Song of the Day #4,105: ‘Kodachrome’ – Paul Simon

It’s time for the next installment in the Decades series, where I do a deep dive into the same year across the past four decades. I’ve done the 0s, 1s and 2s, and for the next several weeks I’ll tackle the 3s. First out of the gate is 1973.

As always, I will first offer up songs from my favorite 1973 albums and then songs from albums that received commercial and/or critical acclaim but with which I am largely unfamiliar.

Paul Simon’s There Goes Rhymin’ Simon, his third solo album, is one favorite of mine from 1973. Featuring the standout ‘American Tune’ as well as ‘Loves Me Like a Rock’ and today’s SOTD, ‘Kodachrome,’ this is a modest and thoroughly enjoyable trip through a number of American song styles.

Before Simon would look to world beats on later solo albums, he tried his hand at Dixieland, gospel and R&B, delivering a tender and melodic song suite that ranks up there with some of his best work.

When I think back
On all the crap I learned in high school
It’s a wonder
I can think at all
And though my lack of education
Hasn’t hurt me none
I can read the writing on the wall

Kodachrome
They give us those nice bright colors
They give us the greens of summers
Makes you think all the world’s a sunny day, Oh yeah
I got a Nikon camera
I love to take a photograph
So mama don’t take my Kodachrome away

If you took all the girls I knew
When I was single
And brought them all together for one night
I know they’d never match
My sweet imagination
Everything looks worse in black and white

Kodachrome
They give us those nice bright colors
They give us the greens of summers
Makes you think all the world’s a sunny day, Oh yeah
I got a Nikon camera
I love to take a photograph
So mama don’t take my Kodachrome away

Mama don’t take my Kodachrome away
Mama don’t take my Kodachrome away
Mama don’t take my Kodachrome away

Mama don’t take my Kodachrome
Mama don’t take my Kodachrome
Mama don’t take my Kodachrome away

Mama don’t take my Kodachrome
Leave your boy so far from home
Mama don’t take my Kodachrome away
Mama don’t take my Kodachrome

Mama don’t take my Kodachrome away

2 thoughts on “Song of the Day #4,105: ‘Kodachrome’ – Paul Simon

  1. Dana Gallup says:

    Always enjoy the decades deep dives.

    I’m not sure I’ve sat down and listened to this album from beginning to end, but I’m certainly well familiar with its most popular tracks, and I would argue that “American Tune” is one of the most poignant beautiful songs ever written, not only by Simon but by any artist.

  2. Peg says:

    Love Paul Simon. Great song!

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