Similar Ingredients [#7] – The Beatles/Simon & Garfunkel


Songs with certain similarities – either musical, lyrical, historical, cultural, and/or all of these things.

=”Bridge Over Troubled Water” (by Simon & Garfunkel) 1970=

=”Let It Be” (by The Beatles) 1970=

In 1970, The Beatles’ “Let It Be” and Simon & Garfunkel’s “Bridge Over Troubled Water” dominated the charts and radio airwaves. Both have a hymn-like, solemn-yet-inspirational feel and acted as a salve for the end of the turbulent late 1960’s of war in Vietnam, riots, political assassinations, and the growing generation gap. It was almost like the world breathed a collective sigh of relief through these two songs that a new decade had begun.

According to David Browne’s book Fire and Rain: The Beatles, Simon & Garfunkel, James Taylor, CSNY and the Lost Story of 1970, the similarities between the two songs were only too noticeable to both Garfunkel and Simon:

“Garfunkel [spending part of the year in Scotland] was concerned that the Beatles’ new release would deflect attention from his own signature song. Back in the States, Simon himself noticed the similarities. “The first time I heard ‘Let It Be’, I couldn’t believe that he [McCartney] did that,” he told Rolling Stone that spring. “They are very similar songs, certainly in instrumentation…They’re sort of both hopeful songs and resting peaceful songs.” Simon heard that McCartney had first offered “Let It Be” to Aretha Franklin – a plan Simon also had in  mind for “Bridge Over Troubled Water.”

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