\”The Sounds Of Silence\” is a major work. We were looking for a song on a larger scale, but this was more than either of us expected. Paul had the theme and the melody set in November, but three months of frustrating attempts were necessary before the song \”burst forth\”. On February 19, 1964, the song practically wrote itself.
It\’s theme is man\’s inability to communicate with man. The author sees the extent of communication as it is on only it\’s most superficial and \’commercial\’ level (of which the \”neon sign\” is representative). There is no serious understanding because there is no serious communication – \”people talking without speaking – hearing without listening\”
No one dares take the risk of reaching out (\”take my arms that I might reach you\”) to disturb the sound of silence. The poet\’s attempts are equally futile (\”but my words like silent raindrops fell within the wells of silence\”)
The ending is an enigma. I find my own meaning in it, but like most good works, it is best interpreted by each person individually. The words tell us that when meaningful communication fails, the only sound is silence.
(Art Garfunkel – words taken from the back cover of the album)
SIMON & GARFUNKEL – The Sounds Of Silence (stereo)