Paul Simon Picks His Seven Favorite Paul Simon Songs (And The One He Loathes)

Paul Simon Picks His Seven Favorite Paul Simon Songs (And The One He Loathes)

I don’t tend to think of Paul Simon as an old man, but the guy has been around since the early ’60s, and he is 82 years of age. It’s nice that the world gets to appreciate a legendary figure like that while he’s still around to see it. The first part of In Restless Dreams, the new Paul Simon docuseries debuts on MGM+ this weekend, and that gave Stephen Colbert a chance to devote an entire episode of his show to Simon last night. That included a half-hour interview and a pretty stunning performance, and it gave Simon a chance to pick some of his favorite and least-favorite songs.

Paul Simon and Stephen Colbert’s interview last night was wide-ranging, and it touched on topics like songwriting process and doo-wop oldies. At one point, Colbert asked Simon to pick his ideal five-song set — a great thing for a late-night host to ask a musical legend. Simon said that he’s actually getting ready to play a five-song set at the White House, but when he was naming his own tracks, he went a little over. First he named a few uptempo tracks that he likes: “Graceland,” “Me And Julio Down By The Schoolyard,” “Late In The Evening,” “Mother And Child Reunion.” Then he reeled off some ballads: “The Sound Of Silence,” “The Boxer,” “Still Crazy After All These Years.” Those are indeed some very good songs! It’s fun to watch Simon coming up with those titles like “yeah, I like that one.”

Paul Simon does not, however, have such warm feelings about all of his tracks. Stephen Colbert brought up Simon & Garfunkel’s 1966 nugget “The 59th Street Bridge Song,” which Simons almost never plays live. Simon said, “I loathe that song. Sometimes in shows, if I made an error in some other song, I would sing that song as punishment. Here’s what it is: I come up to the line, and I just don’t wanna sing, ‘Life, I love you, all is groovy.’ [Scoffs] I don’t wanna sing it.” Fair!

Paul Simon also performed last night, doing an entirely solo-acoustic version of “Your Forgiveness,” from his 2023 mini-album Seven Psalms. Simon didn’t get up from Colbert’s couch to play that one, and it was entrancing. The man can conjure a lot of things with his fingerpicking. Watch it below.

Here’s Colbert’s full interview with Simon.

Seven Psalms is out now on Owl Records/Legacy Recordings. In Restless Dreams premieres on 3/17 and 3/24 on MGM+.

more from News