Reviews for American Tune LyricsPerformed by Paul Simon
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More current than ever... | Reviewer: Anonymous | 2/15/09
Astonishing how current this song seems, 30 years after it was written, the truest measure of greatness. Literally brings tears to my eyes (what ninny I've become...).
I cannot hope to match the eloquence and insight of many of the existing comments on this page, but I am compelled to ramble-on just the same.
I*ve always liked this song, but I had more or less forgotten about it until recently, when it bubbled-up, piecemeal from my sub-conscious (I assume). Written as it was in the aftermath of Vietnam and the dawn of a new era of uncertainty over the Faustian bargain we American's had struck with global ambition and petro-politics, it's astonishing, and disquieting, to consider how well these lyrucs describe our current condition. After three decades of jingoistic self-indulgance, it seems we have arrived at the same dilemmas, only this time with fewer material resources to address them, but with the hope that we may yet triumph, if we can reach just that much deeper into our briny moat of contradictory impulses and conflicting narratives to once again transcend our present follies and be born again a little better than before, though still far from perfect.
"The statue of liberty sailing away to sea." | Reviewer: Anonymous | 1/30/09
This song isn't idealistic. It is serious. If you have hope, have hope in the people realizing there has been a real scam played on them, byt thanks to cheap labor we did live so well so long. In the days of this song, we got good wages. Not now...So to hope for a new camelot president. Think: did Congress just give away $7 trillion to the bankers Senators Obama and McCain both voted for it; the bankers told them to. Think: no actual schools or poor people are scheduled to get any of this stimulus. This is capitalism, and it is not getting kinder and gentler. This government, with Obama's direction is escalating the war in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
So the statue of liberty is still sailing away, despite that handsome brilliant charming president and his lovely family. The US Navy, speaking of sailing away to sea, has now got 1000 ships to patrol over the world. Looking for stuff like the linds of things we consumerded like gluttons as Simon wrote, "we lived so well so long," and he wrote this even before the big credit debt we got into! This is over, and actually, it's not all right any more.
An American tear | Reviewer: Patrick | 1/14/09
It's hard to listen to this song, and these heartfelt reviews through the tears. Never so eloquently has despair and hope been wed.
Removing the message for America, I find myself traveling this road and thank Paul for making me feel less alone.
Paul Simon on 'Colbert Report' | Reviewer: Robert | 11/21/08
I just heard Paul Simon perform "An American Tune" on "The Colbert Report" earlier this week and I was so taken by it I played it back a second time. I was thinking how this song so well sums up our hope in what President-Elect Obama can do once he takes office. So it's interesting to read one of your other posters note that the song was used in an Obama ad.
"We come in the age's most uncertain hours and sing an American tune."
Obama's Theme | Reviewer: Chet | 11/2/08
And today, 11/2/08 Obama debuted this song in a very powerful campaign ad. Nothing but a verse playing over a series of photos that show very well the tailspin in which we find our beloved country. Please, vote for Obama, and give this guy a chance to stop the bleeding, repair the worldwide damage and unite Americans. The republicans will continue to reward the rich, spend our great grandchildren into the poor house and shred the few remaining strings that try to hold Americans together. Thanks to Paul Simon for once again providing such a powerful backdrop for our lives.
In harmony with America | Reviewer: Marty Stahl | 10/1/08
I don't remember when I first heard this or whether I first heard it from Simon and Garfunkel or the Starland Vocal Band cover of the song.
I know I heard it after returning from Vietnam and before I had any idea how deeply that journey had affected me (others noticed and I did not).
Somehow this song is the most honest and hopeful "American Tune" for me. It seems to reach right into my heart and the heart of America. It acknowledges the dream and that we often fall short of the dream and yet keep on to "another working day" with our rest disturbed by our thoughts of this land that is a part of us as much as we are a part of it.
An eternally fresh song! | Reviewer: Prakash Rao | 6/18/08
As a 50 something, this song has been relevant for me decade after decade, experience after experience, crisis after crisis.
After immigrating from India more than 7000 miles away and arriving on a jet plane and not the Mayflower, the words "Still, you don't expect to be Bright and bon vivant - - So far away from home, so far away from home" resonates. Many are the weary days when I asked myself what I am doing here. and then , Still, tomorrow's going to be another working day And I'm trying to get some rest That's all I'm trying to get some rest"
The current oil crisis and the perceived decline of America - "for we lived so well so long" and later "You can't be forever blessed".
In my opinion, one of the best songwriters - ever!
this song is my favorite | Reviewer: Patty Long | 1/21/08
I used to listen to Graceland, over and over. I thought I knew most of Paul Simon's songs; funny I just discovered this one recently- I think it is my favorite.
Takes everything that is happening in our country, and brings it home to the individual. I love how you feel the greatness and then the smallness of life all in one song. And the testiment to our fragility and resiliency.
A great song that is as current today as when written | Reviewer: Roy Telfer | 1/11/08
This song means a lot to me as a disillusioned chid of the sixties. Now my daughter and I text it to each other when her university "life" gets too hard. "Tomorrow's (always) going to be another working day".........
A song of deep meaning | Reviewer: Pam | 11/27/07
This song had great meaning for me as I joined the workforce as an over-educated, underpaid drone in 1973. Like many, I reflected upon the trauma of Vietnam, the gas shortages, the pain of the reality not meeting the expectations of the dream. Today, at 57, the song has meaning for me as I reflect upon an America that seems to be going in the wrong direction, away from freedom and idealism and toward imperialism and socialism. This is a grey sad song for a middle-aged person who has seen her generation fail in its youthful quest to make America a better, happier place.
What's gone wrong | Reviewer: Craig | 10/26/07
Ever since I first heard it, I've thought it was the saddest song ever written.
"We come in the ages most uncertain hours and sing an American Tune...
...we lived so well so long
Still, when I think of the
road we're traveling on
I wonder what's gone wrong
I can't help it, I wonder what has gone wrong...
The American "Recessional" | Reviewer: Nancy | 9/10/07
This song by Paul Simon has always given me shivers. I thank the people who point out that it is based on "O Sacred Head, Sore Wounded." Having had a Lutheran upbringing, you'd think I'd have figured that out . . .
I've always thought this song is the American equivalent of Rudyard Kipling's "Recessional," which Kipling wrote for national celebration of Queen Victoria's 60th year on the throne.
Kipling's language is dated, (and there is one line that is full of the racism of his time, so it's not the perfect, politically correct poem), but it took courage to write and publish it in the context of the pomp and glorification of the British Empire in 1897. And, man, he knew what was coming. The poets always seem to know.
If Paul Simon hadn't written another song, this one alone would make his name.
Paul Simon is a genius. | Reviewer: Alan | 8/22/07
Sometimes the creative process really leaps, over time, race, gender and is capaable of reaching Into your essence. When a person is able to accomplish this magic there is a tugging and I start to feel the wonder of life.
Now that is a lot to say about how a song, photo, performance, film or even a chance encounter with everyday nature can make you feel > but when all the right stimuli are present ... BAM !! There it is: - a direct connnection to life. (or better yet you fill in the blank, "a direct connecton to life" is a poor description to what a masterpiece makes me feel.)
Our artist peoples specialize in this. Paul Simon is a genius at his form of presentation and I thank him greatly for still allowing us all into his process.
And I want to thank the first reviewer for mentioning the classical connection to American tune. I didn't know this and am now going to find that music. Written with a smile. alan
American Tune | Reviewer: chris lucas | 7/13/07
The tune was written by Hans Hassler. JS Bach harmonized it and used it in The St. Matthew Passion. I've always been intrigued by Paul's use of the tune. His lyrics fit perfectly the somber mood, and he really makes the tune his own. As far as Paul's song goes, I've never heard any song sum up the feelings I get when I consider the events of 9-11. Although written some 30 years earlier, the images of dreams being shattered, the "soul rising unexpectedly", the "statue of liberty floating out to sea", and "the nation's most uncertain hour", and having to get up and go to work the next ("tomorrow is just another working day") never fail to conjur up that day for me. Oddly enough, another of my favorite Simon songs is America. Go figure.
Even better | Reviewer: Mike Amis | 6/11/07
a great tune, borrowed from Bach, a work of common grace following the even better tune and lyrics "O sacred Head, now wounded", attributed to Bernard of Clairvaux (1091-1153).
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