Wednesday, December 26, 2007

The Obvious Child :: Paul Simon

The music of Paul Simon has strangely enough been one of the few musicians that I really enjoyed when I was a child who I still like to listen to now. Then again, the other stuff I listened to at that age was Disney music, Cher and Raffi. My mother loves Paul Simon. My dad enjoys him too, but my mother loves him. I remember being little and dancing around the house "helping" my mother clean while listening to the album Graceland. When I was high school, my youth director Tom would always play Simon and Garfunkel Live in Central Park when we were on road trips. Paul Simon music is great for road trips.

This particular song is from "The Rhythm of the Saints." After "Graceland," where he worked primarily with South African musicians, Paul Simon decided to make an album featuring Latin American musicians and rhythms. "The Rhythm of the Saints" has a lot of Brazilian influences, but also was influenced by West African and Central African music. "The Obvious Child" features a Brazilian drumming group called Olodum. Olodum is credited with developing a style of music called samba reggae.

Honestly, I don't really know what this song is about. When I was little I thought that Paul Simon was singing to me, telling me not to "deny the obvious." Either way. The video is of a live concert in Central Park, and is actually pretty decent. I enjoy watching Paul Simon's band and the members of Olodum rock out.

I'm accustomed to a smooth ride
Or maybe I'm a dog who's lost its bite
I don't expect to be treated like a fool no more
I don't expect to sleep through the night
Some people say a lie's a lie's a lie
But I say why
Why deny the obvious child?
Why deny the obvious child?

And in remembering a road sign
I am remembering a girl when I was young
And we said
These songs are true
These days are ours
These tears are free
And hey
The cross is in the ballpark
The cross is in the ballpark

We had a lot of fun
We had a lot of money
We had a little son and we thought we'd call him Sonny
Sonny gets married and moves away
Sonny has a baby and bills to pay
Sonny gets sunnier
Day by day by day by day

I've been waking up at sunrise
I've been following the light across my room
I watch the night receive the room of my day
Some people say the sky is just the sky
But I say
Why deny the obvious child?
Why deny the obvious child?

Sonny sits by his window and thinks to himself
How it's strange that some rooms are like cages
Sonny's yearbook from high school
Is down from the shelf
And he idly thumbs through the pages
Some have died
Some have fled from themselves
Or struggled from here to get there
Sonny wanders beyond his interior walls
Runs his hand through his thinning brown hair

Well I'm accustomed to a smoother ride
Maybe I'm a dog that's lost his bite
I don't expect to be treated like a fool no more
I don't expect to sleep through the night
Some people say a lie is just a lie
But I say the cross is in the ballpark
Why deny the obvious child?


Quaking Aspen said...

yay! so good. Does he ever do big shows like that anymore??? if so, I wanna go!!!

gitfiddler said...

Yay for Rhythm of the Saints! I so agree that Paul Simon is perfect roadtrip music! My fave is "Hearts and Bones" cuz it's about driving through the mountains near where I grew up and it sounds like the drive itself! It's neat.

And Concert in Central Park has been around for me since about kinder garden. I feel like my brain would have been patterned very differently without Paul Simon. Yaaay!