Ever wonder what a famous songwriter’s favorite songs are? Ever wonder what their favorite songs from their own catalog are?
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Well, here, legendary artist Paul Simon’s favorite Paul Simon songs are enumerated.
Simon, in the biography Paul Simon—The Life, offered up his favorite 10 songs that he’s written. Perhaps surprisingly, not on the list are songs like “You Can Call Me Al” and “Mrs. Robinson.”
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Some of the songs he’s spoken about before, including “The Boxer,” of which, he said, “I think the song was about me: everybody’s beating me up, and I’m telling you now I’m going to go away if you don’t stop. By that time we had encountered our first criticism. For the first few years, it was just pure praise,” according to Far Out Magazine.
“It took two or three years for people to realize that we weren’t strange creatures that emerged from England but just two guys from Queens who used to sing rock’n’roll,” he continued. “And maybe we weren’t real folkies at all! Maybe we weren’t even hippies!”
Here are Paul Simon’s admitted favorite Paul Simon songs.
1. “The Sound of Silence”
Originally titled “The Sounds of Silence,” the song appeared on Simon & Garfunkel’s debut LP, Wednesday Morning, 3 A.M., which was released in 1964. The album, though, was a commercial failure. Later, the song was featured in the famous film The Graduate. It eventually was also on the duo’s greatest hits album.
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2. “The Boxer”
Released on Simon & Garfunkel’s fifth studio album, Bridge over Troubled Water, in 1970, “The Boxer” peaked at No. 7 on the Billboard Hot 100.
3. “Bridge Over Troubled Water”
From Simon & Garfunkel’s 1970 album of the same name, “Bridge Over Troubled Water” went on to win five Grammy Awards in 1971, including Record of the Year and Song of the Year.
4. “Me and Julio Down By The Schoolyard”
The second single from Simon’s second self-titled studio album, which dropped in 1972. The song is about two boys who have broken a law, When “mama pajama” finds out what they have done, she goes to the police station. The boys are later arrested, but released when a “radical priest” intervenes.
5. “Still Crazy After All These Years”
The third single from his fourth album of the same name, which was released in 1975, Simon has played this song several times on the variety show Saturday Night Live, including on its 40th anniversary show.
The title song from the 1986 album by Simon, “Graceland” also features vocals from The Everly Brothers. The song is about a trip to Graceland in Memphis, Tennessee and Simon’s ex-wife, actor Carrie Fisher, said it had to do, in part, with their relationship together.
7. “Diamonds On The Soles Of Her Shoes”
The fourth single from his seventh studio album, Graceland, in 1986, “Diamonds on the Soles of Here Shoes” features guest singing from the South African male chorus, Ladysmith Black Mambazo.
8. “The Cool, Cool River”
From Simon’s 1990 album, The Rhythm of the Saints. The record was inspired by Brazilian musical traditions.
9. “Darling Lorraine”
“Darling Lorraine” is featured on Simon’s comeback album, You’re the One, in 2000. which received a Grammy nomination for Album of the Year.
“All my life I’ve been a wanderer / Not really, I mostly lived near my parents’ home / Anyway, Lorraine and I got married / And the usual marriage stuff / Then one day she says to me / From out of the blue / She says, “Frank, I’ve had enough / Romance is a heartbreaker / I’m not meant to be a homemaker / And I’m tired of being darling Lorraine,” he sings.
10. “Questions For The Angels”
“Questions for the Angels” was featured on Simon’s twelfth solo studio album, So Beautiful or So What, released in 2011.
“‘Amulet,’ ‘Love and Hard Times’ and ‘Questions for the Angels’ were the first three songs written,” Simon told Spinner. ” “Maybe that’s part of its strength – that I spent a lot of time on the ballads. I was interested in beginning from another premise than rhythm. When you start with the rhythm, if you get a really good groove going, you’re perfectly happy to play one chord or just a few chords and just repeat it, like on ‘Christmas Day’ or ‘The Afterlife’ or ‘So Beautiful Or So What.’ That’s just the same pattern repeated, but they had good grooves and you don’t need to get into a lot of changes on rhythm.”
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