By Rosa García Mora
How difficult it is to make way for the left hemisphere of my brain to try to write, when this song crossed, from the first day I heard it, the limits of my reason, and when it is only emotions that keep it permanently alive within me.
An impossible song to forget, the most beautiful friendship song ever written. A melody that transports us to the most heartfelt songs of faith and the most fervent gospel spirit. And a letter in which Elvis transmits his passion, his pure soul, his deep feelings towards his fellow man…
“When you’re weary
When tears are in your eyes
I’ll dry them all
I’m on your side
Oh, when times get rough
And friends just can’t be found
Like a bridge over troubled water
I will lay me down
Like a bridge over troubled water
I will lay me down”.
And that’s what he did, he gave us all the best of himself and built that bridge for us, so that through him we could hold his hand. Through his voice he gave us everything he had inside, his altruism, his passion, his infinite love, his immense spirituality. We can go through his skin and be inside him, just by listening to him, and even feeling his own redemption, his own salvation and his refuge, and how he also clings to our hand, also seeking to receive our comfort.
Elvis made it totally his own and with his interpretation he took it to another level totally different from the one that Garfunkel had already interpreted…
The song, “Bridge Over Troubled Water” was recorded by Elvis on Friday, June 5, 1970 at RCA’s Studio B in Nashville, and was released on the album “That’s The Way It Is” in November 1970. The song which appears on the album, we can hear it with applause at the end, but this applause was superimposed later, with the intention of the Colonel and Felton Jarvis, to make the song appear to have been recorded live.
It was written by Paul Simon in 1969, originally recorded by Garfunkel, and released in January 1970, a few months before Elvis recorded it. The original reached number 1 on the US Hot 100, and garnered multiple Grammy Awards, including album of the year.
When it was being composed, both Garfunkel and producer Roy Halee felt that the song needed a third verse and more sound towards the end of it. Simon agreed and wrote the final verse. It is very beautiful how Paul Simon was inspired to compose this last verse, when he saw his wife looking in the mirror seeing how her first white hair had come out…”Sail on silver girl… Sail on by…”
When Elvis settled into Studio B in Nashville and stepped into the mike to record the first take of “Bridge Over Troubled Water,” perhaps no one could have been aware of the growth in intensity, force, and grandeur that this song would achieve as Elvis was magnifying her with each live performance, until making her reach the sublime in her performances.
As the song grows, the backup singers play an increasingly important role. The orchestral element, the band… and the grandeur of Elvis’s voice elevate the energy and singing to a frenzy.
Nobody like Paul Simon himself could say it better:
“When I first heard Elvis perform ‘Bridge Over Troubled Water,’ it was incredible. I thought to myself, ‘How the hell can I compete with this?’”
Paul Simon was always very proud that Elvis will perform his song.
A song that became a regular at his concerts, and that Elvis carried in his heart and in his repertoires to the end at his last concert at the Market Square Arena in Indianapolis, on June 26, 1977. It was always “his Bridge”. , as he told his musicians to give them the intro in their shows.
His Bridge, our Bridge… A hymn for eternity.
Here is the live version, from August 1970 in Las Vegas:
Article written and provided by Rosa Garcia Mora https://www.facebook.com/rosa.garciamora.12
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