Here is another excerpt from Paul Simon’s exclusive interview with Tom Moon about “Songwriter,” which will be in stores everywhere October 24th:
Q One distinction that this collection makes clear is that there’s a difference between outright political songs and songs that offer a window into our culture. You see yourself as more of a cultural commentator … and some of the lines in your songs—”Where have you gone Joe DiMaggio”—have actually become part of pop culture.
A I don’t write overtly political songs, although American Tune comes pretty close, as it was written just after Nixon was elected. Writing good political songs or so-called “protest songs” is its own art form. When I write about politics it’s usually part of a song, maybe a verse or two rather than the whole thing. Many of the songs, the ones that aren’t story songs, change subjects as often as any internal conversation does. Our minds flit from topic to topic all the time. I write like that.