Lyric discussion by tappanking 

The skeleton key to this song, and the whole album, is Paul Simon's song "Late in the Evening," which, I think, first appeared on the "One Trick Pony" soundtrack.

The key is the line "it was late in the evening, and the music pulled me through..."

The whole Graceland album braids three strands, Simon's own personal story of loss and love, the recurring power of African and African-American music to refresh the musical world, and the related power of that music to heal loss and love.

So the "Graceland album," to me, is a "Canterbury Tales" pilgrimage back to the "roots of rhythm," in Africa, in Memphis, where black music jumped the barrier into white culture through Elvis' music, in New Orleans, where Zydeco continued the dialogue.

And the song itself is about Simon healing his own pain by going back to his musical roots.


@tappanking Wonderful.
Walt Reed of Emory University also sees "National guitar" evoking black Delta blues musicians and "Down the Highway . . . " evoking Highway 61 (and Dylan . . . )

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