Paul Simon wrote "Bridge Over Troubled Water" in 1969 and recorded it with Art Garfunkel in 1970. Simon has said that he wrote the song as a comment on the Vietnam War, but it also expresses his feelings about his own marriage problems at the time.
It is estimated that the song has been covered by more than 200 artists in all genres of music, making it one of the most popular songs of all time.
Simon has said that when he writes songs for other people, he tries to write something that they will enjoy singing; with "Bridge Over Troubled Water", this seems to be the case because many singers have recorded it themselves.
The song's success can be attributed to its simple, catchy melody and powerful lyrics which speak directly to listeners hearts. In addition, the song contains an unusual chord progression which makes it interesting to listen to.
Have a look at some of the covers below!
"Bridge Over Troubled Water" is the most famous song in Paul Simon's career, as well as the most successful song connected with the immensely successful 1960s duet Simon & Garfunkel. Simon, who created practically all of the band's material, came up with the idea in the late 1960s while working on tracks for their fifth album. He first played the melody on his guitar and then developed it further with Garfunkel after they met at a party in New York City. They immediately felt a connection because both were young Jewish artists trying to make it in America.
Simon wrote "Bridge Over Troubled Water" during one of his frequent visits to Woodstock, New York. The town was then at the peak of its popularity as a counterculture destination, with music festivals being held every summer. Simon went there looking for inspiration and found it in the form of an old bridge that crossed a creek near where he was staying. He decided to use this soundscape as the background for his song and eventually had it recorded by a professional choir.
The song became popular after being released as a single in 1969. It spent three weeks at number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and has been included on many best-of lists from critics and listeners alike. In 2003, it was named the greatest song of all time by Rolling Stone magazine.
Bridge over troubled water/Lyricists, Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel/Songwriters, Paul Simon and Tommy James
Paul Simon was born on January 1st, 1941 in Brooklyn, New York. The son of a lawyer, he showed an early interest in music. At the age of 14, he started writing songs, many of which were based on real events in his life. In 1960, after graduating from Vassar College, he moved to Manhattan where he worked as a copywriter for an advertising agency. He also wrote song lyrics that were performed by various singers including Andy Williams, Rosemary Clooney, and Shirley Bassey.
In 1969, Simon formed a folk duo with guitarist Art Garfunkel. They immediately attracted attention with their cover version of Bob Dylan's song "Only a Pawn in Time," which became a hit single. Two more singles followed before they released their first album, Paul Simon, in 1970. This album was successful, selling more than 10 million copies worldwide and winning the Grammy Award for Album of the Year. After releasing another two albums between 1972 and 1979, Simon went back to work on his solo career.
"I know he wanted to write Bridge Over Troubled Waters," Lennon explained. However, Lennon may be misinformed regarding the Simon & Garfunkel influence, as 'Let It Be' was recorded 10 months before 'Bridge Over Troubled Water.' "
Lennon is likely referring to 'Bridge Over Troubled Water' being written by Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel. Simon & Garfunkel wrote several songs that were performed by Lennon and McCartney at their famous January 1969 concert at London's Royal Albert Hall, including "The Ballad of John and Yoko" and "Old Friends Never Die".
These songs are not included on the live album released in 1969 titled A Night at the Albert Hall, but instead they can be found on the post-1969 release called On Air: The Complete BBC Sessions. This album features all of the songs that were performed at the concert, except for "Old Friends Never Die".
Lennon and McCartney also covered Simon & Garfunkel's "The Sound of Silence", which can be found on With the Beatles.
In addition to writing songs that were performed by Lennon and McCartney, Simon & Garfunkel also influenced several other artists who covered their songs. These include Jeff Beck with his version of "The Circle Game" and Don McLean with his rendition of "American Pie".
Bridge at Bickleigh For years, Bickleigh Bridge in east Devon was referred to as the bridge mentioned in Simon and Garfunkel's classic, Bridge Over Troubled Water. The song's lyrics do not mention Bickleigh by name, but instead refer to a "bridge over troubled water". However, the actual location of this bridge is now known to be another bridge nearby called the Blackbrook Bridge. The Blackbrook Bridge has been repaired and updated many times since it was built in 1667, so it is possible that Simon and Garfunkel visited there when writing about the Bickleigh Bridge.
Simon wrote most of the songs for his first album, which included the hit single "50 Ways To Leave Your Lover", while he was living in New York City. During this time, he also wrote several other songs that would later appear on his second album, including "The Boxer", "Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues", and "Me & Bobby DeLuca". In 1970, he released his third album, Simon, which included the hits "That's Me Without You" and "Me & Julio Down By The Schoolyard".