The just Living young In brand-new York is a song from Simon & Garfunkel’s last studio album Bridge end Troubled Water (January 1970). The track is, like many of their songs, composed by Paul Simon, who in this case likewise sings the command lines ~ above his own. The duo can but be heard with each other in the lovely and prominent choir of backing vocals.

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The track is said to be a thinly veiled post to art Garfunkel, specifically referencing Garfunkel going to Mexico to act in the film Catch-22. Filming take it eight months, a lot longer than expected, and also the production ended up straining your partnership. Simon to be left alone in brand-new York writing songs and also preparing sessions because that the upcoming album. This contributed to the feeling of loneliness and also abandonment in the song.

Tom, get your airplane right on timeI know your part’ll walk fineFly down to MexicoDa-n-da-da-n-da-n-da-da and also here ns amThe just living young in brand-new York

The tune combines a mix of strumming acoustic guitars, a start-stop north pattern, and also a the discussed choir the harmonies. It has actually been compared with few of Elton John’s songs, specifically Rocket Man.


Of record the many voices because that the harmony section, Garfunkel has actually said: “I started acquiring into open-mouth harmony, in a very loud, strident way. We were screaming at the peak of ours lungs and inside an echo chamber. I remember that day the Dylan reduce by come visit. We come out the the booth after all this screaming, and there that was.”

There is one more aspect come the song which renders it significant – the of Simon saying goodbye to Garfunkel when referencing him together ‘Tom.’ This goes ago to the earliest job of their recording career, which began in 1957 when they were both 16. At the time, they referred to themselves as Tom & Jerry after the renowned cartoon characters. ~ above The just Living young In new York, Simon (alias Jerry) sings come a friend called Tom (alias Garfunkel, who was Tom as soon as they started working together).

Tom, obtain your plane right ~ above timeI understand that you’ve been passionate to fly nowHey, let your honesty shine, shine, light nowDa-n-da-da-n-da-da-n-da-daLike that shines on meThe just living boy in brand-new YorkThe only living boy in brand-new York

Simon had actually a feeling deep down that Art want to relocate away native music and do his own thing. The lyrics imply that Paul accepts it and also just hopes Garfunkel realises what he desires to do soon. He additionally seem come realise that the Tom he operated with in 1957 is no longer there, in any kind of case. They have both relocated on.


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How final this goodbye was meant to be at the moment of writing deserve to be debated, together the duo had no concrete plans to rest up at the point. They had further shows and also an album planned. Simon did feeling different about the partnership, together no doubt go Garfunkel, and also the recording of Bridge over Troubled Water was challenging as their relationship had actually deteriorated. “At that point, I simply wanted out,” Simon later said.

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Simon’s music farewell come Garfunkel was supplied as a b-side on the Cecilia single in April 1970. In new Zealand, however, it ended up being an a-side. The most exciting thing around that one is the selection of b-side, and also we have the right to read rather a lot right into that pairing if we want: a sheathe of Bye taking leave Love.

Initially castle both want to take a great break for a few years. None of them had plans to go after solo jobs at first, however after part time, Simon’s mam at the time (Peggy Harper) convinced Simon to call Clive Davis – president of Columbia records – to check the duo’s breakup. Their cooperation ended through phone contact in 1973. They claimed goodbye in ~ the top of your fame.

For the next several years, the duo would only speak “two or three” times a year. There have actually been sporadic reunions, yet they to be sadly destined to remain brief and far between. The only Living boy In brand-new York came to be Paul Simon’s musical goodbye to arts Garfunkel after all.