Songs of the past

flagFunny how one song can get you thinking about times long gone. When a friend posted this Simon and Garfunkel piece on Facebook I started writing and couldn’t stop. I think age does that to you, when you look back on your life, and the life of those around you in retrospect.

“You just have to have been there,” I wrote on Facebook “when this song was created. This and the other songs that came out of that era were the heart and soul of our generation. A turning point for America. The age of questioning why. Where have all the Flowers Gone? Turn, Turn Turn, All the Dylan pieces, Joan Baez, The Vietnam War, the draft. Kent U. The San Francisco movement. Beads and bells and flowers and all of a sudden the youth were gathering together when they never gathered together before. Sure there were stoners ,but there were nature people too giving up their comforts to go live out on the land and learn something new, to farm or raise a few goats or be a migrant worker. There was a lot of pain happening back then. Pain and change.”

We were all emotionally affected by Vietnam.  Kids from all the high schools everywhere got drafted right after graduation and sent to engage in a horrible “police action”. Young people were scared, angry. They wanted a voice. They hated the war and unfortunately some people blamed the guys coming back home. A war that shamed America so much so Vets were forgotten as if the country decided to sweep them under the carpet and pretend Nam never happened.

But the artists, the musicians, the poets, they knew. They saw not just our generation but generations throughout history suffer the same wicked trials. They  cried out back then. Those songs were all about the same thing. They were about war.

No one heard.

Someone should have listened. Someone should have changed things by now. America’s spirit was broken in the 60s. No longer was it untouchable, a super power that won all wars and always came out on top. 

Hello darkness, my old friend
I’ve come to talk with you again
Because a vision 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

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

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 dare
Disturb the sound of silence

“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

And the people bowed and prayed
To the neon God they made
And the sign flashed out its warning
And 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

 “The Sound of Silence” by Simon & Garfunkel

About Dianne Gardner

With a passion for wholesome and entertaining stories, Dianne Lynn Gardner dives into fantasy novels both adult and young adult. She is both a best selling author and an award winning illustrator who lives in the Pacific Northwest, USA. Mother of seven and grandmother of 16, Dianne wants to make sure that books which ignite imaginations, strengthen friendships, spur courage and applaud honor are available to every reader in the world.
This entry was posted in Current Affairs, inspiration, life, Memoirs, musing, musings, writers, writing. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Songs of the past

  1. Neala Luna says:

    In the late 70s this was taught in our primary school. I remember learning to sing this with my seven year old classmates. Parents had tears in their eyes when we sang this at the school concert.

  2. gwynnrogers says:

    Yes, the 60s were a very sad time. Vietnam seemed to pull the mindset of our country apart. I don’t think that war benefitted us. Too many sad, sad memories. The flowers are all gone.

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