“I Am A Rock” — Simon and Garfunkel

No Words, No Song
6 min readMar 21, 2021
Photo by Tommy Lisbin on Unsplash

If there’s one thing that 12 months of a pandemic has taught us, surely it’s that none of us is a rock…or an island for that matter…we all depend on one another, sometimes in ways we’re aware of and at other times in ways we don’t consciously think about.

Of course, we all know we depend on wonderful healthcare professionals to keep us safe in the middle of a pandemic and look after us if things go wrong.

But what about the Amazon delivery driver whose name we don’t know…the grocery supplies which turn up on our doorstep thanks to a supply chain thousands of people strong…the nameless tech people who invented everything we need to work from home more or less as easily as working in the office.

We might think we’re rugged hunks of individualism and self-reliance, but that’s less and less true when we take the time to think about it.

The roads we drive our cars on…the buildings we live and work in…the food we eat…I’m guessing very few of us have built our own roads, invented cars to drive on them, built our own houses and grown all our own food.

In fairness to Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel, that’s not the point they’re making in the song, but it’s the thought that popped into my mind when “I Am A Rock” came on the radio the other morning.

I’ve loved this song since I was a teenager…a long time ago, I could even play it on the piano for you.

I was a lonely teenager…which was just as well as that has proven to be the perfect preparation for being a lonely adult. I’ve got used to living my life largely on my own and, while I might wish things were different, I’m not unhappy.

But I know I’m connecting with my inner soul when I hear Paul Simon’s guitar, then his voice singing…

A winter’s day
In a deep and dark December
I am alone

Although recorded a couple of years earlier for a Paul Simon solo album, “I Am A Rock” was included as the final track on Simon and Garfunkel’s “Sounds Of Silence” album. Given its provenance, “I Am A Rock” has Paul Simon on lead vocals instead of Art Garfunkel, although Art does his usual lovely job on the harmonies.

No Words, No Song

Without words, it’s just a nice tune. Add words — now you’ve got a song. And songs can change your world. I write about some that changed mine.


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