"The Sound of Silence" as written by 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
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 kevin, edited by annacronism, Mahasquid, ashakitten4, DAIRYDAWG, sjaydeb, NonDiluted

"The Sound Of Silence" as written by Paul Simon

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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The Sound of Silence song meanings
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  • +46
    General CommentI interpret this song slightly different.

    I feel it is an allusion to Plato's "Allegory of the Cave." While the ideas of commercialism (the people bow and pray to a neon god they made, the words of the prophets are written on the subway walls, etc) run throughout the poem, it also has to do with a frustration the narrator feels with humans in general. They are content to "hear without listening," not willing or interested in focusing on anyone or anything too intently. They are not willing to go beyond the superficial, but merely to accept the world around them, as no one "dares disturb the sounds of silence."

    The allusion comes into play in the beginning, as the narrator has a revelation, a vision, that awakes him from this superficial, merely shadowed world. He rises, walks alone as the man in Plato's story did, and he sees the light. He tries to tempt others out of the cave of ignorance and look beyond teh surface of things, but his "words like silent raindrops" fall. His attempts are futile.

    That's what I got out of the song, my two cents ^_^ An amazing song no matter how you interpret it!
    carabiner86on May 09, 2003   Link

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