Saturday, August 25, 2018

"The Only Living Boy in New York" / Simon & Garfunkel

 Last week of August, New York City. Seems like everyone has decamped to the Hamptons or the Vineyard or the Jersey Shore or the Poconos or who knows where. And here I am, still in town, feeling existential.
And I keep coming back to this album. (See here for my take on the whole album.) Peeling back layers of the onion, still finding more to relish.

But this track -- this track, jeez -- it's here in a nutshell. The absent friends ("Tom, get your plane right on time"), the aimlessness ("I get the news I need from the weather report," and this before iPhones), the angst ("half of the time we're gone, and we don't know where, and we don't know where"), and the valiant hope ("let your honesty shine, shine, shine now"). A slacker anthem, released way back in 1970 before we'd even coined the term slacker.

This track is all Simon; Garfunkel's gone off to Mexico. Feeling abandoned, yeah, but also . . . that undertow of percussion and gospel choir . . . what if maybe, just maybe, being left alone in New York is a good thing?

Hunkering down, testing the waters. Stretching the wings. Girding up for a new chapter.

Oh yeah.

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