Simon & Garfunkel – “El Condor Pasa (If I Could)” (Song of the Week 5/6/2014)

Bridge_Over_Troubled_WaterSigh. It’s finals week for me. That means day after day of studying, hundreds of cups of tea, and of course, hours and hours of music. I’ve found that while cramming for these tedious exams, there is nothing that really calms me down better than the decedent, smooth, loving voices of Paul Simon and Arthur Garfunkel. Their simple, imaginative songs are perfect for the stressful moments during your day, whether that includes work, school, or yes, even studying. Of course, it’s extremely difficult to pick just one of their songs to showcase this week, given that each and every single one of their songs contain a certain indescribable quality that makes it wonderful. Nevertheless, I have decided to pick “El Condor Pasa (If I Could),” seeing as though it’s one of my absolute favorite songs in the world. The brilliant use of traditional Peruvian guitar melodies and drumming techniques mixed with the genius, poetic lyrics make this song so unique and amazing to listen to. “El Condor Pasa” was actually already a song by Peruvian composer Daniel Alomia Robles, but Simon & Garfunkel famously covered it and made it their own. I’ve always had a place in my heart for this particular duo, and it partly has to do with the fact that my father played their music all the time when I was little (and still does so today). He taught me to understand and cherish music like this, where the notes played and the words that are sung actually carry meaning and are sung and played with passion and love. Simon & Garfunkel immediately come to my mind when I think of meaningful music, and there’s a reason why they are known as two of the absolute best. It’s a given that Paul Simon and Arthur Garfunkel have voices that are breathtaking and nothing short of flawless on their own, but it’s ultimately when they intertwine with each other where their songs escalate to new heights, like in “El Condor Pasa.” Every time I listen to this song, my stresses and worries associated with school and work drift away. Their music also reminds me that even though it seems far off in the distance, my finals will be soon be over and I’ll finally get to go home and see my family after a tiring school year. That’s what Simon & Garfunkel mean to me: being hopeful, working hard for the future, and, most importantly, to always exude resilience in anything you attempt. After all, if you put energy, optimism, and hard work into your life, you will most likely always be honored and rewarded with good experiences and positive outcomes later on. “El Condor Pasa” is from Simon & Garfunkel’s fifth and final studio album Bridge Over Troubled Water, which was released in 1970.




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