Reconsidering CeciliaPosted: January 21, 2013
The Simon and Garfunkel hit, Cecilia, came on the radio as I was running errands. I hummed along, though I’ve never really liked the song all that much. All the begging in the lyrics bugs me.
The boys sang their way through the first verse. Then they went into the second verse because that is the proper order of things. As The Ramones sang in Judy Is A Punk, “second verse, same as the first”. More begging. It made me sad to think about their lost dignity. I was about to turn the radio off before they further humiliated themselves, but they were too fast for me.
Making love in the afternoon with Cecilia
Up in my bedroom (making love)
I got up to wash my face
When I come back to bed
Someone’s taken my place
“Well, that’s both revealing and embarrassing for all concerned,” I said to myself. It doesn’t reflect well upon Cecilia, Simon and/or Garfunkel.
In Re Cecilia
This verse looks bad for this young woman. It is her prerogative to date anyone she likes, even folk duos. “Dating” someone, in the home of an earlier “date” is bad form. Doing so in the bedroom of the prior date as they wash up is especially bad.
It is significant that this place taking man has arrived and gotten in bed with Cecilia in the time it takes to wash a face. It is left up to us to decide if Cecilia had prearranged this second rendezvous before arriving at the Simon-Garfunkel residence or she called him as soon as the face washing commenced.
Given that Simon and Garfunkel recorded this song before the mobile phone era, I think she arranged this in advance. This second man would have had to be standing by, awaiting some sort of signal. I’m no Cecilia, but if I were her adviser I would recommend some sort of light signal similar to the “one if by land, two if by sea” system made famous by Paul Revere.
In Re Simon And/Or Garfunkel
The likelihood that Cecilia prearranged the second get-together to occur on the heels of the first does not make Simon and/or Garfunkel look like much of a catch. Her expectations of either or both of them were so low that she planned for dissatisfaction. When her prediction came true, she activated a back up plan.
Having completed the act to his/their own (but not Cecilia’s) satisfaction, our singer(s) then got out of bed to do some face washing. I can produce witnesses who can attest that I do not know what women want. But I can say with confidence that women prefer a man who washes before a date. Doing so during or after the date is ineffective and may send an unintentionally insulting message.
It would be easy to judge Cecilia as a woman of questionable character based on what we’re told in verse three. I contend that this does her a disservice. A closer look casts Simon and/or Garfunkel as obsessive-compulsive face washers who aren’t so good with women.
Nobody in this farce is worthy of a visit home to meet the parents. And then it gets worse.
Verses Four And Five
Verse four, which follows the scandalous verse three, has our duo begging Cecilia again.
But then along comes verse five’s jubilation over Cecila’s return. “She loves me again.” Sad, sad, sad. The word “again” implies she loved him/them the first time, but I see nothing that supports that idea.
Now that I’ve thought this through, I’m not going to listen to the song, Cecilia, anymore. I urge you to do the same. These two (or three) need a fresh start away from each other. They’re not going to get that start with us listening to them go on about their problems all the time.
- Cecilia by Simon and Garfunkel (chordbook.wordpress.com)