Gospel Flavor of "Bridge Over Troubled Water"

There is a song that makes me feel small, but in a very good way. It commences very but assertively with a trickling piano then booms at the end in an eerily cool and comforting sort of way. The crescendo of the third verse is what brings goose pimples to the skin as I'm taken to the inner sanctum of God's court; his Presence. In this way it has 'oaks' of the 23rd Psalm. It is the safety of the Shepherd who fills us with the feeling 'we shall not want.'

At his 92nd birthday celebration a son fulfils his elders father's wish – the reading of the 23rd Psalm. It's an amazing cogent dirge of faithful assurance, read slowly and strongly; so much like the song …

Of course the song I'm referring to is the 1970 classic, Bridge Over Troubled Water by Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel. Many an artist (including more than one Christian artist) has recorded their own rendition of this universal favorite that lived atop the billboard top 100 for a couple of months. It was Simon and Garfunkel's swansong.

The song is colossal. There is an eternal shrill to it. It builds upon the images of the overwhelmed. Whether we're feeling small, '' friends can not be found, 'or we're simply' down and out 'he is a bridge over that troubled water – he's on our side. Who is this person? Have you 'met' him yet? He comforts and dries the tears. He'll surround us with safety and answers when 'pain is all around.'

The first and second versions are melodies for the melancholy – an elixir for desperates. Then the divine ballad lifts up in gear and suddenly lifts us … first musically, then spiritually. The theme of loneliness and sorrow ends suddenly and a new era of victorious hope emerging; again the overtones of the 23rd Psalm.

'Silver girl's time has come.' She is about to live her dream; there is a sure pillion of hope as he shows her how she's to shine. He will 'ease her mind.'

Sail on silver girl
Sail on by
Your time has come to shine
All your dreams are on their way
See how they shine
Oh when you need a friend
I'm sailing right behind
Like a bridge over troubled water
I will ease your mind
Like a bridge over troubled water
I will ease your mind

Imagine in your pain and desolation, the bridge that carries you safely over the dark and treacherous torrent below, and through that dark period, mentally, emotionally, spiritually, psychologically.

Bridge Over Troubled Water is a wonderfully inspirational yet expansive song for the downcast complete with music and feeling of epic proportions. It's a creative touch of God for humankind; a miracle of creation and modern day art. In the spiritual sense, it's a 'saving' work that must have saved thousands upon thousands of lives. Praise God.

Copyright © 2008, Steven J. Wickham. All Rights Reserved Worldwide.