taffmeister (Sounds of Silence on deviantart.com)
In December 2015, the heavy metal band, Disturbed, fronted by David Draiman, released a cover of Simon and Garfunkel’s iconic, the Sound of Silence (1964). I’ve included 3 versions of the song: a performance by Draiman and Disturbed on the Conan O’Brien show; the band’s official music video, and an unadorned version by Simon and Garfield as originally recorded in 1964.
Do mid-1960s lyrics resonate within the 2015/16 world? Does the music video and Simon and Garfunkel’s 1960s imagery convey the same meanings? Is this heavy folk or folk metal or a hybrid? Just a few things you might consider as listen. Listen with open ears: are you dismayed or relieved at the “heavy metal” quality of Draiman, et.al’s version. And, don’t let the facial piercings distract you.
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
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 dared
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
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”
from the album Immortalized
This is the absolute original version, 1964 from the album “Wednesday Morning, 3 AM.” Without their knowledge, the song was remixed with additional instruments and re-released in 1966. Brought the two back together, and well the rest is history.
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