America lyrics by Paul Simon, 4 meanings. America explained, official 2020 song lyrics |
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Paul Simon – America lyrics
Let us be lovers we'll marry our fortunes together
I've got some real estate here in my bag
So we bought a pack of cigarettes and Mrs. Wagner's pies
And we walked off to look for America
Cathy I said as we boarded a Greyhound in Pittsburgh
Michigan seems like a dream to me now
It took me four days to hitchhike from Saginaw
I've gone to look for America
Laughing on the bus playing games with the faces
She said the man in the gabardine suit was a spy
I said be careful his bowtie is really a camera
Toss me a cigarette I think there's one in the raincoat
We smoked the last one an hour ago
So I looked at the scenary she read her magazine
And the moon rose over an open field
Cathy I'm lost I said though I knew she was sleeping
I'm empty and aching and I don't know why
Counting the cars on the New Jersey Turnpike
They've all come to look for America
All come to look for America

Lyrics taken from /lyrics/p/paul_simon/america.html

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America meanings

  • U
    + 1
    They're two youngsters from the mid-West going to New York. That's the 'finding America' bit - notice the end up on the New Jersey Turnpike. They don't have money - hence running out of cigarettes. And of course, if they had money, they'd have a car instead of going by hitch-hike and bus. I think that they've come from separate places 'it took *me* four hours to hitchhike from Saginaw', so it could be that they are eloping (or the flower-power equivalent).
    But when they get there, she's not in tune with his moods and falls asleep while he's awake wondering where he fits in, in this world, and he looks out of the bus and where the night before there was an open field with a moon, now the Turnpike is crammed with cars - emblem of wealth but also of anonymity.
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  • c
    It is the inevitable search for truth. This search often comes at crossroads at a younger age where uncertainty exists. This being said, however, can be, a quest for all different ages of people and may last any length of time, if not, forever. Wether this journey takes place in a sober physical world or in a path of excess the gentle nature of this song suggests the tour of solitude and communal simularity of mankind.
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  • g
    Well stated, shalom. It's been said that a man travels the world over in search of what he needs and returns home to find it. I think we find this song's travelers in the middle of that journey, not quite knowing who they are or where they're headed in life, but taking pleasure in simple vices like hitch-hiking, cigarettes, and junk food, and doing their best to enjoy the ride. It reminds me of my college days when I was in the same place - a life filled with freedom and fun, but a longing for more meaning and purpose that I later found in the very life I had been running from.
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  • s
    This song is done in simple sweetness. A young couple, seeking out life on merely a dream and pocket money. They are Americans, yet this song I believe is a song about the immigration of the heart. Being in a country, where all freedom is around you, a place where many from other people from other countries dream of coming to. This couple decides to go find America within America. The irony is, just as an immigrant from a distant country thinks he longs for a different country to live in, he finds that when he arrives, his happiness is moot. He longs for home, is empty and aching. So is as well, for persons within their own land, when you leave what you know as home, even while seeking out places in your own homeland, the homesickness follows.
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    • U
      + 1
      They're two youngsters from the mid-West going to New York. That's the 'finding America' bit -... Read more →
    • c
      It is the inevitable search for truth. This search often comes at crossroads at a younger age where... Read more →

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