I love Simon and Garfunkel. I listen to their music all the time, on rainy days, at nights or when I feel like relaxing. I can even remember the first time I heard Simon and Garfunkel music. The first song I ever heard from S+G was Mrs. Robinson. It came on the radio when I was about eleven years old. I can remember being struck by the lyrics and the tune. All through University I had their music. The best of S+G was the last cassette tape I ever bought, I remember listening to Old friends after work once when I was twenty one. They have been a life long companion.
I have probably been listening to Paul Simon longer still. When I was a little child in 1986 my mother bought ‘Graceland’ and it was all she played. She would pick me up from school and we would drive home listening to it. I was enraptured by the man. The upbeat tempo, the incredible words, I love Graceland, it is one of my favorite albums. I credit Paul Simon (and my mother for playing his tape everyday) for helping me form a love of writing and words. For a few years I was unaware that Paul Simon was the Simon of Simon and Garfunkel. I was surprised when I found that out.
A story I find interesting is the woman behind Paul’s lyrics. In many of his songs he refers to a woman named Kathy, such as in America and Kathy’s song. He also refers to her in Overs and others where she is not named. Kathy is Kathy Chitty. Paul met her while he lived and worked in London in the early 60’s. Kathy Chitty today lives in a small cottage in Wales. Her influence on Paul Simon helped him create some of the world’s greatest songs. She never liked the attention and she has hidden herself form the spotlight and now does not invite anyone to contact to her about her past. Paul Simon has referred to his time with her as his ‘Most peaceful time’.
Below are the lyrics to Kathy’s song and a photo of Paul’s first album cover, he is seating with Kathy.
I hear the drizzle of the rain
Like a memory it falls
Soft and warm continuing
Tapping on my roof and walls.
And from the shelter of my mind
Through the window of my eyes
I gaze beyond the rain-drenched streets
To England where my heart lies.
My mind’s distracted and diffused
My thoughts are many miles away
They lie with you when you’re asleep
And kiss you when you start your day.
And as a song I was writing is left undone
I don’t know why I spend my time
Writing songs I can’t believe
With words that tear and strain to rhyme.
And so you see I have come to doubt
All that I once held as true
I stand alone without beliefs
The only truth I know is you.
And as I watch the drops of rain
Weave their weary paths and die
I know that I am like the rain
There but for the grace of you go I.