Tuesday, December 08, 2015

Tuesday Tunes: Simon & Garfunkel's "Homeward Bound"

Editor's Note: Song lyrics denoted in bold italics.

Like I've mentioned several times before, I was raised on a steady diet of '60s oldies. I grew up to the sounds of rock 'n roll, soul and folk wafting through our house -- and especially our car radio.

And early on, Simon & Garfunkel were a big influence on my life. How could they not be? Their slick harmonies combined with their deep and meaningful lyrics made for one powerful punch to my budding adolescent psyche.

But then something happened: My father died, and, well, I didn't feel as idealistic or as optimistic as I once did. I wouldn't say I was jaded, but my glass definitely at least a quarter empty. So I stopped listening to S & G. For several years, actually, until...

Simon & Garfunkel's "Homeward Bound"
From Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme
I found myself humming their songs again. Maybe I found it comforting, a nice, cozy reminder of happier days with my father. I even found myself listening to their greatest hits. A lot. My tune of choice only seemed like an obvious fit...

Homeward bound, I wish I was homeward bound
Home, where my thoughts escape, at home, where my music's playin'
Home, where my love lies waitin' silently for me

We all want to go home, don't we? When life gets crazy and hectic and complicated, all we really want to do is head to the one place we know will make it all better. And maybe ' home' isn't even a physical place at all. Maybe it's a smile. Or your sister's arms. Or your mom's almond cookies. You just want to go back to that place where youcan be yourself, unabashed and unafraid.

Tonight I'll sing my songs again, I'll play the game and pretend
But all my words come back to me, in shades of mediocrity
Like emptiness and harmony, I need someone to comfort me

S & G knew it some 50 years ago and it's even more true these days: The world is one scary, unpredictable place. At the end of the day, we all just want something familiar to make us feel a little less alone. Every time I listen to this song, I can't help but picture my father and our 'old life.' And I truly do wish I was homeward bound. A part of me will always be there.

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