"American Tune" by Paul Simon (VIDEO)
Watch a live performance of "American Tune" by Paul Simon, No. 80 on our list of the 100 best NYC songs.
Wed Mar 7 2012
80. Paul Simon, "American Tune" (1973)
Using harmonies from a Bach melody, "American Tune" starts out as a generalized portrait of soul-deep weariness, but takes a subtle turn for the local when Simon makes references the difficulty of finding contentedness "so far away from home." It's not until the bridge, which details an existential vision of the "Statue of Liberty sailing away to sea," that you realize he's talking about the loneliness of the immigrant experience—and more specifically, the loneliness of a town where everyone, it seems, came from somewhere else.