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LYRICS: Paul Simon

“I Am A Rock” [alternate version]

I’ve heard this song SO MANY times before, but recently I heard this particular version from the Paul Simon Songbook (1965) and I was deeply moved. Here it’s just Paul and his guitar…and stripped down this way, every word cuts through me. It’s so brilliantly written. And at this particular time in my life, it’s really resonating with me.

Part of what this song means to me right now plays on the fact that I’m living on an island, heading into another winter. It’s an easy time to build up walls and pull away from people. I’m happy to report that I’m leaving the island today for a two week vacation that will have me in four different US cities visiting with some dear friends. I’m very glad to put off my inevitable hibernation for a little while longer.

“A winter’s day
In a deep and dark December
I am alone
Gazing from my window to the streets below
on a freshly fallen silent shroud of snow

I am a rock
I am an island

I’ve built walls
A fortress deep and mighty
That none may penetrate
I have no need of friendship, friendship causes pain
It’s laughter and it’s loving I disdain

I am a rock
I am an island

Talk of love
Well I’ve heard the word before
It’s sleeping in my memory
And I won’t disturb the slumber of feelings that have died
If I never loved I never would have cried

I am a rock
I am an island

I have my books and my poetry to protect me
I am shielded in my armor
Hiding in my room safe within my womb
I touch no one and no one touches me

I am a rock
I am an island

And a rock can feel no pain
And an island never cries”

Paul Simon


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