Paul Simon is a rare talent who can do anything that he puts his mind to; after all, he is the man who wrote ‘Bridge Over Troubled Water’. That achievement alone puts his credentials as a songwriter above almost every other artist that’s picked up a pen. Simon can convey emotion in a way that other’s can only dream, with the loving track about his daughter being proof of his near-superhuman powers.
Previously touching upon his songwriting technique in George Martin’s 1983 book, Making Music, Simon intrinsically details his songwriting process and, while everybody works in different ways, his method is undoubtedly a fascinating one. “I work with my guitar and a legal pad and use about 50 pages to develop a song,” Simon wrote. “I get going fairly early in the morning, because my mind is sharp, and start by dating the pad and putting down personal comments, such as how I am feeling that day, so that it becomes a diary of sorts.”
He continues: “Slowly, a song will begin to emerge although sometimes it will stagger along, day after day, making no progress at all. The first page might have all sorts of lines that will never be used, but as I turn the pages, a little thought might come forward and suggest potential for development,” Simon added.
When contemplating how much thought goes into every word that Simon writes, more gravitas is added to his work. Paul Simon has been as dependable as you can get as a songwriter for half a century, and in 2002, he delivered a song straight from his heart to his daughter’s most vital organ when he released ‘Father & Daughter’.
His daughter, Lulu, was only aged seven when her father completed the loving song. Simon also roped in his then ten-year-old son, Adrian, to harmonise with him on the vocals, which makes the track warm the cockles of the heart even more.
The song provides an insight into the kind of man that Simon is, with lyrics such as, “Trust your intuition, It’s just like going fishin’, You cast your line, And hope you get a bite.” The last two lines of the chorus epitomise the unbreakable bond that the singer has for his daughter, as he earnestly sings, “There could never be a father, Love his daughter more than I love you.”
Paul Simon has never worried about being too cool, and he’s always unashamedly stayed true to himself with every last project he’s been part of over his career. While many songwriters held in the same esteem as Simon would be worried about writing a song for The Wild Thornberry’s Movie, Simon pushed on through, and the everlasting love he has for his daughter would result in a Grammy nomination and critical acclaim to boot.