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Bridge over Troubled Water

4.7 / 5

Words & Music: Paul Simon

When you're weary, feeling small
When tears are in your eyes I will dry them all
I'm on your site, oh, When times get rough
And friends just can't be found

Like a bridge over troubled water,
I will lay me down,
Oh, like a bridge over troubled water
I will lay me down

When you're down and out, when you're on the streets
When evening falls so hard, I will comfort you
I'll take your part when the darkness falls and pain is all around

Yes, like a bridge over troubled water
I will lay me down
Oh, like a bridge over troubled water
I will lay me down

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, if you need a friend,
I'm sailing right behind

Yes, like a bridge over troubled water
I, I will ease your mind
Like a bridge over troubled water
I will easy your mind

Recordingdate: 1970/06/05, first released on: That's the Way It Is (album)


Musicians who contributed to the first recording of Bridge over Troubled Water:




*Orchestra, overdubs


Find available albums with Bridge over Troubled Water.

Natha wrote on May 02, 2008
I happened to know the original version in those days, which I thought was quite bleak. So when I heard Elvis' version it struck me how he was able to convey the intention behind the lyrics. A brilliant performance, especially the live version of the early seventies.
Ton Bruins wrote on June 08, 2008
This is one of my favorite songs that Elvis recorded. Especially the Live versions. The earlier takes on "That's The Way It Is-FTD" are fantastic too...listen to this song many times and of course sing together with Elvis..lol..
Rob Wanders wrote on June 08, 2008
I never can really decide if I like the original from Simon and Garfunkel more or Elvis' version. Although I love Elvis' version very much, specially the early takes from June 1970, but also the more flamboyant versions from 1972-1977, I have the tendency to prefere the "more surrealistic (with the little bit abstract voice of Garfunkel)" version from S & G.
FLASHBOY wrote on June 08, 2008
The original version is quite good But the Presley version just blow me away Elvis sing it perfecly Simon himself said that he really love what Elvis have done with it.
Steve V wrote on June 08, 2008
Simon & Garfunkel or Elvis, Elvis or Simon & Garfunkel. I go back & forth on this one. But these are the 2 best versions of this song. Sometimes I think the Elvis version gets too big with all the horns & voices. Wish he had used the Smon & Garfunkel arrangement which just builds slightly. A lot of Elvis songs get the Vegas-y overdone treatment when simpler could be better.
My boy, my boy wrote on June 08, 2008
Simon and Garfunkel's original version is sublime. But Elvis made it his with his own way of singing it. Had he copied S&G, people would have said it's too easy. Elvis brought a new dimension to the song which is exactly what he had to do...and it worked out damn good !
Elvisonmymind wrote on July 24, 2008
It's supposed to be a dramatic song. So that's why there are so much horns and voices in Elvis' version. In my opinion, Garfunkel didn't succeeded to interpret this song as a dramatic one; Simon and Garfunkel's version is more a pleasant and joyful one.
NONE000000 wrote on February 12, 2009
I really really love Simon and Garfunkel and have everything they recorded, as well as all of Paul Simon's solo stuff and a handful of Garfunkel's. That being said, I do enjoy Elvis' version of this song more than the original. (And it isn't just blind Elvis devotion; Elvis' version of Hey Jude, for example is nowhere near as good as the Beatles/McCartney). But Elvis had such tremendous power in his voice and this is a great showcase for it. I agree a little bit with the criticism that the production gets too big. I'd love to hear only Elvis' voice on this, or just a solo piano or acoustic guitar--but I feel that way about almost all of Elvis' songs. Maybe someday we'll get a stripped down version of this, but either way--Elvis owns this. Totally love it.
Jim says hello wrote on February 12, 2009
I loved Paul Simon's reaction to hearing Elvis' version. "When I wrote it, that's how I heard it in my head".
Deke Rivers 6 wrote on February 12, 2009
Yes Elvis has it in the bag for this one,but his version of Get Back is poor by comparision as is his version of Del Shannon's Runaway. Elvis has proved he can hit the high notes ref to Burning Love & Mess of Blues before that, so why didn't he do that on Runaway ?
old shep wrote on February 12, 2009
Elvis made a mess covering some contemporary songs including The Beatles Hey Jude. I would be mistaken calling this a classic as a tedious dirge would be better suited. Bridge Over Troubled Water however was a classic song and seems to have been recorded by everyone and their sister. Elvis' version was faultless and proved once again what he could do with the right material.
ta2k wrote on February 12, 2009
An absolutely sublime Elvis Classic. This is an Elvis song no doubt about it. TCB
derekd wrote on February 12, 2009
Great song, great recording by Elvis. Just right for Elvis in 1970. If S&G hadn't previously released it as a single Elvis would have had a smash hit with his version. I went to see'Elvis the Concert' a few years ago and when Elvis came on the the BIG screen and sang this number everyone stood up and those with cig~lighters light them. It was all very moving. Best part of the whole show. I'd love to go again, it was great. Yep 5 stars for me.
bajo wrote on February 12, 2009
Elvis in a nutshell! His ability to put his own stamp on well known classics. Bridge... was a brave effort and I think he pulled it off very, very well. Even a classic in the S&G book, I'm not too fond of it. But, I like Elvis' rendition no matter what! Especially the 1970 studio version and in the mix it appeared on the EBTP CD.
Ruthie wrote on February 12, 2009
When I first heard it, I thought it was a "nice" song but dull. I would never buy it. Then Elvis did it & I was completely blown away. He turned it into a song I would love the rest of my life. Even Paul Simon stated that ELvis gave his song "soul".
Lefty wrote on June 21, 2009
The best Elvis version of this tune is the studio master minus the canned crowd applause tacked on at the end. Elvis had the vocal prowess that took the song to a different level, giving it a gospel quality that Simon & Garfunkel could not achieve vocally. That being said, the song is equally beautiful as originally sang by the famous duo. Simon's incredible lyrics and Garfunkel's angelic voice were a perfect combination. The song was perfect for the time. The world needed peace so badly. Nothing's changed. The song remains relevant and powerful.
dgirl wrote on June 21, 2009
Both version are great. S&G being one of their most well known songs , and I believe song of the year for 1970 , has a great Garfunkel vocal, almost angelic like with his soaring high voice. Elvis being more a power-house gospel inspired version. It really depends what mood I'm for the preferred version.
Little_Darlin wrote on June 21, 2009
I liked Simon & Garfunkel's version right from the time it came out when I was 12 years old. But when I first heard Elvis' version many years later, it absolutely floored me. What a masterpiece! He absolutely made it his own and now, when I hear someone mention the title, Elvis' version is the only one flowing through my head. It's a prime example of how Elvis could use his gifts to breathe life into a song and make it a classic.
GEORGE (GK) wrote on June 21, 2009
I Love both, the "Elvis", and the "Simon & Garfunkel" versions of this beautiful "Paul Simon" song. Both show, such emotion, and hope. And, on a lighter note, there is a Fun concert performance, (thankfully recorded) of when, Elvis calls out for the band to play "Suspicious Minds", and he starts singing the words to "Bridge over Troubled Water".
tornado wrote on January 30, 2011
It was another occasion for Elvis to use his operatic voice at the end of the song. With Tomorrow Never Comes he seems to have made a shift in that direction as the 70's went on. Not always for the best I'm afraid. I always felt that for a song like The Sound Of Your Cry he made it over dramatic in the closing part. Elvis loves to belt a song like The Wonder Of You and push high at the end. I love that too but not all the time. It's Midnight, a beautiful song, begins nicely but it ends in an over dramatic blast again and it spoils the feeling for me. Bridge was a nice and surprising choice when it came out. Elvis made a beautiful rendition of it and a power song as well. I always loved it. The only thing that bugs me is that RCA added some fake applause at the end of the studio version. To me, it was a mistake that ruins the ending. The natural applause of the live version makes only sense, but adding some fake applause at a studio version is like adding too much sugar to a recipe and take the public for fools. When the 70's Box Set came out, I was glad to discover that they had taken away the fake applause and here we had a beautiful studio song with a natural ending. Unfortunately, Ernst fell back to his "historical mania" by keeping the fake applause in the FTD TTWII release, to my dismay. The weird thing is that we get the live version too in this release, and naturally with the public applause of Vegas at the time. Then why maintaining those horrible fake applause at the closing of the studio version, just for the historical accuracy. It's like maintaining a mistake of the past. I would have chosen the artistry approacche where the song keeps it's full integrity.
Master Fatman wrote on January 30, 2011
One of Elvis best renditions ever, a masterpice! The live versions from 72 are the absolut the best :-) Sail on silver girl ..
Deano1 wrote on January 30, 2011
A perfectly written song by Paul Simon is perfectly rendered by the best vocalist in popular music. Easily one of Elvis' top 20 recordings.
JLpResLey wrote on January 30, 2011
Elvis had such a powerful and dramatic voice, and he needed a "big" arrangement for this song. I love these big arrangements and so did Elvis! The song is probably my favorite song ever from Elvis, the studio version and the on tour version are both magical! I´m happy that Elvis continued to sing it to the very end, and he almost always sang it well!
WayDownUnder wrote on February 12, 2012
If I had only one clip of Elvis to watch for the rest of my life, this would be it. The On Tour version is absolutely remarkable.
marco31768 wrote on February 12, 2012
The overdubbing is so heavy but this rendition is the best ever!
freedom101 wrote on February 13, 2012
Elvis' version is the best one with Aretha Franklin's version being my second favorite.
ElvisSacramento wrote on October 26, 2012
This is such a beautiful, iconic, inspiring and passionate song and Elvis easily has the very best renditions of it. It's easily one of the very best songs that's ever been written.
Gorse wrote on January 16, 2013
Brilliant as their performance was, I think Elvis edges out Simon and Garfunkel on this one. The song builds and builds to a magnificent climax allowing our boy to showcase both the tender and powerful side to his vocal talents. The fake ending never bothered me and I give this a resounding 5 stars.
sugartummy wrote on February 27, 2013
Maybe RCA felt that after such a performance, applause was the right way to react to it. I always thought it to be a live recording, till I get the TTWII-box. The build up is great, I love this song.
NONE000000 wrote on March 13, 2013
Art Garfunkel sounded like an angel on the original version of this song; Elvis Presley, however, sounded like a God.
japio wrote on August 24, 2013
S&G were good on their version. Elvis was better on his versions from 1970. But the demo of S&G is heavenly. With some diiferent lyrics it makes it more stronger.
Pedro Nuno wrote on February 05, 2014
Sublime rendition of one of the greatest rock songs! The studio version is a little too dramatic for me, but the live versions (even the June 1977) are always very good. The audience response is also always extreme (the encore we have in the 1971 Boston Garden show is nothing shot that pure hysteria). But Elvis version has a secret: He did not inspire himself in S&G version, nor Glen Hardin made his arrangements just like that. Believe it or not Elvis got his inspiration from B.J. Thomas version that was released just weeks before he went to his 1970 Nashville’s recording sessions.
TheMemphisFan wrote on February 05, 2014
"Take 1" in the studio without overdubs is fabulous!
skipsaweirdo wrote on May 30, 2014
Ok I'm not sure why anyone would consider take 1 better than the live version on 'That's the way it is". but we all have our opinions. The album live cut is perfection. Take 1 seems to be Elvis "almost" figuring the song out....lol
shoesuedeblues wrote on January 22, 2015
A sample of what Elvis could always achieve given the right songs and production.Excellent and faultless.
trudygillenwater wrote on January 22, 2015
A piece of pure perfection! Elvis once more proves why he's the best.
LeeRusz wrote on January 22, 2015
I have always been of the opinion that cover versions are never as good as the original. But in this case I am willing to make an exception. The version that features in ETTWII and On Tour movies are perfection.
rai wrote on January 23, 2015
A song he sings from the heart. Very soulful and touching when Elvis sings it. A playful Elvis on stage can just be serious and focused when he sings this song. He loves this song and gave the best everytime he sings it thus we get the best version with full of quality. Beautiful number.
shoesuedeblues wrote on May 16, 2015
I'd say a million stars but I think that's been covered
atomic powered poste wrote on April 23, 2019
Elvis was in great voice in '70, yes. But honestly; when you listen to the original, you hear a recording where the care for the recording, the will to create something outstanding, the perfection is amazing. Elvis version is just another six master in one night thing, and it's showing. Its enjoyable when you didn't compare it to the s&g version, it's almost a shame when you do. Weakest spot on the ttwii lp. 2 stars.
Gorse wrote on July 02, 2020
I gave this a resounding 5 stars way back when and have not shifted from that view. Reactors on YouTube who have never heard it before are in the vast majority very impressed. I realise on this site it is not everyone's view but honestly 2 stars....really !! .
JerryNodak wrote on July 02, 2020
I knew at the the time that it wasn't the "Live" version featured in TTWII. The overdubbed applause never bothered me. Elvis or S & G? Depends on my mood. I love both versions.
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