Old friends, old friends,
Sat on their parkbench like bookends
A newspaper blown through the grass
Falls on the round toes
of the high shoes of the old friends
Old friends, winter companions, the old men
Lost in their overcoats, waiting for the sunset
The sounds of the city sifting through trees
Settles like dust on the shoulders of the old friends.
Can you imagine us years from today,
Sharing a parkbench quietly
How terribly strange to be seventy
How terribly strange.
The terribly strange came to pass this past week, as Paul Simon, the songwriter and performer that many of us grew up with, did just that.
Simon was born Oct. 13, 1941.
In the mid ‘60s he became famous with his old friend Art Garfunkel with “The Sound of Silence” and with “Bridge Over Troubled Water” and so many others. Songs that our parents could appreciated for their haunting beauty, even if they would not have agreed with all the sentiments.
Others, they probably would have been comfortable with, and this is one of them.
Considering the time that passes for all of us, though it was impossible when this song was released to imagine Paul Simon turning 70.
Nevertheless, it happened.
And the times keep changing — unfortunately.
As Simon commented:
Time it was and what a time it was,
A time of innocence,
A time of confidences,
Long ago it must be,
I have a photograph,
Preserve your memories,
They’re all that’s left you...
Hard to argue with that.
— Chuck Smith