Paul Simon, in my opinion, is one of the greatest American songwriters in modern history. Perhaps second to Stevie Wonder, actually. “Bridge Over Troubled Water” is his crowning achievement. It’s anthemic, it’s pop, it’s easy listening, it’s soul, it’s gospel, it’s classical. The lyrics soothe without being cloying or corny. Michael and Lionel should’ve listened to “Bridge” on repeat before sitting down to compose “We Are The World”. This song would be a standard if Tiny Tim sang it. The fact that Art Garfunkel’s voice literally floated in from the cosmos and nailed the vocal on this is icing on top of one of the best cakes you’ve ever tasted.
From a memory standpoint, “Bridge” takes me back to my grandmother’s house. If I was home during the day (during the summer or on a very rare occasion I wasn’t in school), Grandma would usually play religious services-LOUDLY- on the radio. On the occasions she played other music, it was usually 106.7 Lite FM, the local adult contemporary/easy listening station. I definitely heard “Bridge Over Troubled Water” quite a bit on the latter station, and if I didn’t hear it on the former station, then there were a hell of a lot of songs that sounded like it.