THE 1000 BEST SONGS IN THE WORLD EVER.
71-Simon & Garfunkel-Bridge over Troubled Water.
1970-Number 1 single.
Best Bit-At 4.02.The final verse was inspired by Paul Simon’s future wife Peggy Harper finding out she had a few grey hairs beginning to appear,which was upsetting her.
The line ‘Sail on silver girl’ was once reputed by ‘conspiracy theorists’ to refer to a needle,meaning the song is about Heroin,but Paul Simon has said the lyric was meant as a joke as he used to call Harper ‘Silver Girl.’
The songs title was inspired by Claude Jeter’s line,’I’ll be your bridge over deep water if you trust in me,’ from the 1958 Christian Music song ‘Mary Don’t You Weep’ by Jeter’s group the Swan Silvertones. Simon(see also best songs 529-200 and 96) recognised the inspiration by offering Jeter a cheque for royalties. Jeter also sang on Simon’s 1973 song ‘Take Me To The Mardi Gras.’
The songs production was modelled on Phil Spector’s ‘Old Man River’ by the Righteous Brothers.As stated on many previous occasions in this countdown Spector is famous for his ‘Wall Of Sound’ production technique and when he did Old Man River he kept it mainly piano through most of the song,but had it end with a flourish of instruments.
There are many cover versions,of which three I recommend highly.In 1970 Elvis Presley recorded the song for his Album ‘That’s the Way It Is,’Simon has said he was honoured that Presley sang one of his songs.Perhaps Aretha Franklin’s Gospel inspired version is the one that is truest to how Simon originally envisaged it sounding,Franklin’s version peaked at Number 6 on Billboard in 1971.I would also recommend the 10 minute Disco version from Linda Clifford,a UK Number 28 hit single in 1979.
The song became a UK Number 1 again in 2017.To raise money for the families of the victims of the Grenfell Tower fire a charity single was released featuring many of the then current crop of Pop Stars.
‘When you’re weary,feeling small,when tears are in your eyes,I’ll dry them all.’
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This is the highest placed Simon & Garfunkel song on this countdown.YOUTUBE.COMSimon and Garfunkel – Bridge Over Troubled WaterStudio Version Lyrics: When you’re weary Feeling small When tears are in your eyes I will dry them all I’m on your side When times get rough And…