"The Sound of Silence (Simon and Garfunkel cover)" as written by and Paul Simon....
Hello darkness, my old friend
I've come to talk with you again
Because a vision softly creeping
Left its seeds while I was sleeping
And the vision that was planted in my brain
Still remains
Within the sound of silence

In restless dreams I walked alone
Narrow streets of cobblestone
'Neath the halo of a street lamp
I turned my collar to the cold and damp
When my eyes were stabbed by the flash of a neon light
That split the night
And touched the sound of silence

And in the naked light I saw
Ten thousand people, maybe more
People talking without speaking
People hearing without listening
People writing songs that voices never share
And no one dared
Disturb the sound of silence

Fools, said I, you do not know
Silence like a cancer grows
Hear my words that I might teach you
Take my arms that I might reach you
But my words, like silent raindrops fell
And echoed in the wells of silence

And the people bowed and prayed
To the neon god they made
And the sign flashed out its warning
In the words that it was forming
And the sign said, the words of the prophets are written on the subway walls
And tenement halls
And whispered in the sounds of silence

Lyrics submitted by Mellow_Harsher, edited by TofuBug2

"The Sound of Silence" as written by Paul Simon

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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The Sound of Silence (Simon & Garfunkel cover) song meanings
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  • +8
    My OpinionI've loved #Disturbed for its blatant heavy sound, but I have to say their covers are by far my favorite part of what they do. I didn't think they would ever top Land of Confusion, however this song just leaves it in the dust. There is just something so ethereal and powerful to hear a singer who has DEFINED himself with a very distinct vocal style sing completely contrary to that style.

    After watching the reverent awe and honor Draiman pays to the song on his interview with loudwire I am even more impressed with the song. I personally feel he tops the original with his homage, but it does not in any way diminish the original which is STILL amazing. I feel like BOTH songs exist well by telling the same story from two emotional view points.

    In Simon and Garfunkel's version it's like they have been living in this world forever and all they have left is the ability to softly cry out against what they see is wrong. So there is this air of crushing sadness that permeates through the entire song and ends with this quiet admission that they failed to end the sound of silence.

    With David it's more like he just realized this is the real world he has been living in. So it starts of with this haunting reflective sadness like remembering something depressing but significant from your childhood, then he at first gradually, and then rapidly shifts from frustration to anger at the FOOLS who would not take his arm or hear his words. Finally shifting to a depressing acceptance like Simon and Garfunkel that he also failed to end the sound of silence.

    In a word; Moving.
    TofuBug2on December 17, 2015   Link
  • +5
    General CommentTofuBug2 - I totally agree with your point of view. Well stated. I might add that David Dramian's ability to convey raw emotion and bring to life the story is a lot like legendary artist Johnny Cash.

    Might I add, that Dramian understand that SILENCE IS CONSENT.

    Anytime Church Leaders remain silent about pedophile priests in their ranks, they consent to the atrocity.

    Anytime Law Enforcement Officers close ranks to protect their own when police brutality has occurred upon the citizens they are sworn to protect, they consent to the abuse.

    Anytime Women remain silent towards women who commit the same types of domestic
    abuses of teacher-sex scandals that they would otherwise publicly outcry against if the same crimes were committed by men, they consent to their own kind.

    Anytime Non-Minorities remain silent about the problems minorities are faced with, they consent to those problems.

    Anytime Moderate Muslims remain silent to the atrocities committed by radical Islamists, they consent to those acts of terror, killings and murder.

    Anytime Americans give a pass to their own for bad behavior, they consent to that behavior.

    "Fools!" said I, "you do not know Silence like a cancer grows!"

    POWERFUL rendition of this song. I grew up with the original, but this cover is better and more compelling.
    tigerx2374on February 25, 2016   Link
  • +2
    Song MeaningThis is a great song that I love, and it is very intelligent and poetic. The song uses the imagery of light and darkness to show how people's ignorance and apathy destroys their ability to communicate even on simple levels.
    Its theme is man's inability to communicate with man. The author sees the extent of communication as it is on only its most superficial and "commercial" level (of which the "neon sign" is representative). There is no serious understanding because there is no serious communication - "people talking without speaking - hearing without listening". No one dares take the risk of reaching out ("take my arms that I might reach you") to disturb the sound of silence. The poet's (character in the song) attempts are equally futile (" . . . but my words like silent raindrops fell within the wells of silence"). The ending is an enigma. The words tell us that when meaningful communication fails, the only sound is silence.
    woobearyon April 27, 2016   Link
  • +1
    My InterpretationSimon&Garfunkel’s prophetic vision of a modern fragmented society of isolated people, alluding to Psalm 135:

    The song’s narrator has received prophesy, in an essentially passive process: “Because a vision softly creeping / Left its seeds while I was sleeping / And the vision that was planted in my brain.” The narrator is like a prophet, a recipient of knowledge that he does not claim to have created.

    In fact, the song expressly mentions prophets: “And the sign said, ‘The words of the prophets / Are written on the subway walls / And tenement halls.’ / And whisper'd in the sounds of silence.” In this modern society (of “neon lights” and “the neon god”), the words of prophets are overlooked and relegated to below-ground graffiti (“subway walls”) and destitute (“tenement halls”) – just as prophets were overlooked in past societies.

    The prophecy is similar/allusive to Psalm 135:

    Song: "People talking without speaking, / People hearing without listening". Compare to Psalm 135: “They have mouths, but do not speak; they have eyes, but do not see; they have ears, but do not hear”. Not exactly the same words, but certainly similar ideas.

    Song: “And the people bowed and prayed / To the neon god they made.” Compare to Psalm 135: “The idols of the nations are silver and gold, the work of human hands. . . . Those who make them become like them, so do all who trust in them.”

    Yet the narrator is a prophet who can’t reach his audience: “’Fools’ said I, ‘You do not know / Silence like a cancer grows. / Hear my words that I might teach you, / Take my arms that I might reach you.’ / But my words like silent raindrops fell, / And echoed / In the wells of silence.”

    And so the song itself is a plea to break through the silence and finally reach is audience. Unable to otherwise reach them, he has crafted this melodic plea.… Does it work? That depends on us, the audience…. Is it possible that we hear and appreciate the words and melody, while missing the larger ideas? Or, in some cases, does this song help to actually break through the silence and resonate to convey its message? Either way, it’s a brilliant song….
    free333on May 12, 2016   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThe arrangement of new instruments and Disturbed vocals have totally given a new vibe to this song. It has more darkness and urgency to the message. The beginning evokes melancholy and a sense of being beaten down. The bridge and final roar of the end of the song evoke a warning and scolding to all of us, for not heeding the signs of the breakdown of morals in society. The timpani and the lead singer's voice are earth-shakingly awesome. I do love Simon and Garfunkel's original, but to me, this has topped it.
    Sue866on April 24, 2016   Link
  • 0
    My OpinionI was skeptical when I first heard this. The original is an old favorite that tugs at the heart strings a bit. . . But after a few listens, I think Disturbed does a better job of conveying the dark message in this allegory. While I feel S & G were singing about the futility of combating social disintegration fueled by hedonistic consumerism, given our political climate today, it really seems quite prophetic. Replace the word "silence" with the notion of what we've come to know as "reality TV culture" and, if the song's warning goes unheeded, you end up with a Trump presidency.
    aaron13902on May 10, 2016   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationWhile I feel that there are several interpretations in this song, it feels like people see this as an echo of society. It is such a crescendo that I tend to agree.

    This song hit me on its simplest level - a more literal interpretation, if you will...

    Verse 1
    The narrator is damaged with their own memories. Darkness is their "friend" because it accompanies them often. Their sleep is disturbed. They can't get rid of the images they are burdened with - probably from youth.

    Verse 2
    This person has grown up with their secrets. They find the world cold and lonely. Then they come upon a tavern with its beckoning neon lights.

    Verse 3
    In this busy but desolate place, people are mingling but never get to say what they should say. They are ignoring their problems and drinking (and other things) instead. People talking without speaking = people who can be read even though they do not talk (people sitting alone, slumped at the bar, for example). People hearing without listening = people who don't LISTEN. These people are preoccupied with their own hang ups and don't process what's being said all around them. No one dares disturb the unspoken pact not to tell their truths and disrupt the so-called comfort of their own and others' silence. No one dares ask, how can I help? They can't help themselves - how can they help others?

    Verse 4
    The man narrating sits among all these people, who share his pain, held within themselves. He is bitter and can also recognize that they are all in the same boat. They are ignoring their deepest pains - not letting anyone else in.
    The more they do not speak of them, the more they get passed on and multiply - like a cancer.
    This man wants to speak up.
    He wants to console the others.
    But he is stuck in his own silence and he can only cry instead.
    His tears are not heard, "echoes in the wells of silence"

    Verse 5
    The people keep their worship over the drinks that helps (questionable) them feel better. The neon lights light up a promise of light and happiness. It's draw is loud, but the real source of healing are in the words that can be shared with the fellow men who suffer in the "poor" society. If only they'd share their voices! But their cries written on the walls (literally 'speaking' in silence) are not heard and are often erased before people can see them (they are 'graffiti' and are not 'proper'. But they're cries for help and to be seen.

    That is me reading between the lines.
    Sue866on July 09, 2016   Link
  • 0
    My OpinionI feel like this song is about being alone, or about dying alone.

    I feel like this song is about how powerful the sound of silence can be, that sometimes the sound of silence can be so loud that you just get sad. Feeling like nobody wants to talk to you anymore, and it kills you. You see all the people around you talking and having fun, while you just sit/stand there alone watching from the outside. The silence kills you slowly and painfully, and then one day everything around you seems different, it seems brighter. Like people say heaven is.
    And then as the angels come to collect your soul, you feel free.

    (I am not religious, but I like the thought of heaven and hell, and angels and demons/the devil. I believe that earth is hell, and heaven is where we go after we die if we want to.)
    MillaMarieon October 17, 2016   Link
  • 0
    My OpinionI love songs with a bit of underlying tension (Type O Negative's Summer Breeze, The Tea Party's Underground), and I never really felt it with the original. It was mwhè at most in my opinion (yes, I know, pull out the pitchforks, S&G are mwhè in someone's opinion).

    But this version scratches the scabs and lets you feel uneasy. In my opinion it's way better, because it's hits the point of the song better with its tone.
    LittleCon October 25, 2016   Link
  • 0
    General CommentYou have to look at more than just the words with this song. It draws you in from the beginning with the soft playing of the piano. Slowly as the music builds, the passion in the voice intensifies. How they were able to perform the song just intensifies the meaning.

    As far as the words to the song, it could be seen as a government restriction on free speech, a society of people not wanting to talk, or my personal favorite, a generation of people who have gone numb to the other people around them through greed and maybe even social media.

    All in all, it is a beautiful song that tops the original. I usually am not one to say a cover is better than the original, but this is amazing!
    ethanowens40on January 30, 2017   Link

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