Paul Simon Penalizes Himself By Dusting Off Song He Loathes In Portland
Iconic singer-songwriter Paul Simon is currently in the middle of Homeward Bound – The Farewell Tour and brought the run to the Moda Center in Portland, Oregon this past Saturday night. While Simon and his band have kept to a similar script each night, a memory lapse in Portland led to a rare live version of a song Paul “loathes.”
Paul Simon was working through “The Cool, Cool River” off 1990’s The Rhythm Of The Saints in Portland, when he forgot the lyrics. Simon asked his band, “Anybody know the words?” He eventually recovered and finished the song. “Because I made a mistake and forgot the lyrics to that song, I’m going to penalize myself,” Simon told the crowd before asking a tech for an acoustic guitar. “I’m going to sing one of my songs that I loathe,” Paul continued.
The Newark, New Jersey native told his band, “If you want to play you can. if you don’t want to play you don’t have to play this is totally …” Paul Simon added, “This will teach me” and “I just hate this song” before treating the crowd to an abbreviated version of “The 59th Street Bridge Song (Feelin’ Groovy)” off Simon & Garfunkel’s 1966 album Parsley, Sage, Rosemary & Thyme. Members of the band chimed in at various points of the clearly unrehearsed effort. While Paul had performed “The 59th Street Bridge Song (Feelin’ Groovy)” at many Simon & Garfunkel concerts, the last version documented on Setlist.FM at one of his solo shows took place in 1974.
Watch footage of “El Condor Pasa” followed by the lyrical mishap within “The Cool, Cool River” and the impromptu “The 59th Street Bridge Song (Feelin’ Groovy)” captured by Colin Progen on Saturday night in Portland:
Last year, Paul Simon discussed his distaste for “The 59th Street Bridge Song (Feelin’ Groovy)” during a 2017 appearance on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert. Host Stephen Colbert coaxed Simon into teaming with him on a revised edition of the song featuring lyrics discussing current events that was filmed backstage at the Ed Sullivan Theater in New York City.