Song of the Day #1,445: ‘Overs’ – Simon & Garfunkel

Best Albums of the 60s – #14
Bookends – Simon & Garfunkel (1968)

On Simon & Garfunkel’s fourth album, Bookends, the duo entered full-on concept album territory. Or maybe I should say “half-on concept album,” because the record is split between a suite of songs about beginnings and endings (hence the title) and a group of songs that were left over from the Graduate soundtrack.

Perhaps that paints the duo as a little unfocused, but when you consider the second half contains such great songs as ‘Fakin’ It,’ ‘A Hazy Shade of Winter’ and the full version of ‘Mrs. Robinson,’ it’s hard to argue with the results.

But the first side is a beautifully realized song cycle, opening and closing with the delicate ‘Bookends Theme,’ chronicling a mother’s impassioned pleas in the avant-garde ‘Save the Life of My Child,’ painting a portrait of two yearning young lovers in ‘America’ and sweetly observing two ‘Old Friends’ on a park bench.

‘Overs’ shows up after ‘America’ and presumably follows the same couple, now jaded and fallen out of love. They’ve stayed together thanks mainly to inertia. The young man who was “lost,” “empty and aching” in ‘America’ but unable to tell his Kathy except when she was sleeping hasn’t made a whole lot of progress.

Why don’t we stop fooling ourselves?
The game is over,

No good times, no bad times,
There’s no times at all,
Just The New York Times,
Sitting on the windowsill
Near the flowers.

We might as well be apart.
It hardly matters,
We sleep separately.

And drop a smile passing in the hall
But there’s no laughs left
‘Cause we laughed them all.
And we laughed them all
In a very short time.

Is tapping on my forehead,
Hanging from my mirror,
Rattling the teacups,
And I wonder,
How long can I delay?
We’re just a habit
Like saccharin.

And I’m habitually feelin’ kinda blue.

But each time I try on
The thought of leaving you,
I stop…
I stop and think it over

3 thoughts on “Song of the Day #1,445: ‘Overs’ – Simon & Garfunkel

  1. pegclifton says:

    So glad another Simon and Garfunkel made your list! This is such a sad song, and the video doesn’t bring a smile to my face either 🙂

  2. Dana says:

    I’m not a huge fan of every song on this particular album. The song you are featuring is sweet and sad, but I have no desire to hear it repeatedly, as compared to “America” which is amongst my favorites and is the best thing on Bookends by leaps and bounds.

  3. Amy says:

    I had no idea these songs were part of a concept album. Very cool. And I love “America.”

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