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Paul Simon – I Am A Rock lyrics

A winter's day
In a deep and dark
I am alone,
Gazing from my window to the streets below
On a freshly fallen silent shroud of snow.
I am a rock,
I am an island.

I've built walls,
A fortress deep and mighty,
That none may penetrate.
I have no need of friendship; friendship causes pain.
It's laughter and it's loving I disdain.
I am a rock,
I am an island.

Don't talk of love,
But I've heard the words before;
It's sleeping in my memory.
I won't disturb the slumber of feelings that have died.
If I never loved I never would have cried.
I am a rock,
I am an island.

I have my books
And my poetry to protect me;
I am shielded in my armor,
Hiding in my room, safe within my womb.
I touch no one and no one touches me.
I am a rock,
I am an island.

And a rock feels no pain;
And an island never cries.

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Corrected byJay Merrifield


  • u
    I loved this song as a teenager but never really understood the lyrics until much later in life when I a love affair ended. For a year I withdrew from the world, couldn't talk to anyone. For me that line "if i never loved i never would have cried" is so perceptive.
    But this song for me is about depression, about loneliness and total despair and we just know that he does feel intense pain, and that he does cry and that only with support and friendship will he recover.
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  • j
    Clearly (To me) there are 2 ways of looking at this. I strongly empathise with the sentiment of the song. Shalom is right about the hurt.
    If there is no contact with the outside world then there is a lessening of the pain (& no, I don't mind my screenname being on this, this is who I am) By the same token it has to be accepted, as poet John Donne said many, many years ago, 'no man is an island. ' & the song is not actually factually accurate or indeed practicable. Indeed I suppose that what I am doing, reaching out into the Internet, here & now, is an act of communication simply unimagined when the song was written.
    A beautiful song. A Great song.
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