Bridge over Troubled Water (song)

Bridge over Troubled Water (song)

Infobox Single
Name = Bridge over Troubled Water

Artist = Simon and Garfunkel
from Album = Bridge over Troubled Water
Length = 4:55
B-side = "Keep the Customer Satisfied"
Released = January, 1970
Format = 7" 45 RPM
Recorded = 1969
Genre = Folk rock
Label = Columbia Records
Writer = Paul Simon
Producer = Roy Halee, Paul Simon, Art Garfunkel
Last single = "The Boxer" (1969)
This single = "Bridge over Troubled Water" (1970)
Next single = "Cecilia" (1970)
Audio sample? = yes
Misc = extra musicsample
filename=Sg botw.ogg
title=Bridge over Troubled Water
Extra tracklisting
Album = Bridge over Troubled Water
Type = Studio
prev_track =
prev_no =
this_track = "Bridge over Troubled Water"
track_no = 1
next_track = "El Condor Pasa (If I Could)"
next_no = 2
"Bridge over Troubled Water" is the title song of Simon and Garfunkel's final album together, "Bridge over Troubled Water", released January 1970. It reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart on February 28, 1970, and stayed at the top of the chart for six weeks. It was replaced at the number-one spot by The Beatles' "Let It Be". "Bridge over Troubled Water" also topped the adult contemporary chart in the U.S. for six weeks. [Whitburn, Joel (1996). "The Billboard Book of Top 40 Hits", 6th Edition (Billboard Publications)]

This song's recording process exposed many of the underlying tensions that eventually led to the breakup of the group after the album's completion. Most notably, Paul Simon has repeatedly expressed regret that he allowed Art Garfunkel to sing this song as a solo, as it focused attention on Garfunkel and relegated Simon to a backing position. Art Garfunkel initially did not want to sing lead vocal, feeling it was not right for him. "He felt I should have done it," Paul Simon revealed to "Rolling Stone" in 1972. Garfunkel said that the moment when he performed it in Madison Square Garden in 1972 was "almost biblical". In recent performances on the "Old Friends" tour, Simon and Garfunkel have taken turns singing alternate verses of the vocal.

As the song ends, drums and piano build in a crescendo to an extraordinary climax. The last note, on a violin, is a long, drawn out E-flat that lasts ten seconds.

Writing and recording

Simon wrote the song in the summer of 1969 while Garfunkel was filming "Catch-22" in Mexico. It was written on the guitar in the key of G although on an early demo version Paul Simon detuned the song on his guitar to an F.

The song originally had two verses and different lyrics. Simon specifically wrote it for Garfunkel and knew it would be a piano song. He based the lyrics on the line "I'll be your bridge over deep water if you trust in me" by Swan Silvertones in the song "Oh Mary Don't You Weep For Me".

Garfunkel reportedly liked Simon's falsetto on the demo and suggested Simon sing. He and producer Roy Halee also thought the song needed three verses and a 'bigger' sound. Simon agreed and wrote the final verse.

Garfunkel's first two attempts to record the vocal failed. The first two verses were finally recorded in New York with the final verse recorded in Los Angeles.

Larry Knechtel spent four days working on the piano arrangement. Art came up with the intermediate piano chords between the verses while working with Knechtel.


It won the Grammy Award for Record of the Year and Song of the Year in the Grammy Awards of 1971, with its album also winning several awards in the same year.

A gospel-inspired cover version by Aretha Franklin, taken from her album "Aretha Live at Fillmore West", later won the Grammy Award for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance in the 1972 awards. In 1999, BMI named it as the 19th-most performed song of the 20th century. "Rolling Stone" named it number 47 on The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. In 2006, it was awarded 4th placeFact|date=August 2007 in Australian TV show 20 to 1's "Greatest Songs of All Time" episode, beaten by "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction" by The Rolling Stones, "Stairway to Heaven" by Led Zeppelin and "Imagine" by John Lennon.

Releases, covers and various versions

"Bridge over Troubled Water" has been rerecorded by a number of artists since its original release in 1970:

* Bobby Darin on various T.V. shows in the 1970s.
* Shirley Bassey on her album "Something Else" in 1971
* Roberta Flack on her third album, "Quiet Fire"
* Tom Jones
* Morten Harket
* Aaron Neville
* Aretha Franklin, reached #1 on the U.S. R&B chart and #6 on the U.S. pop chart
* Dana
* Roy Orbison
* Bon Jovi in concert
* Johnny Cash and Fiona Apple (album: "")
* Russell Watson
* Hannah Jones
* Blind Boys of Alabama
* Elton John (unreleased demo)
* Elvis Presley
* Frankie Vaughan on his 1973 album "Sincerly Yours".
* Eva Cassidy
* The Supremes
* Maynard Ferguson (instrumental)
* Gregorian
* Robert Goulet
* LeAnn Rimes
* Bonnie Tyler
* Camilo Sesto (Spanish "Puente sobre aguas turbulentas")
* Hear'Say
* Michael W. Smith
* Anthony Callea
* Nana Mouskouri (Both English version and in French as "Comme une pont jété sur l'eau trouble")
* Jackson 5
* Annie Lennox
* Johnny Mathis
* Whitney Houston and CeCe Winans
* BeBe Winans and CeCe Winans
* Charlotte Church
* Tina Arena
* DJ Sebastian Clissen (2007 trance remake with vocals by Aretha Franklin)
* Peggy Lee
* Anne Murray
* Hamilton, Joe Frank & Reynolds [Yahoo! Music, webpage: [ Yahoo979291] .]
* Willie Nelson
* Linda Clifford
* Leona Lewis Sang on the UK's the X-Factor, which she went on to win. Now a multi-platinum recording artist.
* Jimmy London
* Clay Aiken on his 2003 double A sided single with "This Is the Night", which went Platinum, as well as a bonus cut on some international releases of "Measure of a Man", 2003
* Teresa Teng
* Jolin Tsai
* Buck Owens (with the Buckaroos, reached the top 10 of the "Billboard" Hot Country Singles chart in 1971).
* Kirill "Kirka" Babitzin (in Finnish as "Silta yli synkän virran")
* Paul Desmond on his 1969 LP "Bridge Over Troubled Water" featuring jazz versions of Paul Simon's music. A&M Records SP 3032
* Tommy Körberg performed the song in Swedish, as "Som en bro över mörka vatten". His version was at Svensktoppen in 1970. A 1973 version by Christians was also at Svensktoppen.
* Mormon Tabernacle Choir on their 1991 album "Songs From America's Heartland"
* Sam Harris on his album "Revival"
*Barry Manilow on his "The Greatest Songs of the Seventies" album
*Zsa Zsa Padilla in her "Sentiments" album
*Jennifer Holliday and Luther Vandross
*Linda Eder
*Ian Gillan
*Top of the Poppers whose version on the album "Top of the Pops, Volume 10" was considered strong enough to appear on their "Best-Of" album "The Best of Top of the Pops '70"
*Skeeter Davis
*Glen Campbell
*Helena Vondr%C3%A1%C4%8Dkov%C3%A1 (in Czech as "Most přes rozbouřené vody", recorded in 1976 for %C4%8Cesk%C3%A1 televize)
*Andy Williams
*Steel Train
*Nicolas David Ft. Natalie Myland

ee also

*Songs on album: "The Boxer" / "Cecilia" / "El Condor Pasa".



* "Simon & Garfunkel - Bridge Over Troubled Water" (notes/reviews), Super Seventies RockSite!/, 2006, webpage: [ SPSimGarf] .

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