Bridge Over Troubled Water: How This Classic Song Was Created

Bridge Over Troubled Water is one of the most popular classic songs

Bridge Over Troubled Water – Here are the fun facts about this classic song which was popularized by Simon & Garfunkel.

The song is about assuring someone that you will be there for them, especially in the hard times. This was composed by Paul Simon and it was included on the 1970 album of the same name. Based on the article in, Simon wrote this song so quickly to the point that he asked himself where that came from.

“It doesn’t seem like me,” Simon said. He wrote this with the intention of comforting a person in need. For him, it was a little hymn.

bridge over troubled water

Art Garfunkel producer Roy Halee convinced Simon to create a third verse of the song as they thought it would be more epic. Because of that, his little hymn became a big production. After hearing the new version, Simon thought that it was too long, too slow, and too orchestral to be a hit single.

That perception that Simon had for his song was contradicted by the opinion of Clive Davis of Columbia Records. When Davis heard the song, he immediately noticed its commercial appeal and insisted they put a lot of marketing budget behind it and use it as the album title.

The title concept of Bridge Over Troubled Water was inspired by Claude Jeter’s line ‘I’ll be your bridge over deep water if you trust in me’ which he sang with his group, the Swan Silvertones, in the 1958 song ‘Mary Don’t You Weep’.

Simon recognized Jeter as an inspiration and he even handed Jeter a check when he personally acknowledged him. The composer of this classic song also named Johann Sebastian Bach’s ‘O Sacred Head, Now Wounded’ as a source of inspiration for certain parts of the melody.

He wrote the song on guitar initially. However, he transposed it to the piano to reflect the gospel influence and better suit Art Garfunkel’s voice. Simon said that Garfunkel would sing the song alone but the latter felt the song was not right for him.

Garfunkel liked Simon’s falsetto on the demo version and suggested that Simon sing instead. After hearing Garfunkel and Halee’s suggestion, Simon created an extra verse and a “bigger” ending.

Another classic song with a colorful story is Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen.

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