Bridges don't lay down - they pretty much get built and stay put.And how can water be troubled, when water doesn't think?On April 7th 1979, Linda Clifford performed her covered version of "Bridge Over Troubled Waters" on the ABC-TV program 'American Bandstand'... So for the Christians it is about Jesus, for those living with a dying friend, it is about standing strong in the face of grief and loss; for radical activists it is about standing with allies in unpopular causes like ending the Vietnam war was for many Americans; for those knowledgeable about and insightful about the lifes of the authors it reflects and is drawn from the artists' personal experinces; sail on silver girl is at the very same moment about an aging lover and a heroin needle; it is about them all and more....
The lyrics have the ability to be strong and complex, yet with a simple, universal theme.
This masterful lyric portrays two older friends; one of which is fatally ill and suffering. And friends just can't be found." When that sacred time approaches, the friend proclaims: "I'll take your part, when darkness comes, and pain is all around." As she begins her journey toward paradise, as promised, the good friend is by her side, and he joyously helps console her as her spirit begins to flow, "Sail on Silver Girl, Sail on by. A good song stands for itself and doesn't need external knowledge and personal infos to be appreciated.
In and around the heart of the lyric are allusions to the other friend being willing to step up and face the end with the soon to pass friend, while referencing that not many friends would rise to such occasion. The "silver hair" thing is utterly irrelevant, since no songwriter has the right to expect audience to know about his personal life.
The best cover version I've heard for Bridge Over Troubled Water is by Alfie Boe. The original S&G is the best, but a close second in my opinion is the Johnny Cash/Fiona Apple version. I saw this documentary on MTV just about 2 months ago and it is terrific.
If you've never heard of Alfie, check out this concert performance from April 2013: https:// Johnny's deep vocals with Fiona's sultry voice is an amazing combination. The big drum crash echo sound on The Boxer came from the drums being setup in front of an elevator shaft in the CBS building in NYC.