English 103, 12AM
June 1, 2016
The Sound of Silence: Elixir for the Fools!
Sound and Silence are contradictory words which cannot exist together. Likewise, the
East and the West cannot meet. We cannot see the Sun and the Moon at the same time and the
same place. But the lyrical song, “The Sound of Silence” written by American artist and singer
Paul Simon presents quite a different picture. He comes before us as an alchemist and says with
confidence that he can mix sound and silence and make a magical liquid that can cure even the
deadly disease cancer. As a preacher, teacher and savior, ...view middle of the document...
He sees the communication only in its superficial level.
There is a deep message within the lyrics that may be interpreted in many different ways.
On the surface level, the story of the neon god is very simple. The song portrays a
dream that the writer had. In his dream, he says, “ …my eyes were stabbed by the flash of a
neon light. And the people bowed and prayed to the neon god they made.” The song uses
imagery and symbolism very heavily. The neon sign may be interpreted as being the television
medium, a superficial shadowy world of glamour and glitters. Their god may be interpreted as
the fake and shallow culture they are building on movie heroes, pop starts and dollar bills.
Paul Simon seeks to convey a serious concern, how ignorance engulfs the weak and the
corrupt minds of millions. He believes “silence” means people’s submission to authority. People
foolishly follow the rulers. This song may be referred to a particular people or nation, but it also
refers to people in general who do not know how power corrupts and absolute power corrupts
absolutely. No one dares to disturb the sound of silence. This is called the power of neon god.
The song was first released on Simon and Garfunkel’s initial album, “Wednesday
Morning, 3 AM” But unfortunately, the album was miserably a commercial failure. After
watching it sink, Simon and Garfunkel parted ways. Nevertheless, it was not the dead end of
their career. Without their knowledge, their recording company had Bob Johnson rework the
song with electric guitar, bass and drums. With these marvelous changes, the song became an
instant hit and soon climbed to the top of the success charts. Both the artists rejoined and
quickly became one of the greatest duos of all time. We may call it a miracle in the lives of
the artists. Man proposes and God disposes. Their parting was painful but they parted to join
The song is extremely well-written. The very first line of the song is quite effective
and impressive. Darkness is his old buddy. He addresses the darkness directly and talks to him in
the first person singular “I”. He says,” I have come to talk with you again.” He has no peace of
mind. His mind is restless. A vision is planted in his brain. It has left its seeds while he was
sleeping. In his restless dreams,...