Daily Archives: 17/11/2011

Genesis, genre and Paul Simon

A recent documentary on the making of Bridge Over Troubled Water. Paul Simon talks about writing Cecelia. I’ve always thought this was a great song with a fantastic groove, but with uncharacteristically tawdry lyrics which I found vaguely embarrassing. Why would far-from-simple Simon write a typical “adolescent sex” song? And then Simon has a throwaway line: “St Cecelia is, of course, the patron saint of musicians.” And suddenly it falls into place, after 40 years – it’s not a song about the traumas of adolescent lust at all, but about the fickleness of the creative muse. It’s part of a small but distinct genre: “Laments of Songwriters Seeking Inspiration”. This … Continue reading

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