Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes

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"Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes"
Diamondssoles.jpeg
Single by Paul Simon
from the album Graceland
B-side "I Know What I Know"
Released April 1987 (1987-04)
Format
Genre
Length 5:45
Label
Writer(s)
Producer(s) Paul Simon
Paul Simon singles chronology
"The Boy in the Bubble"
(1987)
"Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes"
(1987)
"Under African Skies"
(1987)

"Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes" is a song by the American singer-songwriter Paul Simon. It was the fourth single from his seventh studio album, Graceland (1986), released on Warner Bros. Records. The song features guest vocals from the South African male choral group Ladysmith Black Mambazo.

Background[edit]

"Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes" was written when Simon went to South Africa. While he was there, he gathered various music from locals, and risked possible imprisonment due to the apartheid regime. Upon returning to New York, Simon finished the album with the artists he brought back from South Africa, and performed live on Saturday Night Live on May 10, 1986.[1] During the performance, Simon sung live to the backing instrumental track featured on the album while Ladysmith Black Mombazo mimed their parts.[2] Ladysmith Black Mambazo sing in Zulu on this track. Their refrain roughly translates to: "It's not usual but in our days we see those things happen. They are women, they can take care of themselves."[1]

Personnel[edit]

Covers[edit]

The song has been covered by the Soweto String Quartet and features on their greatest hits collection.[3] English singer MIKA performed a live piano cover of the song on his BBC Radio 2 show The Art of Song in March 2016. [4]

Charts[edit]

Chart (1987) Peak
position
Australia (Kent Music Report)[5] 69
Canada Adult Contemporary (RPM)[6] 2
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders)[7] 28
Netherlands (Single Top 100)[8] 85
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[9] 77

Notes[edit]

References[edit]

Sources[edit]

External links[edit]