Appreciating all that makes America special

Song: "Bridge Over Troubled Water"

Remember when that mustache was cool? And that hair? Uploaded by

Paul Simon wrote it. Art Garfunkel sang it. And America loved it. “Bridge Over Troubled Water” won the Grammy Awards for both Record of the Year and Song of the Year in 1971. And Rolling Stone named it number 47 in its list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.

But, coming as it did near the end of Simon and Garfunkel’s partnership, it didn’t come into being without some travail. Although Simon wrote it for Garfunkel’s voice, he has stated that he wishes he’d sung it himself. “He felt I should have done it,” Simon told Rolling Stone in 1972. “And many times I’m sorry I didn’t do it.”

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Since the recording industry organization BMI named it the 19th-most-performed song of the twentieth century, it should come as no surprise that several excellent covers have been recorded. Aretha Franklin won a Grammy for Best Female R&B Performance for her 1972 version. Johnny Cash (Great American Thing No. 59) and The Jackson 5 recorded it.

And perhaps those who know that Elvis (Great American Thing No. 121) sang a lot of gospel music might have expected his outstanding version of “Bridge Over Troubled Water.” He recorded it in 1970 and performed it in two documentaries: Elvis – That’s the Way It Is and Elvis on Tour.

By the way, when Simon and Garfunkel sing the song now during their regular reunion concerts, they alternate singing the verses. “Your time has come to shine…”


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  1. The version of BOTW sung by Paul Simon on the “Tribute to Heroes” telethon broadcast just 10 days after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 is both a great arrangement and quite heartbreaking. It seems like he is struggling to just hold it together during parts of the song.

    I have the DVD of that show and pull it out and play it every once in awhile, and while pop music may be superfluous in the big picture, its power to inspire and perhaps even heal at a time like that is something to behold.

    Other powerful performances on that disc include My City of Ruins (Bruce Springsteen), Walk On (U2), I Won’t Back Down (Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers), Wish You Were Here (Limp Bizkit with John Rzeznik of the Goo Goo Dolls), New York State of Mind (Billy Joel), I Believe in Love (Dixie Chicks), Everyday (Dave Matthews), Redemption Song (Wyclef Jean), Livin’ on a Prayer (Bon Jovi), The Long Road (Eddie Vedder and Neil Young), and God Bless America (Celine Dion).

    Another great S&G song performance by Paul Simon was a solo acoustic version of “Mrs. Robinson” performed while standing alone in center field in front of a packed Yankee Stadium for the Joe DiMaggio tribute.
    It gave you chills – one of the top 5 non-baseball moments in that historic stadium.

  2. Where is this pic taken?