"Still Crazy After All These Years" what is the song about?

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by jojopuppyfish, Jul 16, 2007.

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  1. jojopuppyfish

    jojopuppyfish Forum Resident Thread Starter

    I know the song starts out with him seeing an old girlfriend in the first stanza.....so I guess by the 3rd stanza, the narrator of the song is already bored with the reunion.
    Then the last stanza is about the narrator looking back on his life.
    Is that accurate?

    Here are the lyrics:
    Words & music by paul simon

    I met my old lover
    On the street last night
    She seemed so glad to see me
    I just smiled
    And we talked about some old times
    And we drank ourselves some beers
    Still crazy afler all these years
    Oh, still crazy after all these years

    Im not the kind of man
    Who tends to socialize
    I seem to lean on
    Old familiar ways
    And I aint no fool for love songs
    That whisper in my ears
    Still crazy afler all these years
    Oh, still crazy after all these years

    Four in the morning
    Crapped out, yawning
    Longing my life a--way
    Ill never worry
    Why should i?
    Its all gonna fade

    Now I sit by my window
    And I watch the cars
    I fear Ill do some damage
    One fine day
    But I would not be convicted
    By a jury of my peers
    Still crazy after all these years
    Oh, still crazy
    Still crazy
    Still crazy after all these years
  2. nosticker

    nosticker Forum Resident

    Ringwood, NJ
    I always took it as the author meeting the ex and being depressed afterwards, though he won't admit it.....still "crazy" for her, if you will, but pride gets in the way.

    Also, why not ask Dan Fogelberg? He ripped off the beginning of this song for "Same Auld Lang Syne".......IMO.

  3. Mike from NYC

    Mike from NYC Forum Resident

    Surprise, AZ
    He's a socially inept, bored, logical rather than romantic, stuck in the past, loner kinda guy who many will consider slightly eccentric or crazy.
  4. nickg

    nickg Forum Resident

    New Hampshire
    Ah that's why Larry David loves it! :D
  5. dgstrat

    dgstrat Forum Resident

    West Islip, NY
    I love that scene! Where Larry screws himself out of the the Paul Simon concert and sits home singing along to the cd with the lyric booklet. Classic!!!!
  6. Jose Jones

    Jose Jones Outstanding Forum Member

    Detroit, Michigan
    I always took the song to be a simple comment on aging and realizing how we get more set in our ways as we get older. I never thought he really missed the ex---she seems more happy to see him than vice versa. Great song, btw. The "Still Crazy" line is not quite literal----whereas as a young man he did get "crazy" for fun, now simple pleasures are sufficient.
  7. jmrife

    jmrife Wife. Kids. Grandkids. Dog. Music.

    Wheat Ridge, CO
    One of my favorite lines from popular music:

    I fear I'll do some damage
    one fine day.
    But I would not be convicted
    by a jury of my peers.

    Who are your peers?
  8. JA Fant

    JA Fant Well-Known Member

    a man still crazy for an ex-lover.
  9. zebop

    zebop Well Known Stranger

    Someone's been reading my diary...
  10. Nostaljack

    Nostaljack Resident R&B enthusiast

    DC metro area
    Oh geez...LOL!
  11. rockclassics

    rockclassics Forum Resident

    Arkansas, USA
    Maybe. But I think Fogelberg's song was better.
  12. MarkPMus

    MarkPMus New Member

    East Sussex, UK
  13. goldwax

    goldwax Forum Resident

    Really? The lyrics of the song don't support that at all, I don't think.

    In the first verse, he says that she seemed glad to see him, whereas he just smiled, indicating that he isn't that into her.

    In the next verse, he says he's not a romantic at all: "I aint no fool for love songs."

    To me it more symbolizes the emptiness of life in the '70s after the promise of the '60s that failed to materialize. Is that "craziness" he alludes to a desperate attempt to hold on the the excesses of the '60s, like, he's no straight, maaaaaaan? Or is it a different kind of craziness, borne out of frustration and a sense of having wasted one's life?

    The final verse seems like an empty threat to me. Would a hippy turned yuppy would actually "do some damage," like throwing a bomb or robbing a bank, as in the days of the hippy radicals? It seems to show how trapped he is by the rhetoric of the '60s. The reason he's "Crapped out, yawning / Longing my life a--way" is because he clings to an outmoded way of thinking. Time has passed him by.
  14. bumbletort

    bumbletort Forum Resident

    Baltimore, Md, USA
    Yes. The song is steeped in depression. The threat in the final stanza I've always interpreted as suicide--a theme with plenty of precedent in other Simon lyrics. The character's assertion he would not be convicted is therefore ironic--it is the one type of murder for which one can never possibly be convicted.
  15. Metoo

    Metoo Forum Hall Of Fame

    Spain (EU)
    This is quite in line with my take on the song.
  16. gfrobe

    gfrobe Forum Resident

    To me the song is really just about guy who is probably a bit lonely and disillusioned with the same old day in and day out that his life has become and he's being a bit introspective about it. As for the damage he might do, I interpreted it as damage he might do to himself. As in, my life is going nowhere, who would blame me if I were to just end it.
  17. goldwax

    goldwax Forum Resident


    Never thought about it that way. I was more thinking that he was commenting on his entire generation feeling the same way that he does and so empathizing with him.

    Your take is interesting.
  18. Skip Reynolds

    Skip Reynolds Legend In His Own Mind

    Moscow, Idaho
    This is the correct interpretation.

    I have spoken.

  19. bumbletort

    bumbletort Forum Resident

    Baltimore, Md, USA
    No no no!! My interpretation was correct first.

    I had spoked.

    Different spokes for different folks.
  20. andyinstal

    andyinstal Runner for Others

    Allen, Texas
    The line "she seemed so glad to see me, I just smiled", could be how he saw it. If depressed, or a loaner, he could interpret the meeting that way when in fact, she may have cared less. Don't know, but I love this song. It is almost impossible to find a copy of the album in decent shape.
  21. Skip Reynolds

    Skip Reynolds Legend In His Own Mind

    Moscow, Idaho

    Good one.

  22. tspit74

    tspit74 Forum Resident

    Woodridge, IL, USA
    Like any good piece of art, the song is open to interpretation. It means whatever it means - to you. Paul Simon isn't in complete control of his art or it's meanings. I'm sure if you asked him, he's tell you that the song has meant various things at various stages in his life since he wrote it. Inspiration and the muse are not necessarily concrete things that can be pinned down. I've read many interviews with Simon (as well as many other songwriters) and he doesn't really know what his songs mean. By taking the lyrics and separating them from the music, you're getting an incomplete picture. Basically, you are all right and you're all wrong. Whatever it makes you feel is what it means to you today. After you live a little more life in 10 years, it will take on a new meaning.
  23. mrjinks

    mrjinks Optimistically Challenged

    Boise, ID.
    I think the themes of suicidal despair are spot on here. I've always thought the song was about how as one ages, one can evaluate one's life in a not-so-admirable light.

    I also think the song is steeped in irony. In verse one, he meets an old friend, has a couple of beers & shares some stories. To me the "still crazy after all these years" line is highly ironic, because what he's described is far from crazy. Ditto verse two. He's not social and he "leans on old familiar ways"; far from crazy, it just sounds boringly stable. The middle bit and the "fear I'll do some damage" line then paint a portrait of despair, perhaps because he realizes how blahhhhhhhhh his life really is, and do seem to suggest suicidal thoughts. Then comes the final irony. Here's a guy who's life is so mundane, he's thinking about ending it. Yet his peers wouldn't consider his suicidal thoughts to be crazy...

    ps I also think post #22 is very incisive, too!
  24. JonUrban

    JonUrban SHF Member #497

    Because he is "a wild and crazy guy!" (Or was)
  25. bumbletort

    bumbletort Forum Resident

    Baltimore, Md, USA
    . . . in a turkey suit.
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