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The Sound of Silence

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"The Sound of Silence" was released in 1964 on Simon and Garfunkel's first album "Wednesday Morning, 3 AM." It was first recorded with an acoustic guitar and Simon and Garfunkel's harmonized voices, however, a year later their recording company reworked the song by adding electric guitar and drums to the acoustic track. Thanks to the few changes the song "The Sound of Silence" became a huge hit and was soon at the top of the charts.

Behind the lovely lyrics, beautiful melodies, and enjoyable rhythm of the Simon and Garfunkel song, "The Sound of Silence," lies an important and interesting message. But what is Simon, the songwriter, attempting to tell us exactly? I personally believe that Simon is arguing that there is a lack of communication within our society, and that the acoustic version effectively conveys this message.

The lyrics of "The Sound of Silence" effectively convey Simon and Garfunkel's message of a lack of communication. Paul Simon wrote this song like a poem. The lyrics are telling a story, and this story is explaining the message. I think that this song is portraying a man's dream which I am led to believe because of the lines, "Because a vision softly creeping, Left its seeds while I was sleeping." In the first verse a man sees the injustices of the world, but he can't do anything about it. Since there is no one for him to turn to, he is in "darkness", but this isn't the first time, which is why he calls darkness his "old friend." Because this man can find no refuge, he is left to himself and his vision which leads him to have a revelation, "the flash of a neon light." In this man's vision, thousands of people are talking to others, but they are not saying what they truly feel. Instead they keep their feelings hidden deep inside, and those kept feelings are the sounds of silence. This lack of communication continued to be upheld because no one wanted to break or "disturb the sound of silence", and so this type of mentality flourished. Silence has no sound; however, the loudest sound there was silence.

"Silence" refers to submission. The man attempts to reach out to these people to warn them of the dangers of non-communication and their ignorance, however, his words are useless and are consumed into the empty space of submission. "But my words like silent raindrops fell," his attempt is without success. The only sound is silence when all meaningful words and communication fails. The future is so close, yet so far away because people are detached and will remain that way because they refuse to change. However, in the last verse, although the people seem to have lost faith in real God as they "bowed and prayed to the neon god they made", there is hope. In this society where communication is lacking, there is a chance that



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