I know about the rhythm and sound of good writing surely comes from them.
In the video below, Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel perform "Sounds of Silence" for Canadian television in 1966. They'd both grown up in Queens, started working together in 1963, and were 24 years old at the time of this television broadcast. The song comes from their second album, Sounds of Silence (1965).
Paul and Art perform "Scarborough Fair" (a variant of Child Ballad 1) and "Homeward Bound" (by Paul Simon) at a reunion concert in New York's Central Park in 1981. The songs were first recorded for their third album, Parsley Sage Rosemary & Thyme (1966).
"America" performed by the Swedish folk duo First Aid Kit at the Polar Music Prize ceremony in Stockholm (2012). It's an appropriate song for Johanna and Klara Söderberg to sing, having been so influenced by American folk and country music themselves...but imagine how nervous they must have been to perform it with Paul Simon in the audience! The song was first recorded on S&G's fourth album, Bookends (1968), twenty-two years before the Söderberg sisters were born.
"The Boxer" (audio only), performed by the English alt folk band Mumford & Sons, backed up by two American country music greats: Emmylou Harris and Jerry Douglas (2012). The song comes from S&G's fifth album, Bridge Over Troubled Water (1970).