Simon & Garfunkel – America


United States, for all its imminent problems – worsening income gap, violent crime rates, persistent economic stagnation, and other countless things you may have to compile a list – remains a dream place not only for its young generation, but also for people across the whole world. Nearly 50 million people born worldwide have been residing in this country, excluding hundreds of millions of people still going after the dreams they relentlessly chase. At one point, this song by Simon & Garfunkel was an ironic statement about how reality slowly crushes away their dreams, forcing them to ‘wake up’, finding out all the promises made about America are no more than illusions. And this seemingly explains again about the waning power of this country, one that has been embattled by so many troubles of its own, excluding the world’s problems that many of the countries desperately need America to protect them. Its soul is becoming increasingly empty, and many people are slowly losing their life directions as reality intrudes and grinds their dreams further. That the America they are looking for is increasingly distant from their expectations.

Nonetheless, people still never stop chasing America. And they will never stop.

A lesson seriously learned from this song. We need to do our self-contemplation, a soul-searching journey again, on what our dreams really are.


Bonus: the song is covered again by Passenger (a vivid fan of Paul Simon), The Once, and Stu Larsen.





Paul Simon – ‘Graceland’


Revisiting one of the best albums by Paul Simon (the one from duo Simon & Garfunkel), this time with a touch of Cape Town township music, and the vibrancy of South Africans, in particular as the country was moving ahead towards the end of apartheid. The songs are not simply a stronghold for the souls of the oppressed, chants of the suffering men, but also earmark a restless spirit for them to overcome all challenges, and a voice, in catchy tones, for the whole world to capture.

This album was released in 1986, and was awarded Grammy Award for Best Album afterwards. Enjoy.