Like timeless novels, there’s classic storytelling through song lyrics. Simon & Garfunkel’s Sound of Silence is a perfect example of timeless lyrics. They remain in peoples’ brains because the message universally resonates, no matter who sings them. And every artist has their own delivery — their unique voice — just as novel writers do. Here are the lyrics to Sound of Silence. Follow along as five outstanding — and totally different — renditions of Sound of Silence are performed.

*   *   *

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 sound of silence

This is as good as songwriting gets. Put on your headphones or earbuds and listen to how these amazing artists break the sound of silence.

*   *   *

Simon & Garfunkel Original Cut –

Jayden Raylee Cover –

Nouela Cover

Disturbed Cover –

Simon & Garfunkel Reunion

6 thoughts on “THE SOUND OF SILENCE

  1. Sue Coletta

    So true! Excellent lyrics do stick with you. My favorite lines: When my eyes were stabbed by the flash of a neon light
    That split the night
    And touched the sound of silence
    Awesome storytelling!!!

    1. Garry Rodgers Post author

      They’re still stuck in my brain, Sue. How this post got started was someone asked me about the differences between novel writing and songwriting. I’ve penned a few books but the best I’ve ever done at songs is a limerick not fit to print. I can’t play the radio nevermind an instrument. But I do recognize good songwriting and immediately said two songs always come to mind are Big River by Johnny Cash (written by Kris Kristofferson) and Sound of Silence by Paul Simon. I’d already done a blog post tribute to Big River so I thought I’d take a quick swing at Sound of Silence. When I went through it line-by-line & word-by-word I was simply blown away by the power of the lyrics. Every friggen word counts. Try that in an 80K novel, I thought. Then I started Googling & listening to the various covers and realized just how flexible this song is – but how solid & universal the story is. I stayed up till 1:30 am listening & noting. When I wrote the post, I just let the lyrics stand. It’s not possible to improve on perfection.

    1. Garry Rodgers Post author

      I’m with you. Lauralynn. Disturbed’s cover is mindblowing. The strings, the kettle drums and that voice – that voice delivering that message :O


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