I wrote a post that listed 10-12 songs that appeared in a film, and I received an excellent spam comment that I couldn’t just delete. It has absolutely nothing to do with the post I wrote, other than being about something music-related. No Beatles song, no Simon and Garfunkle, and not talking about favorite songs. I added a couple line feeds for readability, and removed the link to the bogus SEO page the poster linked to.
This isnít my favorite song but it is a good one. Normally, Iíd choose I Am The Walrus. Since the Beatles, however, are all ready well represented (Strawberry Fields, She Said, She Said), Iíll go with The Boxer. Simonís acoustic guitar tracks are exquisitely detailed, expanding on the textures he wove so convincingly on Mrs. Robinson. Set upon the implacable heart beat of the kick drum, they dance and flutter like solemn butterflies.
Very few major artists could get away with the opening line to this song, but Simonís delivery not only suspends mundane reality, it welcomes the listener into a story so matter-of-factly that one one simply assumes itís authenticity. Garfunkleís intimate, intuitive harmony is so finely crafted and performed that itís nearly transparent; like the guitars, it focuses attention on the song, rather than itself.
The inclusion of the bass harmonica compliments and emphasizes the narrative so well, that it achieves an aura of inevitability. It is nearly impossible to imagine the song without it. Then one comes across that ephemeral guitar solo. Because the guitarist uses the volume knob or foot pedal to allow the notes to swell into being, the solo appears to glide into and out of awareness; a ghost moving serenely through the mist. Simon stated, in a long-ago interview, that he was initially opposed to an extended ending for this song. At that time, Hey Jude had just recently taken that concept to the limits of pop utility (and then some!)and he didnít want to appear to be contrived.
Fortunately, Garfunkle and Halee convinced him otherwise. And so it is, that after one of Simonís most profoundly moving verses (listen to the restrained delivery on the last quatrainÖ..it HURTS), we are treated to layer upon layer of sonic textures, opening upon some facet of the many emotions implicit in the song. Simon DID prove his instincts were correct when, at the very end, everything drops out, save the acoustic guitars and a brief, haunting voice that seems to be singing to itself. Well, enough.
P.S. I like this blog!