Song of the Day #1,234: ‘Slip Slidin’ Away’ – Simon & Garfunkel

Because the Concert in Central Park was originally intended to be a Paul Simon solo gig, many of the featured songs are from Simon’s solo albums.

I imagine the setlist was changed a bit once Garfunkel’s participation was assured (‘Old Friends,’ for example, had to have been an addition meant for the duo) but many of the tracks would likely have been performed whether Garfunkel showed up or not. And that gives listeners the treat of hearing what Paul Simon’s solo records might have sounded like had he never split with Garfunkel.

Garfunkel once said in an interview that he was hurt by Simon’s suggestion that he left Simon & Garfunkel because he wanted to explore new musical territory. He didn’t see any reason why his vocals couldn’t accompany a Still Crazy After All These Years or even a Graceland.

Hearing him pair up with Simon on the solo track ‘Slip Slidin’ Away,’ I have to admit he has a point. This song was originally intended for Still Crazy After All These Years but ultimately left off of the album. It was released as a new track on a Greatest Hits record and became a top five hit for Simon.

The two men trade verses and apply their signature harmonies to this “Paul Simon” song, and the result is sublime. Paul Simon may have had valid personal reasons to move on in his career, but I don’t think his sound was suffering.

Slip slidin’ away
Slip slidin’ away
You know the nearer your destination
The more you’re slip slidin’ away

I know a man
He came from my home town
He wore his passion for his woman
Like a thorny crown
He said Dolores
I live in fear
My love for you’s so overpowering
I’m afraid that I will disappear

Slip slidin’ away
Slip slidin’ away
You know the nearer your destination
The more you’re slip slidin’ away

I know a woman
Became a wife
These are the very words she uses
To describe her life
She said a good day
Ain’t got no rain
She said a bad day’s when I lie in bed
And think of things that might have been

Slip slidin’ away
Slip slidin’ away
You know the nearer your destination
The more you’re slip slidin’ away

And I know a father
Who had a son
He longed to tell him all the reasons
For the things he’d done
He came a long way
Just to explain
He kissed his boy as he lay sleeping
Then he turned around and headed home again

Slip slidin’ away
Slip slidin’ away
You know the nearer your destination
The more you’re slip slidin’ away

God only knows
God makes his plan
The information’s unavailable
To the mortal man
We’re working our jobs
Collect our pay
Believe we’re gliding down the highway
When in fact we’re slip slidin’ away

Slip slidin’ away
Slip slidin’ away
You know the nearer your destination
The more you’re slip slidin’ away

Slip slidin’ away
You know the nearer your destination
The more you’re slip slidin’ away

One thought on “Song of the Day #1,234: ‘Slip Slidin’ Away’ – Simon & Garfunkel

  1. Dana says:

    Well, I don’t know if I can imagine Art singing on Graceland, although the thought of him doing some of the odd sounds on “Homeless” is a bit amusing. Certainly though, a song like today’s SOTD seems custom built for the duo.

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