"The Sound of Silence" is a song by folk music duo Simon & Garfunkel. Written in February 1964 by Paul Simon in the aftermath of the 1963 assassination of John F. Kennedy, the song propelled the group to mainstream popularity. An initial version preferred by the band was remixed and sweetened, and has become known as "the quintessential folk rock release". In the U.S., it was the duo's second most popular hit after "Bridge Over Troubled Water".
The song features Simon on acoustic guitar and both singing. It was originally recorded as an acoustic piece for their first album Wednesday Morning, 3 A.M. in 1964 but on the initiative of the record company's producer, Tom Wilson, it was later overdubbed with drums (Bobby Gregg), electric bass (Bob Bushnell) and electric guitar (Al Gorgoni), all without the knowledge or participation of Simon & Garfunkel and rereleased as a single in September 1965. The single reached number one on New Year's Day 1966 and was included in the 1966 album Sounds of Silence.
"The Sound of Silence" was originally called "The Sounds of Silence" and is titled that way on the early albums in which it appeared and on the first single release; only on later compilations was it retitled "The Sound of Silence". Both the singular and the plural appear in the lyrics. In his book Lyrics 1964–2008 Simon has the title in the singular. Download The Sound of Silence sheet music now!
Hello darkness my old friend.
I've come to talk with you again.
Because a vision softly creeping.
Left its seeds while I was sleeping.
And the vision that was planted in my brain.
Within the sound of silence !
In restless dreams I walk alone.
Narrow streets of cobble stone.
Neath the halo of a street lamp.
I turned my collar to the cold and damp.
When my eyes were stabbed by the flash of a neon light.
That split the night.
And touched the sound of silence.
And in the naked light I saw.
Ten thousand people maybe more.
People talking without speaking.
People hearing without listening.
People writing songs that voices never share.
And no one dare.
Disturb the sound of silence.
"Fools" said I, "You do not know.
Silence like a cancer grows.
Hear my words that I might teach you.
Take my arms that I might reach you.
But my words like silent rain-drops fell.
And echoed in the wells of silence.
And the people bow and prayed.
To the neon God they made.
And the sign flash out its warning.
In the words that it was forming.
And the sign said "The words of the prophets.
Are written on the subway walls and tenement halls.
And whispered in the sounds of silence.