"The Sound of Silence" is an anthem to resistance (2023)

The 1960s hit by Simon & Garfunkel offers a powerful warning of the dangers of indifference that is still useful today.

Have you ever felt tormented and alienated by the shallowness of the social environment in which we live, to the point where you felt unable to be in touch with others or even your own feelings to kick? If so, Simon & Garfunkelsound of silencecould be the song for you
You probably already know this song and enjoy its relaxing and soothing beat, but it's plausible that you've never taken the time to fully unpack and internalize its deep meaning. In this article, I'll try to do just that and also explore why this song reads like an extremely powerful social statement.

sound of silenceIt has a very peculiar history. It was written by then 21-year-old Paul Simon and was included on the duo's 1964 debut album, titledWednesday morning, 3 a.m🇧🇷 The work was a sales failure that led to the two friends splitting up: Garfunkel went back to university, Simon went to England to pursue a solo career.
But producer Tom Wilson didn't give up on the melody and decided to rearrange the song: he added drums and guitars to the original acoustic version, resulting in the song as we know it today. The reissued single was an overnight sensation, topping the charts and reaching #1 on the chartsBillboard Hot 100in January 1966. The unexpected success led to Simon and Garfunkel reuniting and resuming a partnership that would bring us more wonderful songs, such as:Sra. robinson,the boxermiBridge over turbulent waters.

But what is the message that Paul Simon conveys insound of silence🇧🇷 Let's try to interpret the lyrics based on an explanation by Art Garfunkel during aLive-Show: "This is a song about the inability of people to communicate with each other."
This theme has been present since the first commonly known verse:Hello darkness, my old friend / I have come to speak to you again🇧🇷 The author has no one to talk to except the dark, to whom he is almost like a confession telling a dream he had. The first theme of the "vision" is loneliness: the narrator sees himself walking alone on a narrow path when the cold night is suddenly illuminated by himthe flash of a neon light🇧🇷 is blinded by it and we're told the glow is icy, stark and unnatural. Neon conveys an idea of ​​cold modernity and serves as a symbol of today's industrial society, which has replaced the traditional warmth of the fireplace, vehicle of community and association, with the impersonality of artificial light.

And in the naked light I saw
Ten thousand people, maybe more
People talk without talking
People listen without listening
People who write songs that never divide the voices
and no one dared
Disrupt the sound of silence

The third verse is probably the tone of the song as well as the core of Simon's vision. The light depicts a crowd, probably intended to represent humanity as a whole. They do not act normally in their eyes: their actions are meaningless, they seem dispossessed and alienated.
The author recognizes that people often talk to each other just to talk, without actually communicating anything:talk without talkingmihear without hearingthey sound like oxymorons, but they are carefully chosen expressions that suggest the meaninglessness of most personal interactions today.

It is undeniable that the society we live in drives us to lead hectic and stressful lives, resulting in a pattern of self-absorption and detachment that most of us simply put aside in favor of superficial conversations with strangers lead that we don't care about. . Think about how rare it is to have a deep and honest conversation with another person; How exciting and strange it is to be able to network with someone, share experiences and opinions without falling into clichés and most importantly, without feeling the overwhelming need to look at your phone!


In these circumstances, human sensitivity and creativity are in danger of being lost, also for fear of revealing our true selves to the world: in Simon's dream are peopleWrite songs that never divide the voices🇧🇷 In loneliness and incommunicability, art perishes, since we have no one to share it with, and when we do, non-acceptance and humiliation terrify us. This discourse can also be a critique of the contemporary music and culture industry, which only promotes what producers consider "trendy" and stifles the creative talent of artists: a recurring theme in Simon's work.

The inability to share feelings, ideas, art also means that we become insensitive to the evil that surrounds us, as we are no longer able to raise our voice against cruelty and injustice. nobody daresdisturb the sound of silence, meaning no one has the courage or strength to “make waves” by challenging the status quo. So, silence is not characterized as something positive and peaceful, but as an enemy that must be fought in order to get rid of our moral rigidity and regain some kind of unity and unity. When we do nothing, when we remain silent, we enable and allow everything that is wrong in our society when we should stand up and speak out.

According to many, it is no coincidence that Simon wrote the lyrics at the time of the assassination of John F. Kennedy: insound of silencepaints a picture of a discouraged and stunned people that reflects the insecurity of most Americans and their inability to respond to the violence and chaos raging both at home and on the international stage.
The composer recognizes this and begins the next verse with a warning:

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"Fools," I said, "don't know
Silence grows like a cancer
Listen to my words I can teach you
Take my arms so I can reach you"

The author tries to warn the people in his dream - and his listeners - about the dangers of non-communicability: he compares silence to a tumor that spreads relentlessly in society and eventually consumes it. He then invites them to listen to his guidance and offers them his arms, almost as if he wanted to physically save them from their "sickness". But it's all in vain: your cry goes unheard and fallslike silent raindropsand lose yourself in the deafening silence.
In this verse all of Simão's youthful frustration comes out: he feels misunderstood and undervalued; He recognizes that most people don't wake up easily from their paralysis and dissenting voices are often drowned out by indifference.

And the people bowed down and prayed
For the neon god they made
And the sign flashed its warning
In the words that formed
And the sign said:
“The words of the prophets are
Writing on the subway walls
and houses
And whispered in the sound of silence

The fifth and final stanza, which is also the longest, contains a vicious attack on modern consumerism. People idolize the neon sign they have created and worship it as a god; The author wants to show how modern people converted to a new religion whose sacred cows are money, appearances and glittering nothingness. The advertising industry apparently functions as a prophet of the new god, covering every corner of the cities with billboards, while advertisements and commercials arewhispered in the sound of silenceand they're the only audible sound that brainwashes people into buying things they don't really need.

"The Sound of Silence" is an anthem to resistance (3)
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Paul Simon's critique is also aimed at the alienating power of the mass media, which is able to alienate people from reality and make them prefer false and passive interactions to real and real ones. This also provides another angle of interpretation for the lines inPeople talk without talkingmihear without hearingalready mentioned in the song. It is worth noting that in the early 1960s whensound of silenceit was written - were the years when television reached its massive distribution in the United States, left the status of a "luxury item" and expanded its use among the middle and working classes:von Cobbett SteinbergFacts about TVIn 1962, 90% of American homes had at least one television.

In summary, the main message ofsound of silenceis that we should never be silent and should not be afraid to speak up, both in our personal and social lives. The road to a better society is through effective communication, which is essential to raising awareness of our needs and demanding justice and decency for all. To do this, we must beware of anything that might alienate us and lead us to see ourselves only as individuals and not as members of a global community. Put simply, this song reminds us to avoid itNeon lightsOur daily life is full of things that can lead us to selfishness and indifference.

"The Sound of Silence" is an anthem to resistance (4)

For the momentsound of silenceIt became a hit at the height of the Vietnam War, to the point that many adopted it as an anti-war song, along with others like Dylan's.Blowing in the windand John LennonIntroduce🇧🇷 Especially today, when our society is becoming more and more antagonistic and divided and many remain passive in the face of inequality and discrimination, I believe that we need to rediscover these songs not only for their artistic value, but also and above all for their strong meaning that can still teach us a lot about the world in which we live.

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What is the main message of The Sound of Silence? ›

Garfunkel, introducing the song at a live performance (with Simon) in Harlem, June 1966, summed up the song's meaning as "the inability of people to communicate with each other, not particularly intentionally but especially emotionally, so what you see around you are people unable to love each other."

What is Simon and Garfunkel most famous song? ›

1. “Bridge over Troubled Water” – Bridge Over Troubled Water, 1970. Garfunkel described his ethereal vocal, on one of the most famous and beloved songs ever recorded, as two extremes – control and release.

What is the meaning of Bridge Over Troubled Water? ›

Chipping Away at the Meaning

The line Like a bridge over troubled water is a metaphor for someone living through a trying time in their life, and I will lay me down references the sacrifices and perseverance as they find a way through difficulty.

How would you describe Simon and Garfunkel? ›

Simon & Garfunkel were an American folk rock duo consisting of the singer-songwriter Paul Simon and the singer Art Garfunkel. They were one of the best-selling music groups of the 1960s, and their biggest hits—including "The Sound of Silence" (1966), "Mrs.

What is the story behind the silence? ›

Silence is a story of persecution in a Japan seeking to expel foreigners. Silence is the story of two young Portuguese Catholic priests, Father Rodrigues (Andrew Garfield) and Father Garrpe (Adam Driver).

What is the mood of the poem The Sound of Silence? ›

The speaker's tone can therefore be described as solemn and disappointed. From the fact that only darkness will listen to his message to the people's ultimate rejection, it is clear that he is saddened by the narrowness of their lives and that they are unable to look for something deeper.

What is the most famous song ever written? ›

The Top 50 most iconic songs of all time
  • Smells Like Teen Spirit - Nirvana.
  • Imagine - John Lennon.
  • One - U2.
  • Billie Jean - Michael Jackson.
  • Bohemian Rhapsody - Queen.
  • Hey Jude - The Beatles.
  • Like A Rolling Stone - Bob Dylan.
  • I Can't Get No Satisfaction - Rolling Stones.

What is the most famous song made? ›

According to Guinness World Records, Irving Berlin's "White Christmas" (1942) as performed by Bing Crosby is the best-selling single worldwide, with estimated sales of over 50 million copies.

What is the most common song on earth? ›

Yet “It's a Small World,” also known as “It's a Small, Small World” and “It's a Small World (After All),” is very likely the most played song in music history — nearly 50 million times.

What is the meaning of idioms water under the bridge? ›

idiom. problems that someone has had in the past that they do not worry about because they happened a long time ago and cannot now be changed: Yes, we did have our disagreements but that's water under the bridge now.

What does troubling the water mean? ›

: a difficult or confusing situation.

What does it mean to let it be water under the bridge? ›

idiom. used to say that something happened in the past and is no longer important or worth arguing about. We had our differences in the past, but that's all water under the bridge now.

What does Simon symbolize in the story? ›

Simon represents saintliness and a kind of innate, spiritual human goodness that is deeply connected with nature and, in its own way, as primal as Jack's evil instinct.

How is Simon a moral character? ›

In Golding's view, the human impulse toward civilization is not as deeply rooted as the human impulse toward savagery. Unlike all the other boys on the island, Simon acts morally not out of guilt or shame but because he believes in the inherent value of morality.

What makes Simon a good character? ›

Simon shows concern for others and helps those less able than himself. For instance he is the only one who really helps Ralph with building the shelters and he makes sure the younger boys are kept fed.

What does The Silence symbolize? ›

Typically, silence is used to convey an abstinence or forbearance from speech/utterance. In other words, silence is the intentional or imposed state of muteness. Silence denotes an inaudible condition or moment of complete stillness.

Who is the killer in silence? ›

Jame Gumb (known by the nickname "Buffalo Bill") is a fictional character and the main antagonist of Thomas Harris's 1988 novel The Silence of the Lambs and its 1991 film adaptation, in which he is played by Ted Levine.
Buffalo Bill (character)
Buffalo Bill
8 more rows

Is The Silence a true story? ›

Q: Scorsese's film is based on the 1966 novel of the same name by Endō Shūsaku, but can we draw any parallels to real-life situations or characters? A: Yes, the novel is based on the life story of an Italian figure called Giuseppe Chiara, who in the novel becomes the protagonist – the young Portuguese Jesuit Rodrigues.

What is the conflict of The Sound of Silence? ›

The poem 'The Sound of Silence' consists of five irregular stanzas where the poet presents the conflict between spiritual and material value in the modern world. The poetic persona is a visionary who warns against the lack of spiritual seriousness in modern people.

What is the general mood or tone of the poem? ›

The poet's attitude toward the poem's speaker, reader, and subject matter, as interpreted by the reader. Often described as a “mood” that pervades the experience of reading the poem, it is created by the poem's vocabulary, metrical regularity or irregularity, syntax, use of figurative language, and rhyme.

What is an imagery in a poem? ›

Elements of a poem that invoke any of the five senses to create a set of mental images. Specifically, using vivid or figurative language to represent ideas, objects, or actions.

What song was #1 longest? ›

"Old Town Road" holds the record for the longest stretch at No. 1 with 19 weeks. It also became the fastest song in history to be certified diamond.

What is the 1 best song of all time? ›

Top 10 Best Songs of All Time
  • 1 Bohemian Rhapsody - Queen. ...
  • 2 Stairway to Heaven - Led Zeppelin. ...
  • 3 Imagine - John Lennon. ...
  • 4 Smells Like Teen Spirit - Nirvana. ...
  • 5 One - Metallica. ...
  • 6 Hotel California - Eagles. ...
  • 7 Comfortably Numb - Pink Floyd. ...
  • 8 Hey Jude - The Beatles.

Who is the best singer in the world? ›

Top 10 Best Singers of All Time
1Michael JacksonPop, Soul, Funk, R&B, Rock, Disco, & Dance
2Stevie WonderSoul, Pop, R&B, Funk, & Jazz
3Marvin GayeSoul, R&B, Funk, Pop, & Jazz
4Freddie MercuryHard Rock, Music Hall, Glitter, & Prog Rock
6 more rows
31 May 2022

What is the number 1 music video of all time? ›

1. 'Thriller' by Michael Jackson.

What is the most fun song? ›

Best happy songs, ranked
  1. 'Let's Go Crazy' by Prince. ...
  2. 'I Got You (I Feel Good)' by James Brown & The Famous Flames. ...
  3. 'Don't Stop Me Now' by Queen. ...
  4. 'Good as Hell' by Lizzo. ...
  5. 'Walking on Sunshine' by Katrina & The Waves. ...
  6. 'Lovely Day' by Bill Withers. ...
  7. 'Tightrope' by Janelle Monáe. ...
  8. 'Three Little Birds' by Bob Marley & The Wailers.
5 Jul 2022

What is the meaning of beating a dead horse? ›

idiom. chiefly US, informal. : to keep talking about a subject that has already been discussed or decided. I don't mean to beat a dead horse, but I still don't understand what happened. : to waste time and effort trying to do something that is impossible.

What's the meaning of on pins and needles? ›

on pins and needles. : in a nervous or jumpy state of anticipation.

What does the idiom piece of cake mean? ›

: something easily done : cinch, breeze.

Why was it called the Sheep Gate? ›

It is important to remember that Jesus first identifies himself, not as the Good Shepherd, but as the gate for the sheep. In the ancient walls of Jerusalem, there was a gate on the north of the city, by which animals were brought in from the surrounding areas for sacrifice. It was called the sheep gate.

What does water mean to God? ›

Water has the power to purify, to provide deliverance, and it can also destroy evil and enemies as in the stories of the Flood (Genesis 6:17) and the flight of Israel from Egypt (Exodus 14:1-15:21). 70 to 75% of the earth's surface is covered with water.

What does trying to stay above water mean? ›

Stay out of trouble, especially financial difficulties; also, keep up with work or other demands. For example, With new bills coming in every day they're barely keeping their heads above water, or The work's piling up, but I manage to keep my head above water. This expression alludes to keeping oneself from drowning.

What does a drop in the water mean? ›

phrase. If you say that something is a drop in the ocean, you mean that it is a very small amount which is unimportant compared to the cost of other things or is so small that it has very little effect on something.

Do not pour cold water on meaning? ›

idiom. to criticize someone's opinions or ideas and stop people believing them or being excited about them.

Is Spilt milk under the bridge meaning? ›

Crying over spilt milk

Spilt milk in this case is anything that happened in the past. The most common phrase is 'there's no use crying over spilt milk' – i.e. there's no point worrying about things that have already happened. A similar phrase might be 'it's all water under the bridge'.

What is the meaning of the song Sound of Silence by disturbed? ›

Basically the lyrics are shed light on people not having the ability to emotionally communicate effectively with one other. And this weakness that is inherent in people is the aforementioned troubled state or malady. Art Garfunkel once revealed that the song centers around communication issues.

What is the moral or message of the lesson the sound of music? ›

The moral of the story The sound of Music is that we can acquire success in whatever conditions we are in. God has created many of us in healthy forms but we are always lazy to do things, finding excuses each time.

What is the message of the lesson the sound of music? ›

Moral/ Message of the lesson – The Sound of Music

Those who do learn to overcome hardships certainly achieve the highest goals. There is always a way out of the challenges of life; only one has to trace the way and adhere to it with unstaggering faith in one's abilities.

What is the theme of the poem listen to the silence? ›

It tries to tell us how people get lost within themselves, in lonliness, despair and feel trapped. Because they know that everything they see and hear inside their mind cannot be shared. And they have to live with the burden of a billion thoughts coursing like waves through the vast ocean of the mind.

Is The Sound of Silence based on a true story? ›

Simon and Garfunkel's “Sound Of Silence” is one of the best songs of all time and was inspired by Sanford “Sandy” Greenberg, Art Garfunkel roomate and best friend who lost his vision.

Is The Sound of Silence a religious song? ›

These are the bigger themes in the song. Actually, the hymn's name is Padre Nuestro (Our Father). Its melody is originally from Simon and Garfunkel (being The Sound of Silence), and the Latin Americans adapted it to be a more Catholic song.

What is the meaning of the eerie silence? ›

If you describe something as eerie, you mean that it seems strange and frightening, and makes you feel nervous.

What is the conclusion of the story The Sound of Music? ›

Moral of the Story

Rather than giving in to her deafness, she made every attempt to hear music through various parts of her body and never looked back. With her perseverance, she made it to the Royal Academy of Music in London and received some of the most prestigious accolades.

What is the message moral of the poem? ›

A moral is the meaning or message conveyed through a story. The moral is the meaning that the author wants the reader to walk away with. They can be found in every type of literature, from poetry to fiction and non-fiction prose. Usually, the moral is not stated clearly.

What is the conclusion of The Sound of Music? ›

Conclusion of The Sound of Music

To sum up, The Sound of Music summary, we learn how music can bind us together and it is not limited to any one, as it is a universal language.

What do you think is the purpose of the sound? ›

Sound is important because it engages audiences: it helps deliver information, it increases the production value, it evokes emotional responses, it emphasises what's on the screen and is used to indicate mood.

What is the theme of sound? ›

Overview. A sound theme is a set of event sounds that share a common feel, or instrument set. The user can then select the sound theme that they want to use, and all applications use sounds from the theme. From a programmer perspective a sound theme is just a mapping.

What is the purpose of sound? ›

Sound is important because it can tell us about character, place, and time. It's important because it informs us and moves us in ways visuals can't, and because certain combinations of sound and visuals can evoke what neither can do alone.

Why does the poet want us to maintain silence? ›

Answer: 1. The poet wants us to keep quiet because this moment of quietness will give us the time to meditate and introspect upon the kind of turmoil we have created on earth through our ill-actions. Too much activity and rush has only brought misfortunes to mankind, so it is better to be quiet and still.

Why is silence more powerful than words? ›

Silence speaks volumes when they don't recognize, acknowledge, or refuse to understand. It's the loudest sound there is when words do not adequately express thoughts to deaf ears. It speaks through the hurt when it's too painful to talk. It lets them know they've hurt you, not even sure if they are aware or even care.

What is the message and the main theme of the poem the listeners? ›

Some of the important themes in de la Mare's "The Listeners" include alienation or isolation, and the mystery of life. Alienation: In the poem, the Traveller visits the lone house all by himself, riding on his horse.


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