Sunday, March 23, 2008

Graceland


My favourite lyricist, or rather, the lyricist whom I'd want to write like the most. The song, of course, is from his deservedly famous, genre-blending album Graceland. Unlike, say, 'Calling Elvis' or 'Walking in Memphis', reference to The King's home does not define the song here. Instead, Paul Simon pays Elvis back for providing him his early inspiration by giving Graceland the respect it deserves, seeing it in terms of a promised land rather than the scene of Elvis' last bloated years. The definitive version, for any fanatical Paul Simon fans ('is there such a kind, girl, seems so hard to find...') is the live version from Paul Simon's Concert in the Park, not to be confused with Simon and Garfunkel's Concert in Central Park, which is a whole different case of brilliance, and I have to work, bye...


The Mississippi Delta was shining
Like a National guitar,
I am following the river
Down the highway
Through the cradle of the civil war,

I'm going to Graceland
Graceland
In Memphis Tennessee
I'm going to Graceland,

Poorboys and Pilgrims with families
And we are going to Graceland,

My traveling companion is nine years old
He is the child of my first marriage,
But I've reason to believe
We both will be received
In Graceland,

She comes back to tell me she's gone,
As if I didn't know that
As if I didn't know my own bed,
As if I'd never noticed,
The way she brushed her hair from her forehead,
And she said losing love
Is like a window in your heart,
Everybody sees you're blown apart,
Everybody sees the wind blow,

I'm going to Graceland,
Memphis Tennessee
I'm going to Graceland,
Poorboys and Pilgrims with families
And we are going to Graceland,

And my traveling companions
Are ghosts and empty sockets
I'm looking at ghosts and empties,
But I've reason to believe
We all will be received
In Graceland,

There is a girl in New York City,
Who calls herself the human trampoline,
And sometimes when I'm falling flying
Or tumbling in turmoil I say
Whoa so this is what she means,
She means we're bouncing into Graceland,
And I see losing love
Is like a window in your heart,
Everybody sees you're blown apart,
Everybody feels the wind blow,

In Graceland Graceland,
I'm going to Graceland,
For reasons I cannot explain
There's some part of me wants to see
Graceland,
And I may be obliged to defend
Every love every ending
Or maybe there's no obligations now,
Maybe I've a reason to believe
We all will be received
In Graceland

2 comments:

millenniumhand said...

Ah, there's no one quite like Paul Simon. Have you heard the subsequent album, The Rhythm of the Saints? Not as immediate, but I've come to love it almost as much as Graceland.

-Yohan

a fan apart said...

Yup, i have Rhythm of the Saints. Its less radio-friendly as a whole, but its got 2 astounding songs in 'The obvious child' and 'The Coast'.