Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Art-For-Art’s-Sake Theatre: American Tune

“We come at an age’s most uncertain hour, and sing an American tune ...”

Time once again for our usual midday Wednesday feature.

Written and first performed by Paul Simon, this song first appeared on There Goes Rhymin' Simon (1973), Simon's second solo album following his breakup with Art Garfunkel. As a single, it reached number 35 on the Billboard charts in the United States.

At this writing, the results of the national election are pending, but this is a suitable choice whatever the result. The lyrics offer a perspective on the American experience; there are references to struggle, weariness, hard work, confusion, and homesickness. The bridge conveys a dream of death and of the Statue of Liberty "sailing away to sea." The song ends with an assertion that "you can't be forever blessed" before the lyrics return to the idea of work, tiredness, and resignation.

Simon performs the song in this 1981 performance with none other than Garfunkel, in New York City's Central Park.

(H/T to Wikipedia.)

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