Want my son to start laughing hysterically? Try singing a few verses from the Simon and Garfunkel song “The Dangling Conversation.”

What the hell…Damn the torpedos! Here’s the entire song:

It’s a still life water color,
Of a now late afternoon,
As the sun shines through the curtained lace
And shadows wash the room.
And we sit and drink our coffee
Couched in our indifference,
Like shells upon the shore
You can hear the ocean roar
In the dangling conversation
And the superficial sighs,
Are the borders of our lives.

And you read your Emily Dickinson,
And I my Robert Frost,
And we note our place with bookmarkers
That measure what weve lost.
Like a poem poorly written
We are verses out of rhythm,
Couplets out of rhyme,
In syncopated time
Lost in the dangling conversation
And the superficial sighs,
Are the borders of our lives.

Yes, we speak of things that matter,
With words that must be said,
Can analysis be worthwhile?
Is the theater really dead?
And how the room is softly faded
And I only kiss your shadow,
I cannot feel your hand,
Youre a stranger now unto me
Lost in the dangling conversation.
And the superficial sighs,
In the borders of our lives.

Here’s an early photo of Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel:.

My theory is that they’ve had a discussion about the poems of Emily Dickinson and Robert Frost and are now trying to figure out whether a “bookmarker” is the same thing as a “bookmark.”

Anyway…Paul Simon went on, of course, to write dozens of amazing songs. Here’s a partial list: Fifty Ways to Leave Your Lover, American Tune, America, The Boxer, Bridge Over Troubled Water, Darling Lorraine, Duncan, Diamonds the Soles of Her Shoes, Fakin’ It, A Hazy Shade Of Winter, Hearts And Bones, Homeward Bound, Kathy’s Song, Kodachrome, The Late, Great, Johnny Ace, Mother And Child Reunion, Mrs. Robinson, One Man’s Ceiling Is Another Man’s Floor, The Only Living Boy In New York, Rene and Georgette Magritte With Their Dog After The War, Slip Slidin’ Away, Something So Right, Still Crazy After All These Years and Train In The Distance.

So…Here’s my theory. Maybe we can blame Art Garfunkel for the literary pretension oozing out of just about every word in “Dangling Conversation.”

Here’s what inspired my theory: The discovery that Art Garfunkel actually has a Web site, updated regularly, in which he lists every single book he’s ever read — or claims to have read. Bookmark — or bookmarker — this link: http://www.artgarfunkel.com/library.html


4 thoughts on “Dangling conversations

  1. If you really want your son to aplit his seams, play him “MacArthur Park.” The Richard Harris version.

    Dave Barry did some columns a while back about the worst pop songs ever recorded. He said his son, who was helping compiles the reader entries, read the lyrics to “MacArthur Park” and refused to believe it was a real song — he was sure his funnyman dad was putting him on.

  2. The lyrics aren’t really that bad, but Art Garfunkel puts it over the edge. While I want to thrust all blame upon him, some of it has to go to Paul Simon for even letting this get released/fully recorded(once he started singing this don’t you think Paul would’ve said something?).

    Garfunkel would totally, and I mean totally suck without Paul Simon… Why did he ever even work with him?

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