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The Paul Simon Years

September 1, 2015

As is my annual want over the August bank holiday weekend, I updated my list of my top 500 songs of all time. It is crucial, vanguard work. Who knows, over the past 12 months my affection for Altered Images’ Don’t Talk To Me About Love may have grown sufficiently to move it upwards from number 152 to number 133. It is important that that 19 place ascent is noticed and recorded.

Steven loves the chart rundown which we’ll tape over the next few weeks. He doesn’t like it if I put two songs by the same artist back to back like I did once with Teenage Rampage and The Six Teens by The Sweet at numbers 302 and 303.

The only song Steven and I disagree hugely on is Paul Simon’s You Can Call Me Al. I have it at number 221. Steven would have it in the top five. It’s a big song for Steven. He came across the video first and developed one of his detailed back stories for it. Chevvy Chase lip syncs the lyrics in the video which threw Steven. “Chevvy Chase has got Paul Simon’s voice in his mouth”. But what threw Steven more was where was Mr Garfunkel? In the end he decided that Art had gone to Woolworths to buy some new brown shoes and a Cadburys Flake.

Steven thinks its very funny to play with the lyrics and when peoples’ names appear in lyrics, he goes into overdrive. And in You Can Call Me Al, you’ve got two. Al and Betty. Al is the soldier in the army tank that runs over Mr Bean’s car in Unseen Bean. And Betty is Betty Hislop, the mother of the bride in Muriel’s Wedding. So, in the Cowley house, the chorus goes:

” I can call you Betty Hislop who died. You can call me Al who squashed Mr Bean’s car “.

I’ll let you into a secret. The first time Steven came across Simon and Garfunkel was seeing a clip of them at the famous Central Park gig. It was Bridge Over Troubled water where Paul has stormed off in a huff, leaving Art to sing on his own. Since that day, Steven has called him Simon Garfunkel, not Art, and nothing is going to change that now it’s embedded on Steven’s hard drive. ” Dad. Simon and Simon. That’s a bit greedy”.

Two other Simon and Garfunkel songs that make it into Steven’s top 100 are Mrs Robinson and Cecilia. When we sing these two, Steven changes the lyrics to:

“So here’s to you Steven Robinson. Don’t fall on the mat in Hang Tough”. Steven Robinson was a contender in the 1993 series of Gladiators. And,

” Its Cecilia. From Mencap pool with her long finger nails” because Cecilia is Tom’s gran at the Friday evening swim.

There you have it. A one page profile, solely on Steven’s relationship with Paul Simon.

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