Old Friends (song)

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"Old Friends"
Song by Simon & Garfunkel
from the album Bookends
RecordedMarch 8, 1968

"Old Friends" is a song by American music duo Simon & Garfunkel from their fourth studio album, Bookends (1968).


"Old Friends" was recorded after production assistant John Simon's departure from Columbia, and was among the last tracks recorded for Bookends, completed alongside the final "Bookends Theme" on March 8, 1968.[1]


"Old Friends" paints a portrait of two old men reminiscing on the years of their youth.[2] The two men sit "on a park bench like bookends," and ponder how strange it feels to be nearing the end of their lifetime.[3] In "Old Friends," the title generally conveys the introduction or ending of sections, and the song builds upon a "rather loose formal structure" that at first includes an acoustic guitar and soft mood.[3] An additional element is introduced midway through the track: an orchestral arrangement conducted by Jimmie Haskell, dominated by strings and glockenspiel notes. Horns and other instruments are added when the duo cease singing, creating a turbulence that builds to a single high, sustained note on the strings.[3] The song then segues into the final song of side one, the reprise of the "Bookends Theme."[3]


  1. ^ Fornatale 2007, p. 80.
  2. ^ Eliot 2007, p. 95.
  3. ^ a b c d Bennighof 2007, p. 37.


  • Bennighof, James (2007). The Words and Music of Paul Simon. Greenwood Publishing Group. ISBN 978-0-275-99163-0.
  • Fornatale, Pete (2007). Simon and Garfunkel's Bookends. Rodale. ISBN 978-1-59486-427-8.