Two men sitting and looking at the viewer. The one in the middle has yellow hair and a blue shirt and jeans, while the man to the left of him has black hair blending in with the background and a white shirt. Only the right side of the second man's face is visible. Flowers are in the images foreground. The right of the first man it is written in script "Simon and Garfunkel" and below that "Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme". There are symbols in the top left and center top of the picture.

2020 Album Draft- Round 1- Pick 8 -Aphoristical selects- Simon and Garfunkel- Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme.

You can find Aphoristic Album Reviews- website at

My parents owned a lot of music, but most of it was bagpipes or classical music they never actually listened to. Their one album that I did enjoy was a cassette of SImon and Garfunkel’s Parsley, Sage, Rosemary, and Thyme – Simon & Garfunkel aren’t cool, except when the alternatives are Charley Pride and Nana Mouskouri, When I became interested in music at around 12 years old, this was my first album after I commandeered it. 
Parsley, Sage, Rosemary, and Thyme shaped my taste in that it’s a very studio-based album. Simon and Garfunkel’s first album was straightforward trad-folk and their second was hastily slapped together to capitalise on the success of ‘The Sound of Silence’. For their third album, they were able to stretch out in the studio; Simon could add harpsichord to ‘Scarborough Fair/Canticle’ or bring in Dave Brubeck’s rhythm section for ’59th Street Bridge Song (Feelin’ Groovy)’. This largely set the pattern for my music listening – I’m much more interested in studio creativity than in sweat-drenched live sets.

The best known songs are the strongest – ‘Scarborough Fair/Canticle’ interpolates the English folk song with ‘The Side of the Hill’, anti-war lyrics written by Simon and set to music by Garfunkel (earning a rare writing credit). ’59th Street Bridge Song’ has the great first line “Slow down you move too fast/you’ve got to make the morning last”. ‘Homeward Bound’ was written by Simon on Widnes station during a stint in the UK. There are some worthwhile deep cuts too – Garfunkel sweetly delivers ‘For Emily, Wherever I May Find Her’, while ‘Flowers Never Bend With The Rainfall’ is pretty, low-key folkd-rock.
As much as I have a sentimental attachment to Parsley, Sage, Rosemary, and Thyme, it’s not a flawless classic – ‘Poem on an Underground Wall’ over-dramatises an act of graffiti (four letters!) into a dirge while ‘The Dangling Conversation’ goes where rock music usually fears to tread with its references to Emily Dickinson and Robert Frost. ‘A Simple Desultory Philippic (Or How I Was Robert McNamara’d into Submission)’ is fun, but it’s a dated period piece.  

It’s not even Simon and Garfunkel’s best record, but there could have been far more embarrassing ways to launch a music collection than Parsley, Sage, Rosemary & Thyme.


  1. We’re selecting ten dream teams from the best albums of all time, and this first round is brutal in a fun way. I want to make them all one giant album and have it as my first pick! I love this album, and like you, it’s not even my favorite of theirs. Lots of sentimental value as well.

  2. A great post! I completely get why it would mean so much to you. I know the singles and love them but haven’t heard the rest of the album; based on the review I may stick to the compilations of theirs but most definitely they put together some truly great music back then… they made complex and intelligent seem simple.

  3. Ruh roh, this was potentially one of my picks…i.e., great choice. I’m envious that you’ll be the one listening to Dangling Conversation, For Emily, and 59th Street Bridge Song.

  4. Wonderful write-up on a talented duo. They can sing the phone book and I’d be happy. Interesting concept on the title track; I read about the meshing of the two songs awhile back and thought it was so creative. It’s good to have emotional connections to your favorite music. There is something comforting and healing as well in it.

  5. Thanks for the good post. We had this album on 8-track when I was growing up.

    RE: …goes where rock music usually fears to tread with its references to Emily Dickinson and Robert Frost.

    There was a girl duo in the early-90s called The Story featuring Jonatha Brooke and Jennifer Kimball. Excellent harmonies and catchy melodies but also VERY heavy on the English Lit references, just like Simon at his most affected.

    • It’s not the literary references so much as it’s the way that Simon is singing about reading a book – kind of ups the ante. I generally like literary references in songs.

  6. I like many songs on this album including Patterns. I listened to this album at a friend’s home. After hearing it I got the Greatest Hits. Homeward Bound is one of my favorite S&G songs. Not my favorite album of them but a great one nonetheless.
    We have got quite a diverse set of albums so far.

  7. Simon & Garfunkel will always have a special place in my heart, since their 1972 “Greatest Hits” compilation was among the very first vinyl records I heard, which started my now 40-year-plus music journey. And while I agree it’s probably not their best album, it certainly is a pretty solid record.

    • I went out and bought the Simon and Garfunkel Collection, a compilation from the early 1980s. The interesting thing about it is that the two figures on the cover (walking on the beach in the sunset) aren’t Simon and Garfunkel but impersonators.

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