Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy

Elton John’s 1975 album–the first ever to debut at the top of the Billboard charts–was not the album that told me lyrics matter.

That was Simon and Garfunkel’s Sounds of Silence, which had fragments of the lyrics printed on the back cover.

But Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy inspired something far more profound in me than those brief glimpses into Paul Simon’s songcraft.

It compelled me to try writing something of my own.

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Simon & Garfunkel–Blessed

The only new composition on what became the second Simon and Garfunkel album, Sounds of Silence, Blessed is a churning, eerie sermon, offering blessings to all manner of folks from the meek and the lamb to the meth drinkers, pot sellers, and illusion dwellers.

These blessings, often incomplete, are interspersed with cries of ‘O Lord, why have you forsaken me’ from a soul clearly in distress.

It’s dark, stark, and disquieting, in part because the almost violent backing track sounds to my ears like it could have slotted easily on the first Velvet Underground album.

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