"Bookends" as written by and Paul Simon....
Time it was, and what a time it was, 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


Lyrics submitted by kevin

"Bookends" as written by Paul Simon

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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Bookends song meanings
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  • +3
    General CommentThis is one of those timeless songs that hits one deeply emotionally. It's all about how the past seems to always be better in retrospect than the present. In the end, it's only your memories that define who you were and who you are.
    swopimpon May 08, 2003   Link
  • +3
    General CommentI find it absolutely amazing that so much can be said in only 4 lines.
    Tobsteriuson February 20, 2006   Link
  • +2
    General CommentI think the last line is interesting

    "Preserve your memories, they're all that's left you"

    What does "they're all that's left you" mean? It's not "they're all that's left OF you" or "they're all that's left, you see". What has left you? I've always wondered this.
    archardon August 07, 2008   Link
  • +2
    General Commentarchard:
    I've always heard this song conjoined with Old Friends and so I think when they say "preserve your memories, they're all that's left you" it means your memories may have been forgotten in old age, but your friends are still there for you.

    They're both very sweet songs, I like to imagine myself listening to this in 50 years' time and feeling the full effect, but the bewilderment I feel when I hear it is similar to how Paul Simon felt when writing it, and that's also a beautifully serene feeling.
    nagsworthon September 28, 2008   Link
  • +2
    General CommentFrom working in an assisted living home I see what this song represents every day. Paul Simon, in his own words, describes what it is to become old. Memories leave you at your old age, what we call dimentia, and it affects a lot of older people. That's why you must preserve your memories. While the actual experiences of you living those memories will never die, your remembering of those memories unfortunately will.

    bwisner33on September 25, 2011   Link
  • +1
    General CommentMy absolute favorite. Short and absolutely beautiful. All of Simon and Garfunkel's lyrics are just... jaw-dropping. I'm a young Simon and Garfunkel song, I'm only 15, I became hooked when I was watching one of my favorite movies, Girl, Interrupted and this song was played. So, I found out who it was by and discovered my mom's Simon and Garfunkel album and I've been obsessive ever since.
    autumninloveon October 01, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentAm I the only one who thinks they use this in any 60's movie whenever they convey a loss of innocence? Well anyways, it may be a short tune, but it's pretty damn good. :)
    TasChiBandGirlon September 01, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI love the beginning of Girl, Interrupted when they play this song. For me, this song sums up everything about being innocent and not wanting to lose it. Great song.
    Teenagemiseryon April 25, 2003   Link
  • 0
    General Commentamazing, i've always been a huge paul simon fan since i was a kid, i grew up listening to him from my mom, and i always liked this song, then i had a death of a good friend recently and this song along with the lyrics from the other bookends song really hit me, "can you imagine us years from today, sharing a park bench quietly", and he was my best friend and i could imagine that, then when this part of the song starts its like the feeling of the harsh reality that its not going to happen now, because memories are all that i have of them now. very moving song for me
    Junkheadon May 08, 2003   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song was the first song I learned to play on the guitar, heh. Anyway, listening to the lyrics, they remind me of my nephew who passed away not even a year ago. It's one of my favourite songs.
    x_nikole_xon April 15, 2004   Link

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