Graceland 25 years later

Posted 5 years ago by Adam Gautsch

Nell Boeschenstein's article on the 25th Anniversary of the Paul Simon album Graceland is wonderful.

Context and time do sometimes matter. The Paul Simon who, on a bus en route to New York City told his sleeping girlfriend that he was empty and aching and he didn’t know why, that Simon belongs to our parents. My generation may love him but he’s not ours. The Simon who is soft in the middle (or at least feels an affinity for men who happen to be), however, the one who reminds young women of money, who has been divorced and has a kid to prove it, and who has the means to catch a cab uptown and take it all the way downtown talking dispassionately while doing so about the comings and goings of breakdowns, that Simon belongs to us as much as he does to our folks because he is our folks. Not our folks the way they were before we were born, but the way they were when we first knew them, as they were losing their edge and feeling maybe a little insecure about that loss; our folks as we knew them when we ourselves were entering that era of childhood which finally allowed for reflection and the retention of memory and for the level of awareness that clued us into the fact that a baby with a baboon heart was something to wonder at and to then distantly — vaguely — mourn when she died three weeks after her baboon heart first beat inside her body; this was our folks the way they were when they were trying to raise us right: to say please and thank you and to only send food back under dire circumstances; the way they were when we really saw them for the first time. At least, in retrospect. Now that we’re grown, that first introduction lingers. We also recognize not just our parents in the words of those songs, but ourselves and our own impending midlives that loiter like shortening shadows on the horizon.

3 Comments

Poppa Bear ~ 5 years ago

Wow, it sure is. Poppa bear

Lord ~ 5 years ago

Upon reading this I immediately stop playing the current song in my shuffle and switch to my Paul Simon playlist. Got to see Mr. Simon play a few years ago. Got a free ticket and went by myself and, honestly, couldn't have enjoyed myself more. He definitely makes it on my top ten favorite musicians list.

Matt ~ 5 years ago

Well done sir. Cant believe its been 25 years.

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