Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Old Friends

About five years ago, I was given two tickets to see a Simon and Garfunkel concert. I have loved their music since my pre-teen years, but for reasons I won't go into here, I seriously considered not attending. After a week or two of weighing my interest in seeing their performance against the minor, moral stand I could have taken, I decided to ask my cousin, and good friend Marcy to join me. We went out for dinner and then hit the Air Canada Centre in Toronto.

The two-hour show was fantastic. Paul Simon's voice hadn't wavered a bit over the decades and Art Garfunkel harmonized as beautifully as ever. The show started with a video which depicted the last fifty years in America - the period of time the duo had known each other. They made their entrance dressed pretty much as they did back in the sixties and seventies, and though they looked older (particularly Simon) and a bit chunkier (especially Garfunkel), they were clearly every bit the same duo I had always known and loved. They opened with Old Friends, and it sounded wonderful.

They lacked the ease of communication with their audience, though. Garfunkel was a tad more outgoing, smiling from time to time. Any jokes they attempted, felt staged and rigid. They did poke fun at themselves a bit, and their tendency to argue. Simon seemed uncomfortable with their dialogue but their awkwardness melted away when they sang. They continued with Hazy Shade of Winter, I Am a Rock, At the Zoo, and others.

They reminisced about their first performance together at age fourteen, when they were known as Tom and Jerry. They indicated that they had been heavily influenced by the Everly Brothers, who promptly entered the stage and performed four songs of their own. Simon and Garfunkel joined them for their final song - Bye Bye Love.

The Everly Brothers exited, and our star duo sang beautiful renditions of Scarborough Fair and Homeward Bound. The latter was altered dramatically, and used to showcase the other musicians' talents. They rattled off many other hits - among them The Sound of Silence, Slip Sliding Away, El Condor Pasa, Keep the Customer Satisfied, American Tune, My Little Town and ended the set with Bridge Over Troubled Water - performed better than I'd ever heard it before or since. Art was in particularly fine form for that one.


After a short wait, they returned on stage with Cecilia and The Boxer. One more exit. One final return to stage for a performance of Leaves That Are Green and The 59th Street Bridge Song.

All was groovy.

Below are a few recent photos which illustrate some of the above-mentioned song lyrics. A description follows the musical snippets. Please remember to click each photo to enlarge.

Can you imagine us years from today,
Sharing a park bench quietly? ~ Old Friends - Paul Simon
After dark, with just a dusting of snow, this park bench still looked inviting. (please click to enlarge)

But look around, leaves are brown now
And the sky is a hazy shade of winter ~ Hazy Shade of Winter - Paul Simon
After a cold week, the pond froze over almost completely, and the tree branches are all but bare. (please click to enlarge)

I am a rock, I am an island. ~ I Am A Rock - Paul Simon
Some flotsam caught up on a rock in the center of the creek's swift current. (please click to enlarge)

Something tells me its all happening at the zoo. The monkeys stand for honesty, Giraffes are insincere. ~ At The Zoo - Paul Simon
This fallen branch caught my eye as we were walking past. I thought it looked like a giraffe having a nap on a bed of leaves. (please click to enlarge)

I'm through with romance. I'm through with love. I'm through with counting the stars above ~ Bye Bye Love - Felice & Boudleaux Bryant
A fiery sunset scorches the sky behind the tree tops. (please click to enlarge)

Tell her to make me a cambric shirt (On the side of a hill in the deep forest green) Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme ~ Scarborough Fair - Paul Simon
Here's a photo that didn't turn out too well, so I played around with it in Photoshop and came up with this painting-like effect. (please click to enlarge)

And every strangers face I see reminds me that I long to be homeward bound ~ Homeward Bound - Paul Simon
Despite the cold days and below-freezing nights, we saw this heron at three different points along the creek. He was skittish, and wouldn't allow us to get too close. This was the last time I saw him, as he took off to hunt unknown shores. (please click to enlarge)

When my eyes were stabbed by the flash of a neon light that split the night And touched the sound of silence. ~ The Sound of Silence - Paul Simon
While we were driving back to Frank's late one afternoon, we saw this unusual sight in the sky. Though the setting sun was clearly shining brightly, we could see a sort of stunted rainbow just off to its left. I've only ever seen arc rainbows appear opposite the sun - never beside it before. (please click to enlarge)

And I know a man. He came from my hometown. He wore his passion for his woman like a thorny crown ~ Slip Sliding Away - Paul Simon
A cluster of burrs make a striking silhouette against the darkening sky. (please click to enlarge)

I'd rather be a forest than a street. Yes I would. If I could, I surely would. ~ El Condor Pasa - Paul Simon/Jorge Milchberg
Looking back toward Frank's place as we exit the cedar grove on our evening walk. (please click to enlarge)

Gee but its great to be back home. Home is where I want to be. ~ Keep the Customer Satisfied - Paul Simon
One of many cheerful Cardinals which seem to congregate in large numbers now that winter has returned. I'm glad that they consider my home to be theirs too. (please click to enlarge)

I don't know a soul who's not been battered. I don't have a friend who feels at ease. I don't know a dream that's not been shattered. Or driven to its knees Oh, but its alright, its alright. For we lived so well so long ~ American Tune - Paul Simon
A lone, suriviving Queen Anne's Lace silhouetted against the setting sun. (please click to enlarge)

And after it rains theres a rainbow And all of the colors are black Its not that the colors arent there Its just imagination they lack ~ My Little Town - Paul Simon
Here's a closer view of that unusual rainbow, peeking from behind the trees - taken through the open window of a moving vehicle. (please click to enlarge)

I'm on your side. when times get rough And friends just can't be found, Like a bridge over troubled water I will lay me down. ~ Bridge Over Troubled Water - Paul Simon
This photo was taken last year but I couldn't resist how well it suited this song. (please click to enlarge)

After changes upon changes we are more or less the same. After changes we are more or less the same ~ The Boxer - Paul Simon
Just another dead flower taken against the dusky sky. (please click to enlarge)

I threw a pebble in a brook. And watched the ripples run away. And they never made a sound. And the leaves that are green turned to brown. ~ Leaves That Are Green - Paul Simon
Almost dark, the creek looks beautiful with the deep nighttime colours which surround it. (please click to enlarge)

Let the morning time drop all its petals on me.
Life, I love you, all is groovy! ~ The 59th Street Bridge Song - Paul Simon

A view of the creek through the trees, early one morning. (please click to enlarge)


Anonymous said...

I now have Simon & Garfunkel songs running through my head...which I consider a good thing! Thank you for putting such lovely photographs to the lyrics, Hilary. I had trouble choosing a favorite, but in the end, it would be the winter bridge scene for "Bridge Over Troubled Water."

Shammickite said...

Your pictures reflect the words of Simon and Garfunkel's songs perfectly. But I have to say that the water under the bridge doesn't look very troubled!!
I saw a S&G concert many years ago at the old Grandstand at the CNE with my cousin who was visiting for the weekend. We took a blanket and sat on the ground and I was mesmerised by their harmonies and the musicality of it... loved it!
And as for the Everley Bros, they were my absolute favourite when I was growing up. Back in the mid 60's in UK, I went to a concert starring the Everleys and Little Richard... it was wild! Little Richard took his shirt off and played the piano with his feet!
And the opening act was a virtually unknown band calle The Rolling Stones.
Makes me feel ancient.

Frank Baron said...

I remember your debate about attending that concert. Seem to recall twisting your arm to go... ;)

Clever captioning of lovely pics. Too darn bad though, that you didn't snap that one of me and Julio down by the school yard.

Pat - Arkansas said...

After reading this wonderful post, I'm "feeling groovy."
You did a super job putting together lyrics and photos.

SK Waller said...

I love the way you coupled your photos with the song lyrics. That must have taken a bit of time!

photowannabe said...

This post is a show stopper Hilary. A+++ and 3 gold stars.
Fantastic pictures to accompany my walk down memory lane.
It does make me feel a bit ancient though.

Suldog said...

Magnificent work. And work it is, too, although I'm sure you enjoy it. You put so much care and detail into what you do here! I am truly awed, and thankful.

Phyllis E said...

Hi Cuzzie! You're talking about my nostalgia music. I saw them perform at Place des Arts in the 60s when they were on the "college circuit". We have the CD of their Central Park concert. But I must protest your "Dangling Conversation". Minor moral issue?!? Got me curious.

Cuzzie P

Kat said...

The pictures with the lyrics is so poetic. It makes me misty.
Just beautiful!

Cheffie-Mom said...

You did a wonderful job of putting the lyrics with the photos. Great post!

Gary's third pottery blog said...

you did a fantastic job with this but I wonder what the moral question was????? I am so nosey....

Travis Erwin said...

Nothing gets me in the mood to write like listening to a well-written song.

Tricia said...

Now I'm wondering where my Simon and Garfunkel CD has gone. I wonder if my husband has it.

Thank you for the visual run through some delicious lyrics and photos.

Clowncar said...

A nice pairing of lyrics and image.

Hazy Shade of Winter is in my head often this time of year.

Like Gary, I am nosey about the "moral question" as well.

Tell us! Tell us!

Michelle H. said...

Ah! I can see the giraffe in the branch also. Or maybe a wild boar napping. Great photos!

"Bridge Over Troubled Water" and "Slip Sliding Away" are the only two sings I remember by just hearing the names. I never realized how much they are still a part of my youth. Thanks for giving me a trip down my memory lane!

the Bag Lady said...

Great trip down memory lane, Hilary! S & G were a big part of growing up for me, too! Love their music.

Your little rainbow beside the sun probably had another one opposite - they are similar to sun dogs.

Loved all the photos - hard to pick a favourite (just like it's hard to pick a favourite Simon and Garfunkel tune!)

Sandi McBride said...

I first heard Homeward Bound after a particularly bad patch in my life. It made me cry and that cleansed my soul. I'm crying again...maybe my soul needed a good scrubbing tonight. Thank you for sharing.


to Ms. Hilary

I have read some of your posts. I would like to revisit the same.

If you like short stories and paintings, then a short visit to my blogs would be a good idea.

Naval Langa

Zuzana said...

Hilary, I was too young to fully appreciate this artistic duo; mostly because I grew up in the east block where their music was rarely heard.
I remember hearing "Bridge Over Troubled Water" when I was in my early teens and it immediately spoke to me. Not just the melody, but particularly the lyrics. Over the years the meaning of the text have become very significant to me in a personal way.
All of your photos are lovely as always, but my favourite picture in this series is the bridge in the snowy landscape - and how appropriate that I also love the song.
Nevertheless, I also like the one of the little bird (robin?) that is happy to be home, I am sure you know why.;)

Kerri Farley said...

Wow Hilary! These are absolutely fabulous! I LOVE LOVE LOVE the Bench! I am a big S&G fan myself!
It's a joke in my house that if I ever have a song in my head that I can't get rid of ---someone starts singing "Cecelia" and then THAT is the song that is in my head and I can't get rid of it :)

But, back to the pictures....I LOVE your "painting" creation....beautiful! And the flowers.....just gorgeous! The trees are gorgeous with that sunset background! And I can definitely see the giraffe!!

A most awesome post!!

Hilary said...

For those who asked (Curious Cuzzy, Nosy Potter and Wondering Astronomer), my "minor moral stand" was more or less poorly-chosen words. I should have said that it was more a matter of principle but I thought I'd spell it wrong. ;)

The tickets were sent to me by an ex who ended things rather unexpectedly by email several months earlier. I interpreted this gift as a means to assuage his guilt, and therefore considered just giving them away, raffling them off to raise funds for my kids' school or returning them to him. That was the "minor moral stand" which I tossed in favour of seeing the concert. ;)

• Thanks, KC. The songs were running through my head for the rest of the day too. I also have most of those songs on my iPod so maybe it wasn't all in my head. ;) Thanks for stopping by. :)

• Shammie, the only troublesome thing about the water under that bridges is that it was very cold. S&G do harmonize beautifully, don't they? A summer concert under the stars must have been incredible. And that concert in the UK - imagine the Stones as an opening act.. very cool! Thanks for sharing. :)

• Thanks, Frank. I tried but I was all out of Kodachrome. Pity too, because it Was A Sunny Day. ;)

• Thanks very much, Pat. You're always groovy! :)

• Thanks, Steph. I had fun doing it but yes, it took much of the day. Thanks for stopping by. :)

• Thanks very kindly, Photowannabe. Much appreciated. I'm glad you enjoyed it. :)

• Thank you, Sully. That means a lot to me. I do enjoy it for sure, but it wouldn't be anywhere near as gratifying without such fun readers and warm comments. Thanks for that. :)

• Cuzzie! Place des Arts - I saw so many great performances there. Seems like eons ago. I trust I was able to Keep the Customer Satisfied by explaining the Dangling Conversation at the head of my comment replies. ;)

• Thanks very much, Kat. I'm glad you enjoyed them. :)

• Thanks kindly, Cheffie. Thanks for stopping by. :)

• Thanks, Gary. I explained it at the top of my comment replies. I kind of like this new nickname of yours.. Nosy Potter. It might stick. ;)

• Hi Travis. I'm glad that works for you. It tends to intimidate me. ;) Thanks for stopping by.

• Thanks, Tricia. It might be time to add that CD to your Christmas wish list. Thanks for the visit. :)

• Thanks, Clowncar. I know what you mean about having those lyrics on your mind. At least it's a time of year reflection and not a time of life... And look up at the top of this comment, and you'll see that I told ya! Told ya! Thanks for dropping by. :)

• Thanks, Michelle. I can see the boar too, now that you mention it. It's the snout-like look at the end of the branch! I think it's time you downloaded some S&G songs on that new iPod of yours. You'd recognize so many more by hearing them than you would by name, or snippets of lyrics. Even if you are a young puppy! Thanks for stopping by. :)

• Thank you, Baggie. I had never heard of sun dogs and had never seen one until I took that photo. That was last week. Yesterday, while on the bus, my son and I saw another one. Have I just been looking down all this time? Thanks for explaining that. :)

• Sandi, I hope your soul has had a good scrub and that you're feeling ready to take on the next four decades of sentimental songs. Thanks for stopping by. :)

• Hi, Naval. I did stop by briefly. How do you manage to keep up with 16 blogs? And all those ads!

• Thanks, Protege. Do yourself a big favour and download a few of their songs. I suspect you'll love them. Feel free to email me (addie is on my sidebar) and I can suggest a few which I can almost promise you'll enjoy. Also, having lived in the U.S. for a few years, you might know more of their songs than you realize - just not by name or by artist. Thanks so much for your always-kind words. :)

• Thanks so kindly, Kerri. You know, I'm not sure that park benches would catch my eye as often as they do, if not for you. I think of you every time I photograph and post one of them. I'm glad you enjoyed the post as much as you did. That means a lot to me. And now I know what song is running through your head today. ;) Thanks for the visit. :)

carmilevy said...

My parents loved S&G when I was a munchkin, so I grew up with their tunes wafting through the house. By the time I could choose my own music, Simon was a solo artist and I was addicted to his literary view of the world.

Thank you for sharing your observations of the concert - better than any review I'd ever read in a paper - and the stunning photo gallery afterward. The quality of the light is fantastic - it paints each picture in a consistent theme despite the incredible variation in composition. Nicely chosen and matched.

Please accept my apologies for not including links to the additional frozen bush pics in my most recent Thematic Photographic entry. I've updated it to include them. I guess sometimes I move too quickly for my own good!

Tink said...

I think I need glasses. At first glance, I thought that rock was a monkey...

I know, weird.

That sounds like an amazing concert. I'm so glad you had a good time.

Leah J. Utas said...

Beautifully rendered post. I am so glad you went to that concert.

Michele said...

I adore your post and I'm sorry about your "moral" issue with the concert. I am not aware of the dilemma but I do love their music, I find it soothing and the harmonization quite nice and would love to have taken the tickets! =)
Again, your photos were beautiful.

Thanks so much for coming by my blog while I was ill. I really did appreciate it! It meant so much to me.

Shrinky said...

Oh Hilary, I so envy you that concert! Thank you for bringing back so many memories, songs are so personal, aren't they? I remember being thrilled to see Dylon on stage. He performed for one hour exactly, no encores, and had absolutely no conversation with his audience at all. My hero had feet of clay, we were all so disallusioned that day.

Thankfully, dear old Leonard Cohen did not let us down, one of the best concerts I've ever had the privilge to attend.

Happy days.

Russell said...

Glad you got to see them in a live concert! That would be great!

I remember Simon and Garfunkel coming out with NEW songs on the radio! They are definitely a part of my history. AND I remember our high school chorus attempting to sign the latest song they had come out with! Heh! (It was not QUITE the same but the effort was good!)

Enjoyed the photographs and lyrics!!

Take care.

Unknown said...

Nice post Hil. Beautiful pics and captions.

the good ex


Lulda Casadaga said...

As always a great job mixing the pics and words...and especially wonderful to mix the pics with S&G lyrics!

You mean to tell me the Everly bros. are still alive?! LOL

I have many fond memories of S&G 1st boyfriends fave duo...a prized 1st gift from another date the LP (Bridge Over Troubled Waters)...played that sucka to death!

I saw Art Garfunkel once on a street corner in NYC. I was on line, waiting to get tickets to see a movie, and my date went to park the car. Art walked by and stood on the corner talking to 2 men and I wanted to get an autograph, but didn't want to leave the line! :D

My husband and I always love the line in the song America..."counting the cars on the New Jersey turnpike"...since I'm from NJ/ he just gets a kick out of that line. :) Enjoy the rest of the week...

RiverPoet said...

Some of the earliest albums I listened to were Simon & Garfunkel. I remember being an introspective little girl (not unlike now) and having many deep and lofty thoughts while listening to their lyrics. I always loved "The Boxer" and "Hazy Shade of Winter." Nicely done matching up your photos along with the lyrics.

It's always so refreshing to come visit your space.

Peace - D

Sandra said...

I envy you. I would have LOVED to hear that concert. I have always loved Simon and Garfunkel, but I also always liked the Everly Brothers.

What great composition in this post -- the lyrics and the pictures. You are definitely literate and lyrical!

Aly @ Lip Zip said...

What an excellent post and your pictures are just beautiful. I am very jealous of your scenery!

Tom said...

There's something mysterious about listening to music from your childhood.

I could post a gazillion pictures of tropical sunsets, ocean views or active volcanoes, but they wouldn't compare to your pictures or narrative. You live in a beautiful place with seasons that I can only dream of these days, and I envy you and Frank!

krissy said...

What a powerful post! Your pictures were amazing, and I cannot believe how beautiful, including the lyrics and poems. I will leave your post uplifted, thank you!

I love their music, they are true poets, and very talented. thanks for sharing!

Crabby McSlacker said...

Wow, I love Simon & Garfunkle and love your photos so this post was the perfect combination!

What a creative way to bring it all together.

Indrani said...

Can't really say much about the song, but the pictures are fantastic.
Have a great weekend!

JC said...

Great post as always. Glad you went and shared this with us. Have a great weekend.

Hilary said...

• Carmi, thanks so much for the kind words. I'm glad you liked this post. Your parents clearly had good taste in music. I'm finding that even my 18 year old shows an appreciation for it. He first heard The Sound of Silence by a metal group called Nevermore, and was surprised that I knew the song, and that it was from my era. I'm glad you got those links working too.. those icicle photos are lovely. Thanks for stopping by. :)

• Tink, I'm looking at it every which way I can but darned if I can see that monkey. I've always said you're a creative one. ;) Thanks for the visit. :)

• Thanks very much, Leah. So am I! :)

• Thanks very much, Michele. It's great to see you making the rounds again. I hope you have the worst of this behind you now. Thanks for the kind words. :)

• Shrinky, sorry to hear that Dylan disappointed you. I felt the same way about Gordon Lightfoot when I saw him. He acted like a jerk toward his backup group. All those beautiful lyrics and sentiments and he behaved so poorly in public. I'm glad to hear that Lenny made up for it though. He's from my hometown of Montreal. Thanks for the visit. :)

• Thanks, Russell. Their music sure has stood the test of time. I think I'd pay to see you sing one of their songs. ;) Thanks for stopping by. :)

• Thanks, Don. He was just an ex. You're THE ex! ;)

• Thanks, Lulda. Yup, they're still alive! That's a cool memory of Art Garfunkel. I think I'd have stayed in line too, and wished I had my camera. Thanks for sharing your memories. :)

• Thank you, Doris. It's good to know that S&G were a big part of your childhood. It was some fine music to grow up with. Thanks for stopping by. :)

• Thanks kindly, Sandra. I wish you could have seen this concert too, being such a fan and all. I have seen that it's out on DVD recently, so maybe you can ask Santa! Thanks for the kind words. :)

• Thanks, Aly. Much appreciated. Thanks for dropping by. :)

• Thank you, Tom. It's funny how there are those that would trade places with you in a heartbeat, and I might be one of them from time to time, especially when we hit ridiculously cold temperatures. But I don't know that I'd appreciate any of the seasons as much if there wasn't such contrast every few months. Thanks for the kind words - very much appreciated. :)

• Welcome, Krissy and thank you for your very kind words. I'm glad you enjoyed the post and hope you'll be back again soon. :)

• Thanks very much, Crabby. Your always-kind words are very much appreciated. :)

• Thanks kindly, Indrani. Enjoy yours as well. :)

• Thank you, JC. I'm glad you enjoyed it. Thanks for the visit. :)

Dave said...

Wow Hillary, you have done an enormous job here! I agree with most of the other commenters about this. Wow again! - Dave

david mcmahon said...

Love that shot of the solitary plant-head at dusk.

Kappa no He said...

I'm glad you went. A once in a lifetime event. I have Simon and Garfunkel on my 'If you're on a desert island and are only allowed three CDs (because, you know, unihabitated islands will invariably have electricity)what would they be?' list.

Reb said...

I've always enjoyed S&G, I'm glad you decided to go anyway. It seems to me that sun dogs mean that the weather is going to change and not for the better. Good job capturing it.

Shammickite said...

hehehe I had to chuckle about Frank's comment (3rd comment down)

Dianne said...

I've been playing American Tune a lot, since before the election - seems to fit somehow

love the Bridge shot but I love them all!!

Lee said...

This is one heck of a great post! And those images are awesome! I grew up on Simon & Garfunkle too, so this took me back. Congratulations on making David's Post of the Day list! Really well deserved!


Anonymous said...

Great pics with great songs. Sounds like you had a great time too.. Thanks for sharing!!
Happy Holidays to you and yours!
The Bach

steviewren said...

What a walk down memory lane. You make me want to fumble through the CDs looking for my recording, although I can hear all the songs quite clearly in my head now. I bet I'll be humming all day tomorrow.

Maggie May said...

Not many people remember the Everley Brothers. I used to be mad about them! My first real heart throbs!

Lovely photos........ especially liked the bridge in the snow.......... well all of them!

Dr.John said...

What a great way to illustrate song lyrics. You did very well. I love their songs as well.

lime said...

i am getting here so late but allow me to say i am also a big fan of S&G. i tried in vain to get tickets to their old friends tour. your photographs to go with the songs are simply marvelous. what a treat! i may need to turn off the christmas music today and pop in my s&g....sigh....

Hilary said...

• Thanks so kindly, Dave. Much appreciated. :)

• Thanks very much for the Post of the Day mention, David. I'm glad you liked that pic. :)

• Thanks, Kappa. I'm curious to know which CD in particular that would be.

• Thank you, Reb. I'll have to remember that sun dogs mean a change of weather. I don't remember what happened after the this one.

• Yes, Shammie - he's a regular chuckle-evoker. Thanks for stopping by. :)

• Thanks very much, Dianne. American Tune is a lovely song. Thanks for the kind words. :)

• Thanks very kindly, Lee. I'm so glad you enjoyed it. :)

• Thanks muchly, Bach. Right back at you. :)

• Thanks, Stevie. They're certainly hum-worthy songs. Thanks for stopping by. :)

• Thanks very kindly, Maggie. I'll bet more people remember the Everly Brothers than you realize! Thanks for the kind words. :)

• Thanks very much, Dr. J. I'm glad you enjoyed it. :)

• Thank you, Lime. Aww.. I'm sorry you never got to see that tour. Hopefully they're reunite once more and you'll get tickets to that one. In the meantime, just enjoy that CD. Thanks very kindly for the visit. :)

Chica, Cienna, and Cali said...

I love, love, love S&G! I have grown up on their songs and still carry their tapes from my childhood with me though most of the world (including moi) has moved on to CDs and digital downloads...........

Hilary, that image titled "A lone, suriviving Queen Anne's Lace silhouetted against the setting sun" is simply precious ..........please, please frame it and display it somewhere in your deserves to be seen (and flaunted) :)

Hilary said...

Thanks so much, Moi. Your kind compliment means a great deal to me. For you, I will indeed print and frame that photo. I'm glad you enjoyed the post. :)