SOTW: A Hazy Shade of Winter – Simon & Garfunkel

Lyrics | Video | Chords

Hi Everybody!

This week’s Song of the Week takes us back to the 1960’s!  Simon & Garfunkel is definitely one of my favorite groups to listen to.  Their mellow folk sound and often times, organically inspired lyrics (think Sparrow, I am a Rock–I mean, “Silent shroud of snow,” do lyrics get any better than that?) are far more interesting than much of what we hear on the radio today.  Paul Simon was a great songwriter, inserting dual messages in many of his songs to bring awareness, and encourage conversations about issues of the time.

First things first, thanks Jill for the suggestion!  I have to say, the title, Hazy Shade of Winter, truly describes most of how winter is experienced–at least in Ohio.  I was driving home from work today, and even though it was only 5:15, the sky was striped with dark grey clouds, and lighter blue-grey sky as the light quickly waned to darkness.

This song touches on that transition from autumn to winter.

“Look around, leaves are brown,
there’s a patch of snow on the ground.”

We hear other lyrics in this song that are compelling, touching on subjects that can be far too real and raw:

Seasons change with the scenery
Weaving time in a tapestry
Won’t you stop and remember me”

It’s lyrics like these that are so masterful, both intellectually, and structurally.  The rhyme of “the scenery,” “a tapestry,” “remember me.” This is all contained in an 8-syllable line, making it pleasing for the audience aurally.  It is easily understood and balanced.  But the meaning behind the above lines, and the imagery that is produced by them is poignant.

Another interesting part of this song is the smart use of instrumentation.  You will hear it throughout the song: trumpets, various percussion.  One of my favorite moments in the song is when it is all stripped down to the bass and bass drum.  It creates this sense of breath in the song.  I think it is a great contrast to the rest of the piece, what with the driving rock beat from the drum set and lead guitar.

I definitely plan on using this song at work this week!  I hope you all can find time to use it in your practice, too!

Best,
+bb

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