The song seems to be the antithesis of everything I stand for- except it really isn’t. Yes, it’s cheesy, melodramatic, and so popular it delved neatly into the “Overplayed to the point where it must be played in hell” group of songs that people whine about. It is one of the most covered songs in history, with versions from Nana Mouskouri, Buck Owens, Michael W. Smith, and Willie Nelson. It’s a staple on shows like American Idol and X-Factor, where its been butchered by the like of Jacob “Lusky Stank” Lusk. It belongs with songs like “Imagine”, “Yesterday”, “Against All Odds”, “Over the Rainbow”, and the entire Whitney Houston catalogue on a list of songs that should NEVER be covered EVER AGAIN IN THE HISTORY OF HUMANITY because they’ve been done to death, leaving me to believe there is no other possible interpretation of the song left for musicians to attempt.
BUT- it is beautiful, sweet, melancholic, and it soars so well, and that piano is haunting, and Art Garfunkel sings the shit out of it. I can’t resist pretty pianos and pretty falsettos. It’s impossible. It’s also one of the songs that played pretty much constantly in my teenage years, and it got me through a lot of really difficult times. While the person(s) who(m) may be my bridge over troubled water may still be out there (or indeed not exist in the way I want them too, although my girlfriends come pretty damn close), it is a song that continues to give me tremendous hope. Anything that invokes hope in a person who doesn’t always believe in hope as a tangible thing is worth praising.
It is a secular hymn, and as we know, I love those songs best of all. “Bridge Over Troubled Water” is a classic for a reason. And it melts my cynical, cold heart every time.