"I Am A Rock" as written by and Paul Simon....
A winter's day
In a deep and dark
December
I am alone
Gazing from my window to the streets below
On a freshly fallen silent shroud of snow
I am a rock
I am an island

I've built walls
A fortress deep and mighty
That none may penetrate
I have no need of friendship, friendship causes pain
It's laughter and it's loving I disdain
I am a rock
I am an island

Don't talk of love
But I've heard the words before
It's sleeping in my memory
I won't disturb the slumber of feelings that have died
If I never loved I never would have cried
I am a rock
I am an island

I have my books
And my poetry to protect me
I am shielded in my armor
Hiding in my room, safe within my womb
I touch no one and no one touches me
I am a rock
I am an island

And a rock feels no pain
And an island never cries


Lyrics submitted by kevin

"I Am a Rock" as written by Paul Simon

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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I Am A Rock song meanings
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76 Comments

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  • +7
    General CommentThe song is about his desire to avoid pain and brokenheartedness. He doesn't want to be hurt again, so he refuses to make friends, to fall in love, he'll be a hermit. It may sound determined, but by the end of the song it's obvious it's all a lie he tells himself to get through the days. He's alone and it hurts him, but he'll tell himself he likes it that way, hoping it won't hurt so badly. The last two lines explain it; he's not a rock, he's been hurt and has cried, but will pretend not to. The "island never cries" line is possibly the most meaningful part. As he says this, he may as well be crying.
    midnightclownon May 27, 2002   Link
  • +5
    General CommentThe main point of this song is, avoid emotional attatchments, they only lead to sadness. The lyrics "friendship causes pain" and "If I never loved I never would have cried" express that. The song is about getting hurt once and shutting out everyone else to avoid getting hurt again.
    lila_mon April 25, 2002   Link
  • +3
    General Commentwow talk about over analyzing. dngshouse do you really believe he thought about the song that deeply? do you think he used the word womb so perfectly to match his 'temporary' metaphors? Because when you read the song, it sounds more like he just used it cause it rhymed. It sounds like hes just using various imagery to describe the will to be locked up. when you think about it... what _IS_ permanent? if a rock wall isnt permanent, nothing is. i think you're looking to closely at imagery just meant to be lyrical range, not some deep meaning. bongo is right, though, the last two meanings are the key to the song. they describe what he is (the rock, the island). anyway

    yea, dont overanalyze.
    Jinxon June 21, 2004   Link
  • +2
    General Commentyou guys are exectly correct. He wants to isolate himself from the rest of society. But, he is only fooling himself into thinking he can because every symbol he uses is not permanant. Walls get knocked down. You wake up from sleep. You come out of your mother womb after 9 months. Your memory will always come back. Snow melts. December is only 31 days.

    He can only shut the world out for so long.
    dngshouseon July 22, 2002   Link
  • +2
    General CommentWow! Who needs angry nu-metal to convey the anger and depression of being hurt, when youve got, um, Simon and Garfunkel - Fabulous song!
    bkat004on March 05, 2006   Link
  • +2
    General CommentI have just been diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome at the age of forty and can really relate to this song. I can empathise with all the lyrics and how I have created my life with walls and safety.

    I have very few friends, i'm not sure why, but I have my own office at home and it is my rock. I relate to this song and somehow it helps me. Even know it may not be about this, this is what I take from it.
    gtfycon February 26, 2015   Link
  • +1
    General CommentAnd a rock feels no pain;
    And an island never cries.

    i am a rock
    i am an island

    emotional detatchment. we should all be psychologists.
    there's the meaning of the song. ::thumbs up::
    RebelPancakeon March 05, 2003   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThis song is me.

    I fell in love 4 years ago and just a few months later she broke my heart. I've shut out every girl since then, regardless of how good the date(s) were. Interestingly, that girl has come back into my life recently, but I can't even let her through my stone shell anymore.

    Simon has his books and poetry. I have my movies and prizefights to watch.

    Perhaps I'll snap out of it someday.
    fearnotofmanon August 20, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentSarcastic? I wouldn't say that. Nor does the music feel cheery and upbeat as others say. I'd say it sounds more defiant than anything, at least the chorus. I just love how sure of himself he sounds in the chorus, such a strong declaration of his isolation...and then at the end sounds so the opposite, weak, as if he realizes these thoughts are damaging but maybe now it's too late to change the tune...Wonderful song.
    kickstart71on February 21, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General Comment^ what are you moaning about that sullen girl nobody has argued with you kickstart just stated they had a different view to you for fucks sake.
    deankavanagh1234on June 24, 2007   Link

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