I’m going to put it out there … something I’ve been thinking about this past week.
The whole thing started while I worked on an edit. Not mine. Someone else’s. I got tired of sitting at my desk, looking out at the same old poinsettia bush. After all, it’s summertime. The bush is nothing shy of boring and green. So, I got up, went into the family room, and flipped on Pandora Radio on the television.
Apparently the last time I listened to Pandora in the family room, I had it on the “Simon and Garfunkel” station.
I love Simon and Garfunkel’s music. I grew up on it. I owned their albums, which I played nonstop on the little portable in my bedroom, the one I got one year for Christmas. (The portable, not the bedroom…)
Growing up, I took a lot of dance classes and, as a teenager, added choreography classes. One of my all-time favorite numbers that I choreographed was to Simon and Garfunkel’s The Boxer, which also happened to be my favorite all-time favorite song of theirs. And, wouldn’t you know it, Pandora started my afternoon of music-to-edit-by with that very song.
After a while I stopped editing and started wondering why in the world two such brilliant young talents separated. I knew, from past research, that they’d known each other since boyhood and had performed together for way more years than they’d been recording successes.
For the next half hour or so (or more, but who’s counting?), I watched videos where the two men talked, separately, about what had taken place … what had led to their breakup. And, I have to tell you, it broke my heart.
So, here’s the story: it all broke up over Bridge Over Troubled Water, which Paul had written in a high key (that he could not sing) specifically for “Artie” as he called Art Garfunkel. Thus, “Artie” sang the song “solo.” And so well, most people assumed he had written the song for himself. Simon was disturbed by the misunderstanding and Garfunkel wasn’t saying enough to fix the error. Even when they came back together for the 1981 Central Park concert, Simon walked off the stage while Garfunkel sang “Bridge.” The whole thing was still too close to home (although today they say they are both fine with it all).
And there you have it, ladies and gentlemen. One of the most beloved, most successful duos in the history of music broke up over who wrote a song. (Can someone say, “Pride comes before a fall”?)
But wait … I stopped myself as I went on a mental tirade over such silliness. Wait. How many times have I frowned and pouted? “I wrote that…” or “I said that first…” or … the list goes on and on. The beauty of what was done is lost in the faulty emotions and attitudes of the do-ers.
So, here’s my challenge to all of us (myself included)… the next time you get puffed up because you didn’t get credit for something, stop. Step back. Breathe. Rethink it. What’s more important? The effects of the song or the credit of the songwriter? What do you think?
(I’ve included a couple of neat videos in the links of the songs. Enjoy!)