Saturday, June 26, 2010

I Will Lay Me Down

"When you're weary, feeling small..."

I don't listen to music very often, actually. When I do, my tastes are somewhat eclectic - cool jazz, some "early" music, symphonies. And, though I quit listening to current pop a long time ago, I continue to love some of the music that was important to me when I was younger.

Yesterday was a terrible day. I'd slept very poorly, and I began the day with a flurry of stupidities on my part that resulted in missing an all-day seminar. (This may wind up costing me $180.) I then had to go back to my job and explain to my less-than-pleased boss what had happened. And, some folks from the DOC that I value seemed to be having tough days as well.

"When tears are in your eyes, I will dry them all..."

All of this had me pretty down, depressed almost to the point of being incapacitated. As I sat at my desk, the podcast I was listening to made a reference to the song "Bridge Over Troubled Water" by Simon and Garfunkel. I happen to love that song. It's my opinion that Garfunkel's singing on that is the greatest performance in pop music history: no other nominations will be accepted. (Do I have anywhere near the expertise I need to make such a statement? Absolutely not.)

So, I interrupted the podcast to give "Bridge Over Troubled Waters" a listen. "A listen" is a bit of an understatement - I listened to the song time six or seven times, one after the other. In the song, the singer is offering unconditional support to the person he's singing to: the lyrics feature the line "Like a bridge over troubled water, I will lay me down."

In that moment, I found the song incredibly moving, and struggled to keep from crying. As I listened, I alternated between feeling myself in the role of the singer and feeling myself in the role of the person being sung to. After a time, I could no longer stay seated. I went downstairs and chatted with a coworker for a moment, than I went and got a soda.

"Sail on silver girl, Sail on by.
Your time has come to shine. All your dreams are on their way."

By the time I got back to my desk, I was starting to feel better. I listened to the song one more time, then resumed my work. A little later, I had a nice chat with my boss, and even got a small project done. I was still very glad when the work day ended, but my mood had improved considerably.

(Lyrics taken from Simon and Garfunkel, "Bridge Over Troubled Water." Bridge Over Troubled Water. New York: Columbia Records, 1970.)


  1. I remember that song, I liked it as a kid but hadn't thought of it for years. It seems appropriate for so many things

    Glad you're feeling better my friend

  2. Oh I love that song!!! And I love that it made you feel stronger and got you through a very tough day. It's so great when music can lift us up like that. Sail on, my friend.

  3. GREAT post & I LOVE that song!


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T Minus Two by Bob Pedersen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.