Writer(s):

Paul Simon


Quotable:

--


First charted:

1/31/1970


Charts:


HT: 1 6
HP: --
CB: 1 4
UK: 1 3
AC: 1 6
CW: --
RB: --
AR: --
MR: --
AA: --


Sales (in millions):

1.0
--
6.0


Airplay (in millions):

7.0


In DMDB Book(s):


Awards:


Bridge Over Troubled Water

Simon & Garfunkel

Review:

In the 1958 song “Mary Don’t You Weep” Reverend Claude Jeter wrote the lyric “I’ll be your bridge over deep water if you trust in me.” WK Paul Simon used it as the basis for his slightly better known “Bridge Over Troubled Water.” “A narrator (who could be God, a parent, a lover, or a friend) pledges to help someone in adversity, to be ‘like a bridge over troubled water.’” AMG

Simon originally wrote the song on guitar TB and tried to sing it in falsetto, before deciding Art Garfunkel’s voice was better suited to the song. AMG Garfunkel disputed Simon’s contention that it was the best song he’d ever written AMG and thought Simon should sing it. As Simon said in 1972, “Many times I think I’m sorry I didn’t do it.” RS500 “In the earlier days when things were smoother I never would have thought that, but towards the end when things were strained I did. It’s not a very generous thing to think, but I did think that.” BR1

The duo disagreed with Clive Davis, then CBS Records president, over releasing the ballad as the album’s lead single, but Davis won out. AMG The result was the top pop single of the year. AMG

The song became an instant favorite to cover. It was current, but not really a rock and roll song, which gave it broad appeal. The R&B community seized on the song’s gospel feel while the country world latched on to the religious implications of the song. By the close of the year, 24 charted albums had featured the song. Since 1970, it has been recorded by hundreds of artists. AMG


Review Source(s):

  • AMG All Music Guide
  • BR1 Fred Bronson (2003). The Billboard Book of Number One Hits (5th edition). New York, NY: Billboard Books. Page 270.
  • RS500 Rolling Stone (12/04). “The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time”.
  • TB Thunder Bay Press (2006). Singles: Six Decades of Hot Hits & Classic Cuts. Outline Press Ltd.: San Diego, CA. Page 121.
  • WK Wikipedia.org

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Last updated February 26, 2012.