A classic song reinterpreted

Once in a while, you hear a familiar old song, and it’s as if you’re hearing it for the first time. That is exactly how I felt when I first heard the cover of classic song The Sound of Silence by Disturbed, recorded in their 2015 album called Immortalized. The singer is David Draiman, lead singer of Disturbed. Here is the official video music released in 2015. As of this writing in April 2017, it has more than 208 million views!

Disturbed has its roots in hard rock, nu or heavy metal music, though this cover is a departure from that genre of music with an interesting classical-like musical arrangement. It starts like a pop song but builds up tension and an edge towards the end.

Not everyone is impressed by this cover. Richard He writes: “By stripping away all the context of the original, turning it into an overblown, brain-meltingly obvious movie trailer cover song, Disturbed have pandered to a bigger audience than any original song they could ever write.”

I am no music expert, but I think it is a great cover that has given a classic pop song a new life. Given the current political climate, the song resonates with so many people that has helped make it a big hit. The Sound of Silence was a Vietnam war era protest song originally recorded by Simon & Garfunkel in 1964, and written by Paul Simon in 1963-64. The credit should go to Simon for writing such a beautiful and powerful poem that is so relevant 50+ years later. Below are the lyrics as published by Disturbed.

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
Still remains
Within the sound of silence

In restless dreams I walked alone
Narrow streets of cobblestone
‘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 dared
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 raindrops fell
And echoed in the wells of silence

And the people bowed and prayed
To the neon god they made
And the sign flashed 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

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