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Paul Simon – Sounds Of Silence lyrics

Hello darkness, my old friend
I've come to talk with you again
Because a vision softly creeping
Left its seeds while I was sleeping
And the vision that was planted in my brain
Still remains
Within the sound of silence

In restless dreams I walked alone
Narrow streets of cobblestone
'Neath the halo of a street lamp
I turned my collar to the cold and damp
When my eyes were stabbed by the flash of a neon light
That split the night
And touched the sound of silence

And in the naked light I saw
Ten thousand people, maybe more
People talking without speaking
People hearing without listening
People writing songs that voices never share
And no one dared
Disturb the sound of silence

"Fools", said I, "You do not know
Silence like a cancer grows
Hear my words that I might teach you
Take my arms that I might reach you"
But my words, like silent raindrops fell
And echoed
In the wells of silence

And the people bowed and prayed
To the neon god they made
And the sign flashed out its warning
In the words that it was forming
And the sign said, "The words of the prophets are written on the subway walls
And tenement halls"
And whispered in the sounds of silence

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Corrected byhippyshaker


  • t
    The song is, in my opinion, about sheer loneliness and isolation in the big city, when you know nothing and nobody. Silence is the most used metaphor for abandonment and disinterest in what one has to say. Paul Simon reiterated this message in another great song, "The Boxer", a year or two later.
    1 reply
  • u
    What a beautiful, poetic song! This is from the songwriting school of what I'd call abstract imagery. It can mean different things in what ever way you perceive it, that's good art. The whole thing is a vision that might come to us in a dream. To me it speaks of the mistakes of mankind and what we place our emphasis in life on. Because of our tendency to ignore warnings that may come to us in various ways we do bad things to ourselves, each other and to our planet. Anyone else have thoughts on this. One of my all time favorite songs.
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