Song of the Day #2,518: ‘Peace Like a River’ – Paul Simon

paul_simonMy fourth favorite album of 1972 is Paul Simon’s self-titled solo debut.

Hard as it is to imagine now, there were serious doubts in the early 70s over Simon’s prospects as a solo artist once Art Garfunkel left the band to pursue his movie career.

One reviewer of this album, quoted on Wikipedia, wrote “”I gather…this album is merely Simon’s way of keeping his hand in while Garfunkel makes movies….I’m now wondering if Garfunkel’s arranging work doesn’t include sending Simon back to rewrite some of his songs before recording them.”

That was the rare dissent, however. Most critics saw in Paul Simon the birth of Simom’s brilliant solo career, including tentative forays into world music, blues and jazz.

The album’s best-known tracks are the reggae-tinged ‘Mother and Child Reunion,’ the gentle folk ballad ‘Duncan’ and Simon’s classic ‘Me and Julio Down By the Schoolyard.’

Peace like a river ran through the city
Long past the midnight curfew
We sat starry-eyed
Oh, we were satisfied

And I remember
Misinformation followed us like a plague
Nobody knew from time to time
If the plans where changed
Oh, if the plans were changed

You can beat us with wires
You can beat us with chains
You can run out your rules
But you know you can’t outrun the history train
I‘ve seen a glorious day

Four in the morning
I woke up from out of my dreams
Nowhere to go but back to sleep
But I’m reconciled
Oh, oh, oh, I’m gonna be up for a while
Oh, oh, oh, I’m gonna be up for a while
Oh, oh, oh, I’m gonna be up for a while

2 thoughts on “Song of the Day #2,518: ‘Peace Like a River’ – Paul Simon

  1. Dana says:

    While that critic’s assessment of Art’s importance was way overstated, I can see where it comes from as Simon’s debut album, though quite good, was neither as strong as the duo’s past material nor as strong as Simon’s solo work to come.

  2. Peg says:

    Love his sound and Dana’s right, he just kept getting better and better

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