This is a jaunty song, as happy as "Feelin' Groovy" or "Born at the Right Time." It is also, if you just read the lyrics, one of Simon's finest promises of love.
The opening verse, however, is hesitant. "Silence is revealing," the speaker muses-- nothing is a secret anymore, not with the Internet and the "CAT scan's eye." There are shades, here of feeling that technology is a double-edged blade, a sense discussed earlier in "Boy in the Bubble" ("lasers in the jungle," etc.). "Now-a-days," (a word not used much, now-a-days!) the speaker continues, "everything is known." And that is somewhat good, and somewhat not, but a fact nevertheless; now we know we know what is "truth or lies" even if no one says anything.
Similarly, whether love is an "accident" or "destiny," the speaker says, "You and I were born beneath a star of dazzling blue." Are stars randomly accidental or divinely predestined? It matters not-- the star is dazzlingly beautiful, as is this love.
The next verse contains an echo of "Kathy's Song": "Worlds apart on a rainy afternoon." Back then Simon threw his hands up at creating music under such misery, saying his words "tear and strain to rhyme," so upset is he with being apart from Kathy. But now, music is the answer to loneliness: "Turn your amp up and play your lonesome tune" (a phrase that starts off like a line from "Late in the Evening.")
Another interpretation of this verse is that the couple is physically close, trapped in the living room under the same rain cloud, but "miles apart" emotionally. The line "miles can't measure distance" may imply that physical distance is not meant here.
However, the line about "the road" implies that one or the other (if this is Simon speaking, his wife is also a musician) is on tour. And, while music is the reason they are apart, it is also something they share, and that binds them, even across "miles."
The bridge is a twist on the old line "Roses are red, violets are blue." Here, the star is blue, but the "roses" are "red," and then there is the "fine white linen" of their "marriage bed." A bit more adult than "sugar is sweet and so are you"!
As important as the bed is "a wall that nothing can break through." The idea of a marriage needing a "wall" around it is not a new one. Real life assails it on all fronts, and a couple must be united in defending their fortress. (But how different a wall is this from the "walls, steep and mighty/ That none may penetrate" constructed by the speaker in "I Am a Rock," who defends himself from love!)
So many things bind this couple. The sense of being born under the same star, the love of music, the mutual devotion to protect their marriage from outside assault... and one more: memories. The last verse is about a drive on Montauk Highway, on Long Island. The couple leaves the car to walk "along the cliffs above the sea."
Together, they "imagined it was someday." Which sounds like a marriage proposal, and what a pretty spot for one. "And that is how the future came to be."
But first, "they wondered why." And no answer did they seem to find. But that, perhaps is the point. Now that we know everything... what do we know, really? We don't even know why things are to begin with-- "accident" or "destiny"?
Turns out, it doesn't matter. They found each other, and they are happy about that. Do you really need to know why the star is dazzling blue-- isn't it enough that it is?
The background harmony vocals are performed by Doyle Lawson and Quicksilver, are a bluegrass/gospel group. As a pre-teen and soon after, Lawson taught himself to play mandolin, banjo and guitar. After playing in several other bands, he formed Quicksilver in 1979. And in 2012, he was inducted into the Bluegrass Hall of Fame. (Also on the track are a dobro and fiddle, traditional country instruments.)
The rhythmic background vocals are performed by Indian singers and musicians, who also play a two-headed pitched drum called a tabla, and a clay pot.
And, for good measure, Simon himself chimes in, literally, on glockenspiel.
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