Song of the Day #1,254: ‘Further to Fly’ – Paul Simon

Following the release of The Rhythm of the Saints, my family would debate whether this or Graceland was his greatest album.

Initially I sided with Rhythm, citing its earthy, exotic flavors and the way it turned world music into gorgeous pop. Eventually I came back around to Graceland‘s unique tour of South Africa via the Upper West Side. But there is no loser in that battle.

My father latched on to one Rhythm of the Saints song in particular — today’s SOTD, ‘Further to Fly.’ It’s rare that he goes all fanboy about a piece of music that wasn’t recorded by Frank Sinatra, so his love of this track stuck with me.

Today is my parents’ anniversary and I felt it was appropriate that this song landed on this day. Nearly 50 years ago they found a love that they discovered accidentally, to quote a great songwriter. Happy Anniversary, Mom and Dad!

There may come a time
When you’ll be tired
As tired as a dream that wants to die
Further to fly
Further to fly
Further to fly
Further to fly

Maybe you will find a love
That you discover accidentally
Who falls against you gently as
A pickpocket brushes your thigh
Further to fly

Effortless music from the Cameroons
The spinning darkness of her hair
A conversation in a crowded room going nowhere
The open palm of desire
Wants everything
It wants everything
It wants everything

Sometimes I’ll be walking down
The street and I’ll be thinking
Am I crazy
Or is this some morbid little lie?
Further to fly
Further to fly
Further to fly

A recent loss of memory
A shadow in the family
The baby waves bye-bye
I’m trying
I’m flying

There may come a time
When I will lose you
Lose you as I lose my light
Days falling backward into velvet night
The open palm of desire
Wants everything
It wants everything
It wants soil as soft as summer
And the strength to push like spring

A broken laugh, a broken fever
Take it up with the great deceiver
Who looks you in the eye
Says, Baby, don’t cry
Further to fly

There may come a time
When I will lose you
Lose you as I lose my sight
Days falling backward into velvet night
The open palm of desire
The Rose of Jericho
Soil as soft as summer
The strength to let you go

3 thoughts on “Song of the Day #1,254: ‘Further to Fly’ – Paul Simon

  1. pegclifton says:

    Thank you for this lovely surprise (made me tear up) Such a beautiful song.

  2. Dana says:

    A beautiful song indeed, and a fitting anniversary present to your parents.

    While we may debate which album is better — Graceland or Saints — we can all agree that both are incredible. Although Simon has put out some fine work since, he has never risen as high as he did on these two records. It is hard to imagine that he (or any other artist) could.

  3. A says:

    Happy Anniversary, Mom and Dad! And I’m liking Clay’s recent theory that it’s the “baby waves bye-bye” line that makes it a particular favorite of Dad’s. 😉
    You’re also right that there is no loser in a battle between these two great albums.

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