"Hearts And Bones" as written by and Paul Simon....
One and one-half wandering Jews
Free to wander wherever they choose
Are traveling together
In the Sangre de Christo
The Blood of Christ Mountains
Of New Mexico
On the last leg of a journey
They started a long time ago
The arc of a love affair
Rainbows in the high desert air
Mountain passes
Slipping into stone
Hearts and bones
Hearts and bones
Hearts and bones

Thinking back to the season before
Looking back through the cracks in the door
Two people were married
The act was outrageous
The bride was contagious
She burned like a bride
These events may have had some effect
On the man with the girl by his side
The arc of a love affair
His hands rolling down her hair
Love like lightning shaking till it moans
Hearts and bones
Hearts and bones
Hearts and bones
Hearts and bones

Whoa whoa whoa
She said why?
Why don't we drive through the night
We'll wake up down in
Mexico
Oh I
I don't know nothin' about nothin'
About Mexico
And tell me why
Why won't you love me
For who I am
Where I am

He said 'cause that's not the way the world is baby
This is how I love you baby
This is how I love you baby

One and one-half wandering Jews
Returned to their natural coasts
To resume old acquaintances
Step out occasionally
And speculate who had been damaged the most
Easy time will determine if these consolations
Will be their reward
The arc of a love affair
Waiting to be restored
You take two bodies and you twirl them into one
Their hearts and their bones
And they won't come undone
Hearts and bones
Hearts and bones
Hearts and bones
Hearts and bones


Lyrics submitted by chunkymonkey102, edited by basilus, RosebudReverie, SteelyMan

"Hearts and Bones" as written by Paul Simon

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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Hearts And Bones song meanings
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11 Comments

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  • +2
    General CommentThere's something deeply affecting about this song. A sense of mutual sadness, the sun setting on a relationship, yet there are permanent reminders from their time together "they won't come undone". I always feel a kind of, well, desolate, after this song (which I often end up playing at sunset on a Sunday!)
    It's as if he's acknowledged that he has tried everything to maintain his relationship, and so has she. And he has made many mistakes, and so has she.

    And it's time to let it go, let it lie, "waiting to be restored"

    On a final note, I always though that it was SHE who said "because that's not the way world is, baby. This is how I love you, baby"
    But it was HIM! I stand corrected, it really changes the way I look at the song now! For the better, I think.
    kamahl_o_koalaon May 27, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General CommentAh! What a beautifull love song. Some of the songs on hearts and bones are typical skip-songs, this one however is more of a replay-song. And replay. And replay.
    thordfosson January 13, 2006   Link
  • +1
    My OpinionHas there ever been a better lyric about the reality of a failed (doomed) relationship? Or the difference between how women and men look at love? She's looking for a fairy-tale love that he can't provide: "Why won't you love me"/"For who I am"/"Where I am." But he thinks way too much to be that sentimental: "Cause that's not the way the world is baby/"This is how I love you baby." Paul and Carrie's good friend, director Mike Nichols, summed up their relationship (and all relationships): Everyone is either a flower or a gardener. Relationships can blossom between two gardeners or a flower and a gardener, but not between two flowers. And Paul and Carrie are/were both flowers.
    nelson1965on August 12, 2012   Link
  • 0
    General Comment'the arc of a love affair' this pretty much summs up the whole song.
    attila_carnakion April 28, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI've heard this song is about his marriage to Carri Fisher-- "one and one-half wandering jews" being them. Makes sense to me, but I could be wrong. Calling it an "affair" gives it the feel of a passing fancy, something neither of them should have done, like he regrets it.
    thelesserthreaton July 09, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentMy favorite Simon song. I love the line "you take two bodies and twirl them into one, their hearts and their bones, and they won't come undone". Clearly about the impossible to ignore love for a child. This song is filled with acceptance and regret for the lost relationship, while joyful and grateful for the child. I've always thought the one and one half wandering Jews were Paul and the child.
    Simonfanon August 03, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentOne and one half wandering Jews = Paul and then-wife Carrie Fisher, whose father was Jewish. It's about their short lived marriage. But it's obvious that he loved her very much. I want to play this song at my wedding. I think it's gorgeous.
    thenameismaiaon July 30, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti read that this song is about his relationship to Carrie Fisher (2nd marriage). however this marriage only lasted 11 months
    theofficeallianceon September 25, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentAccording to Carrie Fisher's biography released in 2008, the "one and one-half wondering Jews" is a reference to her and Paul Simon. Fisher also mentions "The way she brushed her hair from her forehead" as a reference to her.
    Mandarayon April 05, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI read in Wikipedia that this song was written before Paul Simon and Carrie Fisher were married in 1983. They had an on and off again relationship from 1977-1983 and Simon copyrighted the song in 1982. She did not have any children with Paul Simon.

    Anyway the song is intriguing to me. Why would he marry her when he knew they were on the descending arc of a love affair? "On the last leg of the journey They started a long time ago The arc of a love affair".

    It appears to me that there is something missing in the relationship. The phrase "one and a half Jews", the wandering, the Blood of Christ, rainbow in the desert. You know where is the other half?, what is the destination, the blood of Christ, and the rain that would come with a rainbow.

    Also the difference are highlighted, she is west coast, he is east coast. The marriage is outrageous, she is a burning bride and he is burned, love is like being struck by lightning. But mostly, hearts and bones. Hearts are a symbol of life and love and action. Bones are a symbol of death. They don't really swirl together to make something that won't come undone. They need muscle and sinew, which don't sing very well. But, Simon seems to be mourning this lost relationship.

    The hearts and bones reminds me of dry bones in the desert in the book of Ezekiel. It would take a miracle to keep these two together. It seems outrageous to marry someone when you have recognized that the end of the love affair is coming.

    Simon says, she doesn't know about Mexico and the freedom it represents. He cannot love her where she is, but only while wandering. This line makes it even more amazing that they got married. Lightning struck and a swirling confusion of hearts and bones, but divorce seems inevitable.


    PDShimelon May 29, 2011   Link

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