Simon and Garfunkel’s “Bridge Over Troubled Water”: The truth behind the 1970 classic


The popular Simon and Garfunkel hymn-like tune “Bridge Over Troubled Water” is a serene piece of music filled with raw emotion. The song was built to provide an endless comfort for listeners. It’s an unfortunate truth, however, that the song wasn’t a comfort in the least bit to the artists who originated and popularized the instant classic.


The duo’s “Troubled Waters”

Photo via Wikimedia Commons

Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel had first met in the sixth grade. Over the years, the duo has maintained a famously cantankerous relationship. The two artists split up and reunited multiple times throughout the years they spent working together.

The period in which Simon and Garfunkel spent working on the legendary “Bridge Over Troubled Water” was a prime example of just one of the many bumpy roads the two had experienced while creating together.

Around this time, Garfunkel had decided to take on a role in the film “Catch-22,” which was shot in Mexico. The absence of Garfunkel delayed production and aggravated Simon immensely. Regardless of this, the single still managed to soar to the top of the charts. Additionally, the song was warmly embraced and celebrated by artists of all genres. Two dozen artists cut covers of this Simon and Garfunkel classic by the end of 1970. These artists include, Johnny Mathis, Peggy Lee, and even Elvis Presley.

Following the release of the album, Simon and Garfunkel parted ways. However, both artists reunited in 1981 for a free concert in NYC’s Central Park where they performed the celebrated single.


Simon and Garfunkel performed on and off again up until 2010. Regardless of their personal issues, they have performed with impressive professionalism and have never ceased to deliver perfectly tranquil and beautifully organized pieces of music. Their music, especially singles such as “Bridge Over Troubled Water” will forever be celebrated and cherished as inimitable classics.


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