There ARE NO coincidences. But things do seem to come in patterns… and usually patterns of three. Or have we just been indoctrinated like that… like the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost?
The deaths of three celebrities in close proximity…
Waves of fortune… or misfortune…
Whatever it is, things just seem to swarm at the same time. Grab you and shake you and wake you up.
Life is funny that way… brilliant that way… eye-opening and powerful that way.
So I was looking around for something the other day… and noticed that Art Garfunkel released a career-spanning collection of songs entitled The Singer. Okay, so this was back in August, but at least I am hip to it now… albeit three months after the fact.
I will also admit that while I knew a few of his solo songs, I did not know that much. Most of us know Art as part of the package of Simon & Garfunkel. And while he is often billed as a second fiddle to the more prolific songwriting genius of Paul Simon, that is not really fair. His voice is something to be celebrated on its own… a true gift filled with grace and beauty… It grounds you to the earth, yet at the same time that sweet tenor soars above the terra firma and into the majestic blue skies. It truly flies you over America.
If you need to be reminded of just how amazing and majestic his voice is, listen to “Barbara Allen”, the last track on Disc One…
He does a lot of covers and a lot of S&G tunes, obviously, because he did not write songs.
AllMusic says “Garfunkel never was a writer; he was only a singer, and even at his best he wasn’t exactly an interpreter — he sang the songs as they were written, always to the best of his abilities.”
I find this a bit dismissive… and what is wrong with singing songs the way the writer intended… It is not easy to deliver what someone else hears in their head… My Lord…
“Bridge Over Troubled Water”… “For Emily, Whenever I May Find Her”… “The Sound Of Silence”… “So Long, Frank Lloyd Wright”… sigh… and then “Break Away”… “99 Miles From LA”… and my favorite solo track, “A Heart In New York.” Yeah, okay, I am a sucker for songs about the city of my birth… but this is such a beautiful tune. I adore this song… it grabs me and moves me and reminds me why this is the greatest city in the world… and why I love the voice of Art Garfunkel.
If this is the sweet sound of a second fiddle, than play on… Forget the first chair of the orchestra, it is the second violin I want!
Long live The Singer!