The Sounds of Silence

One of the songs we are currently learning is The Sounds of Silence.

When I was at university I owned a battered vinyl copy of an album called Wednesday Morning 3AM. My musical hero John Peel had mentioned it in one of his late night radio sessions, and then there it was, the next day, in a box outside a junk shop on Great Horton Road in Bradford. I took it as an omen, parted with a few pence and schlepped it back to my student flat where I suddenly remembered I didn’t have a record player, only a tape deck! When I returned home for the holidays though I listened to it over and over. It was completely different to the eighties electropop and rock I’d previously been into. I loved the acoustic simplicity. It was my first foray into the folk genre and I carefully recorded it on to audio tape, and took it back to uni, where I listened to it until the tape wore out! My love affair with Paul Simon began at that point and from there I moved on to Bob Dylan and Joan Baez, Don Maclean and Cat Stevens, and I revisited my father’s LPs of the Beatles and the Kinks. My flatmates, who existed on a solid diet of House music, Hip Hop and Gothic Rock thought I was bonkers, but something about this music really appealed to me.

My favourite songs on Wednesday Morning 3AM were Kathy’s Song and the Sounds of Silence. Paul Simon wrote them when he was 21, about the age I bought the album. I didn’t know that then but maybe his slightly angst-ridden lyrics spoke to my own angst-ridden soul!

The story behind The Sounds of Silence is interesting.

A friend sent me a link to this cover version of the song recently. It’s by the Heavy Metal band Disturbed, but don’t let that put you off if you’re not a fan. This is a wonderful, epic version and I love it.

But for me nothing will ever match the original version which I fell in love with in my twenties.

What do you think? Which is your favourite version of the song?


4 thoughts on “The Sounds of Silence

  1. It was lovely to hear the two versions of the Sound of Silence, I am still drawn to Simon & Garfunkel that is probably because that is all I have ever known but I did also enjoy the Disturbed version. I will listen to that again, as Annie said it helps with remembering the words.

    Thank you Debra

  2. Thank you, Debra, for posting the two Sound of Silence links. Obviously I grew up with the original version and the impact created by its simplicity cannot be surpassed but I must say that I really like the Disturbed version. I shall keep returning to it. The images in the video are really helping me remember the words too. How great for you, me and everyone who’s a fan that we shall get to perform the classic song soon.

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