"El Condor Pasa" as written by Jorge Milchberg, Daniel Alomia Robles and Paul Simon....
I'd rather be a sparrow than a snail
Yes I would
If I could, I surely would
I'd rather be a hammer than a nail.
Yes I would
If I only could, I surely would.

Away, I'd rather sail away
Like a swan that's here and gone
A man gets tied up to the ground
He gives the world
Its saddest sound, its saddest sound

I'd rather be a forest than a street.
Yes I would
If I could, I surely would.
I'd rather feel the earth beneath my feet
Yes I would
If I only could, I surely would

Lyrics submitted by Gbness

El Condor Pasa (If I Could) song meanings
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  • +1
    General CommentAs many others have said, these lyrics express the speaker's wish to be in control of his own fate, and it advocates anti-conformity (as many other songs/poems composed by Paul Simon also do). Take for example the first line, "I'd rather be a sparrow than a snail". A sparrow is a bird, an animal capable of flight, signifying freedom. Conversely, a snail is not only limited in it's inability to fly, it is also known as a particularly slow, sluggish creature. By choosing the sparrow of the snail the speaker is showing his wish to overcome any limitations or expectations and be free. This message is reiterated throughout the song through the various other proclaimed preferences.
    Mirsheaon October 20, 2008   Link

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