"Graceland" as written by and Paul Simon....
The Mississippi Delta was shining
Like a National guitar
I am following the river
Down the highway
Through the cradle of the civil war
I'm going to Graceland
Graceland
In Memphis Tennessee
I'm going to Graceland
Poor boys and pilgrims with families
And we are going to Graceland
My traveling companion is nine years old
He is the child of my first marriage
But I've reason to believe
We both will be received
In Graceland

She comes back to tell me she's gone
As if I didn't know that
As if I didn't know my own bed
As if I'd never noticed
The way she brushed her hair from her forehead
And she said losing love
Is like a window in your heart
Everybody sees you're blown apart
Everybody sees the wind blow

I'm going to Graceland
Memphis Tennessee
I'm going to Graceland
Poor boys and pilgrims with families
And we are going to Graceland

And my traveling companions
Are ghosts and empty sockets
I'm looking at ghosts and empties
But I've reason to believe
We all will be received
In Graceland

There is a girl in New York City
Who calls herself the human trampoline
And sometimes when I'm falling, flying
Or tumbling in turmoil I say
Oh, so this is what she means
She means we're bouncing into Graceland
And I see losing love
Is like a window in your heart
Everybody sees you're blown apart
Everybody sees the wind blow

In Graceland, in Graceland
I'm going to Graceland
For reasons I cannot explain
There's some part of me wants to see
Graceland
And I may be obliged to defend
Every love, every ending
Or maybe there's no obligations now
Maybe I've a reason to believe
We all will be received
In Graceland


Lyrics submitted by dank, edited by jsjeffrey

"Graceland" as written by Paul Simon

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

Lyrics powered by LyricFind

Graceland song meanings
Add your thoughts

54 Comments

sort form View by:
  • +3
    General CommentI've always thought that line "Through the cradle of the civil war" was a lovely play on words. He seems to be talking about both geography and the civil war he's in with his marriage ending.
    mcthingy2on May 26, 2005   Link
  • +2
    General CommentActually, Simon has said the song really has nothing to do with Elvis, which is why he was hesitant about naming the album (and even the song) Graceland.

    It's a pilgrimage of sorts...his wife has just left him, and he's taking a bus/train to Graceland with his son. And the journey has something to do with redemption, at least he hopes. The people travelling with him ("ghosts and empty sockets") also look like they need to be redeemed.

    So it's about turmoil, and how it leads us to flee and seek something to make it better. That's what it is to me.
    aduponton May 26, 2002   Link
  • +1
    General CommentOkay, let's clear up the whole Graceland issue...

    Maybe it was just a word he read in a newspaper, or an offhand decision of that nature. I'd like to believe that it wasn't, because that really cheapens the whole thing doesn't it?

    Elvis Presley is the embodiment of rock/popular music, so the persona's pilgrimage to Graceland mirrors Simon's musical journey to South Africa. Plus the whole idea of Graceland was a fantasy destination - a place that represented the flashy artifice of American culture in a particular period of history.
    musical_snobon December 26, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI don't see how "graceland" could be just a placeholder word. It is integral to the basic story of the song, which is about a father and and son driving through the Mississippi Delta to see Graceland, which is a popular tourist attraction in Memphis, TN (at the top of the Delta). If it were another word like "wasteland", it wouldn't make sense to the story. As far as any deeper meaning, that's open for interpretation.
    jadyon November 01, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthis song has real meaning. he sees Graceland as heavan as sort of a tribute to Elvis
    chillidooron May 08, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti agree with adupont that is a great interpitation of the song and i fell the same
    chunkymonkey102on April 14, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI have a question then: why'd he talk about Memphis, Tennessee (which makes the reference to Elvis obvious), if he didn't want to focus on Elvis?

    I always thought Graceland was a reference to South Africa, where he worked and gathered inspiration for the album. (until I heard this song)
    suckmykisson May 05, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI am a completely devoted fan of Paul Simon, and within several of his biographies, "Graceland" is noted as a "fill word." He was looking for a name for all this that he illustrates, and that which contained the correct number of syllables to suit his melodic and rhythmic needs happened to be when he saw "Graceland" in a newspaper or something.
    sgdpon May 30, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentOh, and he meant to replace "Graceland" with another word with the correct syllables but I don't think he ever got around to it.
    sgdpon May 30, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI love the four lines starting with, "Losing love is like a window in your heart..." That describes perfectly the feeling of being on the dumped end of a marriage. Everyone sees your pain, even if you don't want them to. The window in your soul is one that can't be closed, and your pain is so obvious, and you just want people to move on, and not to pity you, but they can't help it - everybody sees you're torn apart - just like everyone can see the wind blow.
    Sir_Larrikinon June 15, 2004   Link

Add your thoughts

Log in now to tell us what you think this song means.

Don’t have an account? Create an account with SongMeanings to post comments, submit lyrics, and more. It’s super easy, we promise!

Back to top
explain