"The Obvious Child" as written by and Paul Simon....
Well I'm accustomed to a smooth ride
Or maybe I'm a dog who's lost its bite
I don't expect to be treated like a fool no more
I don't expect to sleep through the night
Some people say a lie's a lie's a lie
But I say why
Why deny the obvious child?
Why deny the obvious child?

And in remembering a road sign
I am remembering a girl when I was young
And we said these songs are true
These days are ours
These tears are free
And hey
The cross is in the ballpark
The cross is in the ballpark

We had a lot of fun
We had a lot of money
We had a little son and we thought we'd call him Sonny
Sonny gets married and moves away
Sonny has a baby and bills to pay
Sonny gets sunnier
Day by day by day by day

I've been waking up at sunrise
I've been following the light across my room
I watch the night receive the room of my day
Some people say the sky is just the sky
But I say
Why deny the obvious child?
Why deny the obvious child?

Sonny sits by the window and thinks to himself
How it's strange that some roots are like cages
Sonny's yearbook from high school
Is down on the shelf
And he idle thumbs through the pages
Some have died
Some have fled from themselves
Or struggled from here to get there
Sonny wanders beyond his interior walls
Runs his hands through his thinning brown hair
I'm accustomed to a smoother ride
Or maybe I'm a dog who's lost its bite
I don't expect to be treated like a fool no more
I don't expect to sleep the night
Some people say a lie is just a lie
But I say
The cross is in the ballpark
Why deny the obvious child?


Lyrics submitted by adupont, edited by nyetnyetnyet

"The Obvious Child" as written by Paul Simon

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

Lyrics powered by LyricFind

The Obvious Child song meanings
Add your thoughts

51 Comments

sort form View by:
  • +4
    General CommentMy interpretation of the song is that it's about confronting the inevitability of dying. Remember, the singer is a grandfather--his son, Sonny, has at least one child. While I can't interpret every line, there are several that could refer to the problems of aging:

    "Or maybe I'm a dog who's lost its bite": losing one's teeth, or perhaps (more abstract), becoming ineffectual

    "I don't expect to sleep through the night": due to urinary frequency from prostate problems

    "I don't expect to be treated like a fool no more": asking not to be patronized because of his age

    "some rooms are like cages": Sonny could be thinking about another problem of aging, possibly affecting his father: an illness like a stroke or perhaps a broken hip, limiting his mobility and making him bedridden or otherwise confined to his room (which thus becomes a cage)

    The lines about Sonny leafing through his yearbook, with some of his classmates having already died, could indicate that Sonny, who is also getting older (thinning hair), is nostalgically or wistfully looking back at his life, remembering how it was...maybe even thinking about his own mortality.

    All of this is leading up to my interpretation of "the cross is in the ballpark." It means that death--symbolized by the cross, a common grave marker--is coming soon. In this context, "Why deny the obvious, child?" [punctuation added by me] could be telling Sonny to face up to it: his father is going to die soon (and so will Sonny, eventually).

    Given the above, it is rather uplifting that the song is not a dirge; the arrangement is in fact very upbeat. Maybe the Dad (the singer) has made his peace with the inevitable and no longer fears it.

    .
    LASon December 19, 2011   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