Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes

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"Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes"
Single by Paul Simon featuring Ladysmith Black Mambazo
from the album Graceland[1]
Released 1986[2]
Format Vinyl, 7", 45 RPM[2]
Genre Folk, World, & Country[2]
Length 5:34 (album version),[1] 5:25 (single version)[2]
Label Warner Bros. Records[2]
Writer(s) Paul Simon & Joseph Shabalala[2]
Producer(s) Paul Simon[2]
Paul Simon featuring Ladysmith Black Mambazo singles chronology
"Think Too Much"
"Diamonds on the Soles or Her Shoes"
"You Can Call Me Al"

Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes is a 1986 single by Paul Simon from his global smash album Graceland. It made #77 on the UK Singles Chart.[3] 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."[4] The song was not originally intended to be on the album but when the release date was pushed back, the song was recorded before an appearance on Saturday Night Live. The performance from that show is considered by some to be one of the most memorable musical performances in SNL's history.[4]

The song has been covered by the Soweto String Quartet and features on their greatest hits collection.[5]


Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes was written when Paul Simon went to South Africa. While he was there, he gathered various music from locals, and risked imprisonment due to the apartheid. 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. [4]