Today’s post was written by my friend Julie Chervin. Julie has a very deep appreciation for good music in a wide variety of styles that she demonstrated in her suggestions for our repertoire when we were in bands together.
Paul Simon wrote “Father and Daughter” as the theme song for the 2002 animated family film The Wild Thornberrys Movie. At the time, the song was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Song, and in 2006 was released in an alternate version on Simon’s album Surprise in 2006. Surprise reached number 14 on the Billboard 200 and number 4 in the UK, was written with significant collaboration from Brian Eno, and was largely inspired by 9/11, the Iraq invasion and the wars that followed. Another critical inspiration for the album as a whole was that Simon had turned 60 in 2001.
“Outrageous”, the third cut on the album, was also released as its third single.
While it received some radio airplay, it never reached the pop heights of “Father and Daughter”. A thoughtful, catchy, and playful tune that transitions rhythmically, melodically, and lyrically to carry the listener from an angry “old person’s” rant to a humble appreciation of loving and being loved, is perhaps the track that most explicitly represents Simon’s reflections on aging:
Who’s gonna love you when your looks are gone?
Tell me, who’s gonna love you when your looks are gone?
Like he waters the flowers on your window sill
I’m an ordinary player in the key of C
And my will
Was broken by my pride and my vanity
Surprise was heralded as a “comeback” for Simon by some, but so far as this listener is concerned, he never left! For an even more playful reflection on aging by Simon, also check out “The Afterlife” on the 2011 album So Beautiful or So What.
Enjoy… until next week.