Posted by: stillironic | August 6, 2010

Simon, Garfunkel, and Me (Part 1)

Not being able to carry a tune didn’t stop me from fantasizing that Simon and Garfunkel were really Simon, Garfunkel, and me. I mean Art Garfunkel was adorable. I loved their music. We as a threesome would not have violated the laws of physics. Technically, it was possible.

How we met isn’t important. What was, was I was drop-dead gorgeous with a voice perfect for harmonizing.

Yes, they competed constantly for my affection. Obviously, jealousy over me was really why they broke up. You can read about our sizzling chemistry and madcap escapades in scores of books. Of historical value is my role as the muse that inspired Paul’s genius.

Long before the break-up—and Artie and I ran off to the ashram—we had our artistic differences. One of our biggest squabbles was over herbs. Paul had this thing about bitteroot. Artie wouldn’t let go of lavender. Reminded him of his nana.

So Paul was all “Parsley, lavender, rosemary, and bitteroot.”

I was all “Gag me with a spoon.” That particular day, I was getting antsy about having time to dash home and wash my mop for my date with Artie. Paul and I were in the middle of writing “Scarborough Fair.” (Can you believe he originally wanted to call the song “The Cambric Shirt”?!)

Paul sang on: “She hearkened five vegetables and fruit.”

“Good nutritional advice,” I said, “and no doubt prescient. But obtuse as lyrics.” (They appreciated my frankness and facile use of language.)

Paul was all “poetic license!” Never knew anyone so protective of his imagery!

Meanwhile, Artie had spent weeks trying to reshuffle the herb order. But we couldn’t figure out something to rhyme with lavender, rosemary, or parsley. We almost settled for “She once was a girl who dressed sparsely,” but came to our senses.

Finally, someone, me, if my memory serves, suggested replacing lavender with sage. It was more in sync with the beat. And I got Paul to agree to do rocks, paper, scissors to decide the fate of bitteroot. My paper covered his rock. I refused to go the best of three.

It’s not true that I take credit for coming up with “thyme.” It occurred to Paul when his girlfriend, Fat Portia—he couldn’t have me, so he had to date someone—handed him a shopping list of ingredients she needed from the store. Thyme, besides tasting great in chicken broth, presented a goldmine of rhyming opportunities: climb, time—a homonym!!— sublime, mime, etc. To tell you the truth, I thought the insipid song was crying out for a mime image.

So I was all “She once truly loved a mime. It’s perfect!” They both looked at me like I was a cartoon. That belonged in a cartoon graveyard.

“She once was a true love of mine,” Artie said.

“But, but, but,” I said, “mine” doesn’t really rhyme with thyme.

Paul was all “Poetic license,” and “don’t be such a goddam nitpicker.” (Jealousy is an ugly thing.)



  1. So charming, inventive and funny. A great read with my morning coffee. Loved it!

    • Thanks, Jayne! I was in your neck of the woods for five days. My son, who lives in Hawaii, treated me to a trip to San Francisco. Haven’t been there since 1972! Would love to go back and visit the wine country.

  2. What a fun read for a Saturday morning – I too wish it was true!

    • Thanks, Brahm. Appreciate your stopping by! Hope you’re enjoying married life!

  3. LOL!

    Something like this happened between me and Emmylou Harris back in the 70s. I broke up with her because she couldn’t hit the high notes, but it was fun while it lasted.

    • Yeah, it must’ve been a drag having the carry her, Paul… 😉

      • Tell me about it.

        Sure, she’s drop dead beautiful and sure she sings like a nightingale, but a guy just gets tired of someone coming home every day and saying “They want me to do another album! And guess who wants me to duet with him/her now?!” I couldn’t even sit around the house in an old t-shirt what with Dolly and Linda and whoever constantly dropping by announced to see if “Emmy” was home. After a while, it just got old.

    • No doubt why her hair turned gray so young. I’m sure she’s the poorer for having lost you!

      • I won’t let her forget it, either!

      • I totally support that!

  4. Ah, I was right to follow Jayne over here! Delightful post. No wonder Simon and Garfunkel broke up… way too many herbs.

    • Thank you kindly! I think it’s so important to get the truth out–about the herb thing. Thanks for stopping by.

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