He was a most peculiar man
That's what Mrs. Riordan said and she should know
She lived upstairs from him
She said he was a most peculiar man

He was a most peculiar man
He lived all alone within a house
Within a room, within himself
A most peculiar man

He had no friends, he seldom spoke
And no one in turn ever spoke to him
'Cause he wasn't friendly and he didn't care
And he wasn't like them
Oh, no, he was a most peculiar man

He died last Saturday
He turned on the gas and he went to sleep
With the windows closed so he'd never wake up
To his silent world and his tiny room
And Mrs. Riordan says he has a brother somewhere
Who should be notified soon
And all the people said, "What a shame that he's dead
But wasn't he a most peculiar man?"

Lyrics submitted by kevin

"A Most Peculiar Man" as written by Paul Simon

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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A Most Peculiar Man song meanings
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  • +4
    General CommentThe point is he wasn't peculiar at all, he was just a normal guy ... a normal lonely, apparently rather introverted guy. But basically people shouldn't assume someone "isn't like them" because he seems not-very-social. The overall point being that people are people, human. And people need people.
    maxwellsmarton January 15, 2006   Link
  • +2
    General CommentI love this song. It's so creative and filled with truth. I have found over the years that those others find odd are often the most fascinating people...very bright and filled with insight into others, although usally not when it comes to themselves. Too often they go unnoticed when their genius should receive accolades. It's the introverts who are so interesting. And I say that as a full extrovert. We can put on a good show, but sometimes that's all we are...
    ILUVUon May 26, 2012   Link
  • +1
    General CommentPaul Simon wrote this song when he was living in England. He read an obituary in the newspaper that was only four lines. Intrigued, he wrote a song imagining what that person must have been like.
    chameleon3on December 06, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI agree with maxwellsmart...I think this song shows how people get dragged down by little differences in others (being shy) and use that as an excuse to look down on them. They can't even be sad about his death without justifying that it was kind of inevitable b/c they viewed him as a wack-job.
    albinomooseon September 15, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThis has to be one of the most depressing songs ever-at the same time it is very powerful. The other posters have made very intelligent and thoughtful comments on it. No man is an island, and everyone needs contact with others, even if they are shy, introverted, and have some conversational difficulties. Beneath all those, there is usually an interesting person beneath those layers.
    River Wolfon October 04, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentDoes anyone else notice the similarity between the Most Peculiar Man and the narrator of I Am A Rock?
    ilovetorunon July 17, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song is so sad I can't believe no one's commented yet
    WillyWiluhpson October 03, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentTo me this song is about well just what it says, and I think it kinda makes a statement about the little people going unnoticed, and well, the results are bad, so always be nice.
    pandorason October 07, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song used to make me feel sad when I was little even though at that age I couldn't have had an understanding of suicide or even realised the man died in the song.
    bayberry_moonon April 10, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI have social anxiety disorder. A lot of my own behaviours are exactly the same as this peculiar man's. Nothing is different between us, apart from me putting on the gas in my own room.

    The line that really got me was about how the man "lived in house, within a room, within himself..." That is exactly how I am now, in my life. I am a student and I go to campus each day where I'm surrounded by hundreds of people, I live with roommates and I work a part time job, but I talk to no one. No one relies on me because I rely on no one for anything. Not for love, not for a conversation, or even a friendly nod. The friends I have I seldom speak to, and if I do, it's about nothing important to either of us. I'm a peculiar woman.
    burningwaffleson March 19, 2011   Link

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