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Behind the Music: “Bridge Over Troubled Water”

Wrapping up one of our last services of 2017, Maiya Sykes blessed our stage with a heartfelt rendition of “Bridge Over Troubled Water” composed by Paul Simon, arranged by Marc Riley, and accompanied by the Hour of Power Orchestra. Sykes is a soloist from Southern California who has graced us with her fervent voice and zealous presence on many occasions.

Sykes introduces the song:

“This is a song I like to sing whenever I’m unsure about my path. It reminds me that God is my protector…God is always there for you, unfailing.”

“Bridge Over Troubled Water” was written in 1969, where amidst racial and political tension, the art of music was used a manner of catharsis and revolution. Seeking solace, Paul Simon took one line from a gospel song by the Swan Silvertones and ran with it, creating a ground-breaking anthem to be covered later by Elvis Presley and Aretha Franklin.

Simon wrote this entire song in one night. After this surge of dynamic inspiration, Simon allowed his partner, Garfunkel, to sing the solo. This was the gift of a lifetime, as the lyrics allow the listener an invitation to be comforted by the sweetness of these words:

Sail on silvergirl,
Sail on by.
Your time has come to shine.
All your dreams are on their way.
See how they shine.
If 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.

Maiya Sykes illuminates these supportive words of this Simon and Garfunkel classic with an air of rhapsodic energy, bringing the lyrics to life. We are reminded that God is, in fact, always there for us like a bridge over troubled water.

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