5/05/2011

Paul Simon in Israel

It's recently been announced that Paul Simon will be doing a concert in Israel. If I'm in the country, I'm there. Marc Tracy of Tablet suggests a set list. His recommendations are all right (Homeward Bound can be understood as a heavily Jewish and even mystical allegory; I am a Rock easily resonates with the Israeli situation; Still Crazy applies to the whole country)- some a bit contrived, though. There's some low-hanging fruit that he missed though:
1) The Dangling Conversation - about two people in a relationship but talking past each other. Can apply to both internal and international politics.
2) The Boxer - “In a clearing stands a boxer, and a fighter by his trade, and he carries the reminder of every glove that laid him out or cut him till he cried out in his anger and his shame ‘I am leaving, I am leaving,’ but the fighter still remains.” What a great metaphor for Israel.
3) Scarborough Fair - because it's frequently used for "Dror Yikra" (at least it was until "Sloop John B" inherited that crown).
4) Bridge over Troubled Water - because it speaks to the very reason that the State of Israel was founded.
5) Slip Slidin Away - "God only knows; God makes his plans. The information's unavailable to the mortal man. We work our jobs, collect our pay; we think we're riding down the highway but instead we're slip sliding away." This is Yiddish wisdom ("mensch tracht un Gott lacht").
6) America - hitchhiking is still popular here, as is America (though in the song, America is a stand-in for New York; perhaps a rewrite for "Jerusalem" is in order - "counting the cars on Route 443 yeah, they've all come to look for Jerusalem."
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