Bridge Over Troubled Water - Simon & Garfunkel


Bridge Over Troubled Water is a song by American music duo Simon & Garfunkel. Composed by Paul Simon and released on their fifth studio album, "Bridge Over Troubled Water" in 1970, this song has become one of the most significant and beloved songs of the 20th century. Its soothing melody and powerful lyrics have made it an anthem of comfort and hope for many. Let's delve into the song's history, lyrics, and impact.

History and Background

The song "Bridge Over Troubled Water" was written by Paul Simon, with Art Garfunkel singing the lead vocals. The song, influenced by gospel music and featuring a piano accompaniment played by Larry Knechtel, marked a significant shift from their previous folk rock style. It was the last album released before Simon & Garfunkel split up, and the song's success only heightened the impact of their separation.

  1. Simon & Garfunkel's Career
  2. Influence of Gospel Music
  3. Transition from Folk Rock

Lyrics and Interpretation

The lyrics of "Bridge Over Troubled Water" speak of providing comfort and support during times of difficulty. It's often interpreted as a song about unwavering friendship or solidarity. The imagery of a bridge over troubled waters provides a strong metaphor for finding stability and safety amidst chaos and fear.

  1. Songwriting Techniques
  2. Use of Metaphors in Music
  3. Music's Impact on Emotions

Musical Composition

The composition of "Bridge Over Troubled Water" is notable for its simplicity and emotional power. The piano-driven ballad is enhanced by subtle orchestration, which builds up as the song progresses, adding to the emotional intensity.

  1. Role of Piano in Music
  2. Understanding Orchestration
  3. Dynamics in Music

Impact and Legacy

"Bridge Over Troubled Water" won five Grammy Awards, including Song of the Year and Record of the Year. It has been covered by numerous artists and remains a staple in popular culture, often used in movies, television, and charity events.

  1. Understanding the Grammy Awards
  2. Music's Role in Popular Culture
  3. The Impact of Cover Versions

Interactive Tasks

Quiz: Questions on the song

What year was "Bridge Over Troubled Water" released? (1970) (!1968) (!1972) (!1969)

Who played the piano accompaniment in the song? (Larry Knechtel) (!Paul Simon) (!Art Garfunkel) (!Elton John)

Which music style influenced "Bridge Over Troubled Water"? (Gospel Music) (!Rock and Roll) (!Jazz) (!Country)

How many Grammy Awards did the song win? (5) (!3) (!4) (!6)

What is the primary theme of "Bridge Over Troubled Water"? (Comfort and Support) (!Romantic Love) (!Political Protest) (!Personal Freedom)

Quiz: Questions on the Performer

Which member of Simon & Garfunkel primarily wrote the song? (Paul Simon) (!Art Garfunkel) (!Bob Dylan) (!John Lennon)

In what year did Simon & Garfunkel split up? (1970) (!1969) (!1971) (!1968)

Which of these songs is NOT by Simon & Garfunkel? (!"Mrs. Robinson") (!"The Sound of Silence") (!"Scarborough Fair") ("Hotel California")

Before "Bridge Over Troubled Water," what style of music were Simon & Garfunkel primarily known for? (Folk Rock) (!Blues) (!Pop) (!Heavy Metal)

What is Art Garfunkel's role in the song "Bridge Over Troubled Water"? (Lead Vocals) (!Drummer) (!Guitarist) (!Pianist)

Quiz: Questions on the lyrics

What is the key metaphor used in the song? (A bridge over troubled waters) (!A ship in a storm) (!A lighthouse on a cliff) (!A road through a forest)

Which of these lines is from "Bridge Over Troubled Water"? ("Sail on, Silver Girl") (!"Fly away, Golden Bird") (!"Walk on, Lonely Boy") (!"Run free, Wild Horse")

What does the song promise to lay down? (A bridge) (!A path) (!A road) (!A hand)

Which line follows "When you're down and out"? ("When you're on the street") (!"When you're feeling low") (!"When you're lost and alone") (!"When you're breaking free")

What emotion does the song predominantly convey? (Comfort) (!Excitement) (!Sadness) (!Anger)


Paul Simon Wrote the Song
Art Garfunkel Lead Vocals
1970 Year of Release
Grammy Awards Awards Won
Gospel Music Musical Influence

Open Tasks


  1. Exploring Lyrics: Analyze the lyrics of "Bridge Over Troubled Water" and write about what they mean to you.
  2. Musical Timeline: Create a timeline of Simon & Garfunkel's career, highlighting key moments.
  3. Cover Song: Record your own cover of "Bridge Over Troubled Water" using any instrument or vocals.


  1. Musical Analysis: Analyze the musical composition of "Bridge Over Troubled Water" and its use of dynamics and orchestration.
  2. Interview: Conduct an interview with someone who lived during the 1970s about their memories and feelings associated with the song.
  3. Comparative Study: Compare and contrast "Bridge Over Troubled Water" with another Simon & Garfunkel song in terms of themes and musical style.


  1. Research Project: Research the impact of "Bridge Over Troubled Water" on popular culture and write a detailed report.
  2. Creative Writing: Write a short story or poem inspired by the themes of "Bridge Over Troubled Water".
  3. Music Video Creation: Create a music video for "Bridge Over Troubled Water" that captures the song's emotional essence.

Text bearbeiten Bild einfügen Video einbetten Interaktive Aufgaben erstellen

Oral Exam

  1. Discuss the significance of "Bridge Over Troubled Water" in the context of the late 1960s and early 1970s American culture.
  2. Explain how "Bridge Over Troubled Water" reflects the evolution of Simon & Garfunkel's musical style.
  3. Compare "Bridge Over Troubled Water" to another significant song of the same era in terms of its message and cultural impact.
  4. Analyze how the themes of the song resonate with contemporary issues and challenges.
  5. Discuss the role of music as a source of comfort and hope in times of social and personal turmoil.

OERs on the Topic


Share - Discuss - Rate


Text bearbeiten Bild einfügen Video einbetten Interaktive Aufgaben erstellen

Teilen Facebook Twitter Google Mail an MOOCit Missbrauch melden Zertifikat beantragen

(0 Stimmen)