The Sound of Silence, Then and Now

Fool, said I, you do not know
Silence like a cancer grows
Hear my words that I might teach you
Take my arms that I might reach you
But my words, like silent raindrops fell
And echoed in the wells of silence.  -Paul Simon

When Paul Simon wrote this iconic song back in 1964, it was meant as a hopeful warning to society about the dangers of people losing the ability to communicate. To many, it was also seen as a warning of the destructive nature of television and of technology generally, making that communication more difficult.

I think most people would agree that the warning fell on deaf ears. We didn’t listen

Fast forward more than 50 years.

But first, I should back up a bit….

For those who don’t know me, I was raised by a musician. I love all genres of music, but at my core, I am a metal head with a special love of opera and all things classical. I love Slipknot and Pavarotti equally.

I am always moved by music, but never as much as I was the first time I heard The Sound of Silence as covered by the metal band Disturbed. I believe in my soul that Disturbed front man, David Draiman, was born to sing this song and deliver this message again … in this time.

Rarely do I label anything perfect, but this is damn close. They used an orchestra this time and slowed the tempo. Mr. Draiman’s level of emotion is incredible, as he takes you on a journey from trepidation to rage. The original message is conveyed so well that Paul Simon himself endorsed it and shared the video on all of his social media pages.

I promise … it will give you goosebumps, make you cry, or both. When you add the strength of the orchestra with the message of the video, it’s nothing short of amazing, in my view. And boy … I am not alone. The video has amassed a whopping 848 million views. But please watch it for yourself … as loud as you can, so you’ll understand why I believe it is genius.

The Sound of Silence

And as powerful as Draiman’s voice is with the orchestra, the story of the video is what inspired me to write about it.

It opens to a barren wasteland of forgotten instruments. As the dream begins, the musicians dig up a guitar and pluck a drum from a tree and set about to bring the music back to the masses. But while the musicians have the instruments, the people have the music and they are separated by distance and a river in the darkness of a post-apocalyptic world.

They need to reach each other … just like we do. They need to communicate … just like we do.

It’s a story of fear, of hope, and of anger. It suggests that music could be a bridge for what divides us.

Will we listen now?

And as a bonus for those of you who prefer this song in two voices, I give you a live version where Draiman is paired with the talent of Myles Kennedy.


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