Author Topic: Is "Sound of Silence" Prophetic?  (Read 1463 times)


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Is "Sound of Silence" Prophetic?
« on: June 28, 2015, 07:36:46 PM »

I love music, but I especially love to analyze the subliminal meaning of lyrics.

It is not very often when you stumble across a song that simply makes you think. And more importantly, it is not very often that you stumble across a song that you cannot stop thinking about.

One such song is "Sound of Silence" by Simon & Garfunkel from the 1960s. This song almost scares me because of its lyrical integrity. But it also astounds me with its meaning, which is quite prophetic in regards to our time.

Many people like this song, but they have never analyzed the lyrics. I will be analyzing the lyrics by verse.

"Hello darkness, my old friend. I've come to talk with you again because a vision is 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."

This song was likely written at night, but the darkness referred to here is likely the same darkness that afflicted past generations, and it is now afflicting the current one. The vision said to be softly creeping is the vision of the counter-culture. It festered and it spread because the author, like many people, neglected to pay attention. The vision planted in the author's brain is a reference to things as they were, and how they were peaceful; but because of the counter-culture, that old vision now exists within the "sound of silence", or not at all.

"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."

The author had a dream or vision of a decadent future in an overly urbanized environment. The "cold and damp" likely refers to the homeless population visible on the streets today. His eyes being stabbed by a "neon light" refers to the commercial utopia before him. It "split the night" in that it emanated brightly, and it "touched the sound of silence" in that it was a worthwhile distraction.

"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."

Continuation of the vision or dream of the decadent future described in the previous verse. He saw many people who, despite speaking, were not saying anything of substance, and everybody else ignoring what was said because it was insubstantial. Musicians of modern time who write songs that die as fast as they become popular, or songs that nobody else really cares to sing or cover themselves. Poor musical quality because it's music about nothing. No one dared address these issues and disturb the sound of silence, less they wanted to be branded bigoted, mean spirited or other pejorative labels that groupthinkers ascribe to any show of criticism or dissent.

"'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."

The author could not stand the vision or dream of decadence, so he tried to reach out to the people who were swayed by the decadence itself. He tried to alert them. But he was ignored for the sake of political correctness.

"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 sound of silence."

In their ignorance, the people in the vision or dream of decadence continued to praise the "neon god", which I believe is a metaphor for self-worship, vanity and idolatry. The author was likely a person of faith. The words of the prophets being written on the subway walls might be a reference to contemporary, so called "twenty-first century thinking's" denigration of prophecy as being meager folklore and fearmongering. The statement being made by the "sign" is probably an implication that the "sign" itself is the same neon god, or metaphor for self-worship, vanity and idolatry. That neon god is warning people not to listen to prophecy or faith.

This is a very interesting song. The poetic integrity of the song is astounding.