Forty Years in the Wilderness
Of Gods and Men

Paul Simon: Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes

Weekend Music

A few nights ago I watched a documentary about the 25th anniversary of Paul Simon's Graceland album. It's pretty good, though it gives more attention to the political controversy surrounding the album than I would have preferred. The best thing about it is bits of the music, many of which come from the 1987 concert in Zimbabwe in which Simon and his African associates performed the album. There are selections from it on YouTube, but I wanted one that was both one of the catchier Simon songs and also included a lively performance by Ladysmith Black Mambazo, because they are almost as much fun to watch as they are to hear. In those quick dance moves they seem impossibly light on their feet. So I settled on this studio production.




Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Saw the documentary last summer - really enjoyed it. Graceland was such a great album. I'm also impressed with So Beautiful or So What which came out in 2011.

I haven't heard that. I think someone recommended it to me but my expectations of these old guys is fairly low now. It was a bit sad to see, in the documentary, Simon as the 70-year-old he is now interspersed with clips from 25 years ago, as he is in this video.

I think I might have linked to this (or a version of it) before here, but it explains the "careful treading" Zulu dance acts.

Okay. Now I know what I'm going to download from eMusic.


I don't recall having seen it before. Fascinating. "feline and curiously fastidious" is very accurate. I wonder what the non-careful treading was like!

The story of the impoverished author of a huge hit is to be found in American folk music, too, not surprisingly. Though I think here it was less often a case of swiping an actual newly-composed work as of discovering a folk song and making money off it, while the original folk performer got little or nothing.

I remember seeing Simon on SNL with Ladysmith at some point but I'm not sure it was this song that they did. Great stuff in any case.

I imagine something like this.

I like the careful version better.

Janet, you certainly can't go wrong with Graceland.

I bought this in the autumn. I got a set with the CD and the DVD. I love them both! I read about it in a newspaper.

Mine (the original album, I mean) is 25-year-old vinyl, given to me by the high school religious ed class I was teaching. I had two favorite pupils, one male and one female. I don't know what's become of the male, but I wouldn't be too surprised to learn that he's a priest and/or professor. The girl now runs some kind of feminist-oriented thing--it was several years ago when I searched for them and I've forgotten the specifics now. (Her name was unusual, therefore googleable, his was not.)

I had it as a cassette in the 1980s. It was the sound track to my writing my PhD.

I could never have done that--I can't have music with words playing while I do mental work. That's what I use ambient music for.

The ambient music puts me to sleep.

Maybe I'll write a dissertation now. I'll just skip the class part.


It puts me to sleep, too, if I'm not either actively doing something or just very wide awake. I sometimes listen to it in spells of insomnia.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Your Information

(Name is required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)