Song of the Day #1,199: ‘So Long, Frank Lloyd Wright’ – Simon & Garfunkel

Simon & Garfunkel recorded together for just six years, releasing only five albums, but they made a major impact on popular music both through their sound and through the classic songs Paul Simon wrote for them to perform.

A couple of years after their (second) breakup, Paul Simon would start his solo career in earnest, but Garfunkel would remain a presence in his music in one way or another for more than a decade.

I’m closing out the Simon & Garfunkel chapter of these Paul Simon Weekends with another lovely track from their final album, Bridge Over Troubled Water.

‘So Long, Frank Lloyd Wright’ was written by Simon at Garfunkel’s request. Garfunkel asked him to write a song about the celebrated architect, though Simon claimed to have never heard of him.

Instead, Simon delivered a track that is clearly intended for Garfunkel himself. This, paired with ‘The Only Living Boy in New York,’ is Simon’s farewell love letter to his friend. Simon looks back fondly at “all the nights we’d harmonize till dawn,” an odd statement to make about Frank Lloyd Wright but an awfully poignant one about his partner.

Garfunkel, who sings the track, claimed years later that he didn’t realize it was about him. Somehow I find that hard to believe.

So long, Frank Lloyd Wright.
I can’t believe your song is gone so soon.
I barely learned the tune
So soon
So soon.

I’ll remember Frank Lloyd Wright.
All of the nights we’d harmonize till dawn.
I never laughed so long
So long
So long.

Architects may come and
Architects may go and
Never change your point of view.
When I run dry
I stop awhile and think of you

So long, Frank Lloyd Wright
All of the nights we’d harmonize till dawn.
I never laughed so long
So long
So long.

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3 thoughts on “Song of the Day #1,199: ‘So Long, Frank Lloyd Wright’ – Simon & Garfunkel

  1. Dana says:

    Not familiar with this one. Another beauty though. So long Art:)

  2. pegclifton says:

    Very interesting about Simon writing this song for Garfunkel. It’s true that when you know it’s a farewell song, it makes sense. Very sad song on that level.

  3. Amy says:

    This is an odd little song, isn’t it? So many questions: Why does Art Garfunkel want Paul Simon to write a song about Frank Lloyd Wright? Why, if he has a particular yen for such a song, is he satisfied by this little ditty, which clearly doesn’t indicate any familiarity with the architect at all? Why is Paul Simon making Art Garfunkel sing a farewell song to himself? Can’t say that I feel I’ve missed much never having heard this song before, but I am fascinated by all of the questions it raises.

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