A Patch Of Snow On The Ground

As I started looking into the song ‘A Hazy Shade Of Winter’ written by Paul Simon, I was surprised to find out that it is not about winter.  The song came out on the 1966 Simon and Garfunkel Bookends album and it charted #30 in the UK and reached #13 in the US.  This song ‘A Hazy Shade Of Winter’ is about reflecting on your journey up to that point that you are at in life and realizing that a stage of life that you have gone through is over.  This song utilizes seasons as a metaphor (the springtime of my life) and (the sky is a hazy shade of winter) for the cycle of life.  Paul Simon seems to be lamenting about how he was looking for something (or someone) perfect, but he never found it, and now time is running out on his dreams.

The singer is looking back on their life, or at least a significant stage of it, wondering what became of their life, maybe because he feels like it is ending soon, or a momentous birthday is approaching.  He realizes that he missed out on some things and probably should have looked around harder, he might have taken a different path which would have lead to different opportunities and then he could have been guaranteed something more substantial, than what he ended up with, if only he weren’t so hard to please.  The leaves turned brown, and the sky became a hazy shade of winter and suddenly it might be Christmas time, as he hears the Salvation Army band, probably playing that tune ‘Do You Hear What I Hear?’.

He wonders if life might be better down by the riverside, than what was planned, and there he will be able to carry a cup in his hand to collect the important things that life has to offer and look around.  He asks his friend to hang on to their hopes, knowing that is easier said than done, but if their hopes should pass away, they can build them again.  Thus they shouldn’t give up when things go wrong, or even when the situation seem hopeless, as there is always an opportunity to start over, if only they can pretend to believe, than they can succeed.

Winter has passed, the grass is high, the fields are ripe, he is entering the springtime of his life.  The seasons change with the scenery, weaving time in a tapestry and he wants to be remembered.  He thinks that it is funny how his memory skips while looking over manuscripts of unpublished rhyme, especially while he is drinking his vodka and lime.  He feels that life must hold a lesson and he would like others to learn from his experiences, especially since time goes by so quickly that most people won’t even notice till it is over and gone.  He urges his friend to think about the things that he said and take his advice, so their life will hold more meaning.  They should always be asking themselves, if they were able to get what they hoped for out of life.  Your destiny is there for the taking, if you choose to seize it.

In 1987, the Bangles recorded this song, and it hit #11 in the UK and #2 in the US.  The Bangles rocked up the song, giving it a modern production and more urgent sound.  They used all four of their voices, giving the vocals a much richer sound as well.  As Bangles’ singles go, this one was only beaten for chart performance by ‘Walk Like An Egyptian’ and ‘Eternal Flame’.  Their version was used in the film Less Than Zero, in which Brad Pitt appears as an extra (Partygoer/Preppie Kid At Fight).

Time, time time, see what’s become of me
While I looked around for my possibilities

I was so hard to please
Don’t look around
The leaves are brown
And the sky is a hazy shade of winter

Hear the Salvation Army band
Down by the riverside’s, there’s bound to be a better ride
Than what you’ve got planned

Carry your cup in your hand
And look around
Leaves are brown, now
And the sky is a hazy shade of winter

Hang on to your hopes, my friend
That’s an easy thing to say
But if your hopes should pass away
Simply pretend that you can build them again
Look around
The grass is high
The fields are ripe
It’s the springtime of my life

Seasons change with the scenery
Weaving time in a tapestry
Won’t you stop and remember me
At any convenient time?
Funny how my memory skips while looking over manuscripts
Of unpublished rhyme
Drinking my vodka and lime
I look around
Leaves are brown, now
And the sky is a hazy shade of winter
Look around
Leaves are brown
There’s a patch of snow on the ground
Look around
Leaves are brown
There’s a patch of snow on the ground
Look around
Leaves are brown
There’s a patch of snow on the ground

Written for Song Lyric Sunday where the prompt is “Seasons/Winter/Spring/Summer/Fall”.

16 thoughts on “A Patch Of Snow On The Ground

  1. Never saw that Robert Downey Jr. movie before. Looks like a very sad tale. I think he was really caught up in drugs during his younger years, probably when this movie was made. It’s a good song. I just heard a Paul Simon song on pandora yesterday April Comes or something like that. I have the Bookends CD.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This song has always spoken to me…I used to hear it on an “oldies’ radio station when I was 16, then as I got older (17, 18 and 19) the ‘retro’ music just moved me more than any popular tune of my own age. To me (now) it speaks of regret and reaching old age without having done anything of significance. I know it well. Thanks for sharing the various artists who’ve recorded it, but I must say I prefer the original. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I love this song, and it was interesting to read your thoughts about it. I like the Bangles version best, though. Seems they bring a lot more energy to the song. I’ve listened to S & G for years, but now that I’ve heard covers of their songs by various artists, I most always like the covers better. S & G’s originals seem so bland to me now. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Wow, I didn’t know about the meaning of the song until I read your blog. It is very interesting. It makes me think deeply about my life as I am trying to change my life as I feel like my life is turning into something with no meaning. Thanks for the share!

    Liked by 1 person

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