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“The Cool, Cool River”

Posted by purplemary54 on December 10, 2013

The last lines of this song are some of the finest, most profound words any popular songwriter has ever written.  They’re what make the song matter to me.  They shape the sadness, resignation, and anger in the rest of the words into pure hope.  They take  the weird, syncopated rhythm and turn it into a beating heart.

And these streets, quiet as a sleeping army
Send their battered dreams to Heaven.

To Heaven.
For the mother’s restless son.
Who is a witness to, who is a warrior
Who denies his urge to break and run.

Who says, “Hard times? I’m used to them.
The speeding planet burns, I’m used to that
My life’s so common it disappears.
And sometimes even music cannot substitute for tears.”

Read more: Paul Simon – The Cool, Cool River Lyrics | MetroLyrics (with my added punctuation for grammatical correctness)

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