The Sound of Silence

 

“I turned my collar to the cold and damp
When my eyes were stabbed by the flash of a neon light that split the night
and touched the sound of silence. And in the naked light I saw ten thousand people, maybe more.

People talking without speaking. People hearing without listening. People writing songs that voices never share.
No one dare disturb the sound of silence”

Sometimes I love deep, philosophical things. I like things that are mildly poetic, things that make me stop, think, and go “wow”, and it’s even better when I realize that it’s something that is actually happening. So it is with “Sound of Silence”, a song originally written by Simon and Garfunkel in 1963, and more recently in 2015 covered by Disturbed, who does an excellent job with it.

According to Wikipedia, “the song’s origin and basis remains unclear, with multiple answers coming forward over the years. Many believe that the song commented on the John F. Kennedy assassination, as the song was released three months after the assassination. Simon stated unambiguously in interviews however, “I wrote The Sound of Silence when I was 21 years old”, which places the timeframe firmly prior to the JFK tragedy, with Simon also explaining that the song was written in his bathroom, where he turned off the lights to better concentrate.” Wiki goes on to say, “Garfunkel once summed up the song’s meaning as ‘the inability of people to communicate with each other, not particularly internationally but especially emotionally, so what you see around you are people unable to love each other.‘”

Interesting, huh?

Whatever the case may be, I think the lyrics above are prophetic, describing part of the current social scene in the 21st century. Everywhere I go, people are constantly looking down at their cell phones, seemingly in their own little world. When I look at current evangelical church, so many people are sitting in their seats every Sunday hearing bad theology. It’s as if they are hearing words, but not listening to what they are actually being told. People walk around, and sit around, sometimes seemingly oblivious to what’s going on around them. Most people in the American church don’t dare break the “silence” to question anything. This also seems to be the case with many Americans, who seem to be in denial of the reality of American politics and don’t want to prepare themselves for a probable major shift in the near future.

Look at how Sound of Silence continues:

“Fools” said I, “You do not know, silence like a cancer grows
Hear my words that I might teach you
Take my arms that I might reach you”
But my words, like silent raindrops, fell
And echoed in the wells of silence

And the people bowed and prayed
To the neon god they made
And the sign flashed out its warning
In the words that it was forming
And the sign said “The words of the prophets
Are written on subway walls
And tenement halls
And whispered in the sounds of silence”

Sometimes it seems like people have no desire to hear the truth, even when you want to try to help them see it. Sometimes it seems to fall on deaf ears, and they continue bowing to their own gods they’ve made for themselves.

Maybe there’s no explanation for these lyrics! I just think it’s interesting that it seems to describe much of evangelicalism, and the world. I think this can also spur us on to better relationships with our fellow saints, and our fellow neighbors.

Your thoughts?

Here’s the full video and lyrics below.

 

 

Hello darkness, my old friend
I’ve come to talk with you again
Because a vision softly creeping
Left its seeds while I was sleeping
And the vision that was planted in my brain
Still remains within the sound of silence

In restless dreams I walked alone
Narrow streets of cobblestone
‘Neath the halo of a street lamp
I turned my collar to the cold and damp

When my eyes were stabbed
By the flash of a neon light
That split the night
And touched the sound of silence

And in the naked light I saw
Ten thousand people, maybe more
People talking without speaking
People hearing without listening

People writing songs
That voices never share
And no one dare
Disturb the sound of silence

“Fools, ” said I, “you do not know
Silence, like a cancer, grows.
Hear my words that I might teach you
Take my arms that I might reach you.”
But my words like silent raindrops fell
And echoed in the wells of silence

And the people bowed and prayed
To the neon God they made
And the sign flashed out its warning
And the words that it was forming

And the sign said,
“The words of the prophets
Are written on the subway walls
And tenement halls.”
And whispered in the sound of silence

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