There’s no such thing as a romantic.
Wait. Scratch that.
There’s no one way to say if someone is romantic or not. Like so many other things in this world, there’s no single, commonly accepted characteristic of a romantic. Every romantic is different. I think you get the idea.
I was introduced to Paul Simon, way back in school, by a friend who isn’t a friend anymore. If we start delving into the purpose of someone’s life in our life, I guess he fulfilled his purpose. But, thankfully, this post is not about that, or him!
I am a bit surprised that the first post of the Anthem series was not about Paul Simon. He is my favourite musician, singer, and songwriter of all times. When I take time and think why his song didn’t feature earlier in this series, it is actually easy. Almost all of his songs would end up featuring as an anthem, by the nature of this series.
This one’s a love song.
In the sense that it is a song of love. It is not a love song in the sense that it expresses love for someone. It does not glorify love. It does not venerate a loved one. If you ask someone else, they may say it is a sad song. Perhaps. Quite a few fans may say, it autobiographical. Perhaps. I’ve been listening to his songs since the mid-eighties and I long gave up trying to find the exact meaning of his songs.
But then, Paul Simon is a stellar songwriter.
There’s never a single layer in anything he creates. I always think of him a weaver of emotions and leaves it to you to feel whatever you feel. He is a true artist in that sense — the kind I like — who allows the audience their own meaning: meanings, actually. In terms of the number of times I have played this song, it may not amount to much. When I think of the number of times I have felt this song, however, this song for me is an anthem, in every sense. This song has been with me more than thirty years and it is the most evocative song of love — it’s full of love and bereft of lovers, if that makes any sense. To me, it makes perfect sense.
Here’s the aptly titled song, which I carry in my heart and feel it in my bones.