60. Simon & Garfunkel – ‘Bridge Over Troubled Water’ (1970)

“When you’re weary, feeling small
When tears are in your eyes, I will dry them all
I’m on your side, oh, when times get rough
And friends just can’t be found
Like a bridge over troubled water
I will lay me down”

Written by Paul Simon

Produced by Roy Halee/Paul Simon/Art Garfunkel

Taken from the album Bridge Over Troubled Water

Also released on Simon & Garfunkel’s Greatest Hits, Collected Works, The Concert In Central Park, 20 Greatest Hits, Old Friends, The Best Of Simon & Garfunkel, Tales From New York: The Very Best Of Simon & Garfunkel, The Essential Simon & Garfunkel, Old Friends: Live On Stage and Live 1969

US #1, UK #1

The most popular and most famous of all Simon & Garfunkel songs, ‘Bridge Over Troubled Water’ has transcended the term “hit single” to become something of a cultural landmark. Embraced by millions worldwide, it is an anthem of love, hope, friendship, bridges, troubled waters, and the like. It’s gentle melody and the vocal, which rises from quiet to soaring, give the song the feeling of subdued greatness, a song that works as a piano-and-vocal song and also as a powerful epic.

So much has been said about this song over the years that I feel I should tell you to listen to it. ‘Bridge Over Troubled Water’ is an experience to be had alone, and when the time is right, with many. At Simon & Garfunkel’s Old Friends tour last year, ‘Bridge Over Troubled Water’ was the undeniable highlight. It felt like witnessing a piece of music history.

The song has been covered by everyone and everybody, including a version by Johnny Cash that was featured at the start of this countdown. Confirming ‘Bridge Over Troubled Water’s status as a song of hope during hard times, Stevie Wonder did a beautiful rendition at the Hope For Haiti Now telethon early this year. It’s a predictable thing to say, but of course, none will come close to the original.


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