Culture Comforts: ‘America’ by Simon & Garfunkel

Amidst the burgeoning stress of oncoming assessments, trying to recover from fresher’s flu, and navigating tumultuous reunions with family, it’s reading week. At least, it is for me — my condolences if you are not one of the lucky ones. Although, the idea that a week off can be regarded as a ‘break’ in any sense of the word is mystifying. Catching up on work, planning essays, and trying to squeeze in momentous, Halloween-themed social events seems more like a full-time job. To unwind, I like to lie on my bed and ask Alexa to play ‘America’ by Simon & Garfunkel. The song, from their renowned Bookends album, is one of my favourites. It encompasses everything I love about 60s music: it’s twangy, it’s melodious, and its lyrics tell a bizarre story. You may recognise it as the song Zoey Deschanel plays on the record player at the beginning of Almost Famous as she leaves to become an air hostess, saying that the song explains her decision to leave. ‘America’ has come to symbolise a form of escapism for me, too, as I close my eyes and allow the sounds to take me somewhere cinematic. Am I a depressed Wes Anderson character, ignoring my childhood trauma and wearing a corduroy blazer? Who knows. But for those three minutes and thirty-five seconds, I’m not myself. And it feels great.

– Daniella Clarke

Featured Image Source: Still via Youtube // Bridge Over Troubled Water (Live at Carnegie Hall, NYC, NY – November 27, 1969 – Audio) // Simon and Garfunkel

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