Paul Simon, There Goes Rhymin’ Simon (1973)
I still maintain Paul Simon hasn’t made a bad album – really. And if he has then it’s not this one. I don’t really care for the big single from this album; it’s okay, it’s got a groove but it never really did it for me. But the album is nice. And my worn, cheap, second-hand vinyl has all but had its day. I picked up the album on CD a few years ago, as I started collecting all the Paul Simon material. Such great players on this album (and on any/every Paul Simon album). I can’t say I have any real attachment to this album – but I love the song American Tune. I think it has something; a gravitas – something that not that many songs have. And in fact it’s something that is very hard for a song to have/achieve. So much so that the ones that try often fail spectacularly. So, yeah, no real tale to tell here – only that I plucked out the vinyl last night for the first time in a long, long time and I listened. And that song American Tune does it every time. Those lines, “And I dreamed I was flying./I dreamed my soul rose unexpectedly,/And looking back down on me,/Smiled reassuringly” and also those closing lines, “But it’s all right, it’s all right/You can’t be forever blessed/Still, tomorrow’s gonna be another working day/And I’m trying to get some rest,/That’s all, I’m trying to get some rest”. It has a universal appeal – sure it was particularly poignant at the time of its release given the way of the world, but arguably it’s held its meaning and mood (which is both the sign of a wonderful song and of constantly head-shaking times). But those final lines get me every time. He’s singing it to and about a country. But that is me. (Maybe it’s you too?) I’m always at work. And tomorrow’s always another day. For both good and bad. And everything I do – and all that I am – is, in some way, work. And in between times I try to get some rest. Lovely melody – sure it might be Bach’s but so what. Bad poets borrow, good poet’s steal. One of my all time favourite songs. By anyone. (Ever).
Sample Track: American Tune
The Vinyl Countdown is a document of every LP I listen to, brand new discoveries and old-old favourites; extremely pre-loved, previously abandoned or with the shrink-wrap having just been removed it’s all here at The Vinyl Countdown