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The 59th Street Bridge Song (Feelin' Groovy)

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"The 59th Street Bridge Song (Feelin' Groovy)"
1971 single release, where "The 59th Street Bridge Song" was given the A-side
Single by Simon and Garfunkel
from the album Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme
Recorded16 August 1966 (1966-08-16)
GenreFolk rock
Length1:43[1]/1:53 (later fade out)[2][3]
Songwriter(s)Paul Simon
Producer(s)Bob Johnston
Simon and Garfunkel singles chronology
"El Condor Pasa (If I Could)"
"The 59th Street Bridge Song (Feelin' Groovy)"
"For Emily, Whenever I May Find Her (Live)"

"The 59th Street Bridge Song (Feelin' Groovy)" is a song by folk rock duo Simon & Garfunkel, written by Paul Simon and originally released on their 1966 album Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme.[4] Cash Box called it a "sparkling, spirited lid".[5]

The song is named for the Queensboro Bridge which spans the East River between the New York City boroughs of Manhattan and Queens, 59th Street Bridge being a popular unofficial alternate name for that landmark whose Manhattan end is located between 59th and 60th Streets.[6] Reportedly the song came to Paul Simon during a daybreak walk across the Queensboro Bridge: the line: "Just kicking down the cobblestones" refers to the paving at the approach to the bridge's Queens end, while "Hello lamppost, what'cha knowing" refers to either of two bronze lampposts which stood at the bridge's Manhattan end; although the northern member of the pair was removed circa 1975, the southern lamppost is still in place.[7] Simon opted to entitle the song after its site of inspiration rather than its prominent hook line "Feelin' Groovy", Simon balking at labeling one of his songs with such a lowbrow turn of phrase: however "The 59th Street Bridge Song" would be tracklisted on the Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme album with "Feelin' Groovy" as its parenthetical subtitle.[8]

As recorded for the Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme album, "The 59th Street Bridge Song" features Dave Brubeck Quartet members Joe Morello (drums) and Eugene Wright (double bass). Although such a cheerful track might have seemed an obvious choice for single release the track's running time of 1:43 was deemed too brief to garner radio "add-ons". Simon would say of the song's brevity: "Sometimes I make a song purely an impression...When you've made your impression, stop. I don't want the [listener] to think [beyond] its [being] a happy song."[9] (Subsequent remasters, included on later reissues of Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme and such compilations as Old Friends,[10] Tales from New York: The Very Best of Simon & Garfunkel,[11] and The Essential Simon & Garfunkel,[12] have a longer fade-out at 1:53.) The track would serve as B-side for the Simon and Garfunkel 1967 Top 20 hit "At the Zoo". In 1971 "The 59th Street Bridge Song" would have an A-side single release – with "I Am a Rock" as B-side – in several European countries.[13]

Footage of Simon and Garfunkel performing the song at the 1967 Monterey Pop Festival is featured in the film Monterey Pop.[citation needed] During his 2018 farewell tour, Simon "penalized" himself for wrongly performing the lyrics to another song by singing this song, which he confesses to hating.[14]

The theme song to the American children's television program H.R. Pufnstuf, originally composed by Sid and Marty Krofft, was found to closely mimic "The 59th Street Bridge Song" after Simon sued for plagiarism; his writing credit was subsequently added to the theme for H.R. Pufnstuf.[15][16]

59th Street Bridge, seen from Manhattan, in 2010

Covers and performances

  • The cover version of the 1969 album Switched-On Rock by the Electronic group "The Moog Machine" was used as the theme for Dr. Chapatín, a character created by Chespirito.[20]
  • In 1991, Harpers Bizarre's cover of the song was featured in an episode of The Wonder Years (season 5, episode 10), "Pfeiffer's Choice".[21]
  • The song was used in a 2003 series of Gap commercials featuring R&B/soul singers Angie Stone and Mýa.[22]
  • The song was used in the first season of US TV series Desperate Housewives, during a scene where Lynette Scavo hallucinates her own suicide.
  • In an episode of The Simpsons (season 6, episode 25) titled "Who Shot Mr. Burns? (Part One)", Mr. Burns alludes to the song, saying, "Hello lamppost, whatcha knowin'? I've come to watch your power flowin'."[23]
  • The song was used in the trailer for Hal Ashby's 1975 comedy-drama Shampoo for which Paul Simon composed the original score.
  • The song was used in the season 3 premiere of The Leftovers (season 3, episode 1) called "The Book of Kevin". Protagonist Kevin Garvey asphyxiates himself with plastic wrap and duct tape in his room as the song plays.[24]
  • A variant of the song was performed by Paul Simon and Stephen Colbert as the opening segment for The Late Show with Stephen Colbert on May 25, 2017.[25]
  • In a season 1 episode of Animaniacs entitled "The Warners' 65th Anniversary Special", during an appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show the song is parodied as "Make a Gookie", in which Wakko encourages the general public to be humorous and make silly faces.


  1. ^ "Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme – Simon & Garfunkel | Songs, Reviews, Credits | AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 6 May 2021.
  2. ^ "Tales from New York – the Very Best of Simon & Garfunkel". Spotify. 28 March 2000.
  3. ^ "The Essential Simon & Garfunkel". Spotify. 14 October 2003.
  4. ^ a b "Simon & Garfunkel – The 59Th Street Bridge Song (Feelin' Groovy): Comentarios de canciones". AlohaCriticón (in European Spanish). 27 October 2016. Retrieved 6 May 2021.
  5. ^ "CashBox Record Reviews" (PDF). Cash Box. 4 March 1967. p. 14. Retrieved 12 January 2022.
  6. ^ "The 59th Street Bridge Song (Feelin' Groovy) – 59th Street Bridge, New York". www.songfacts.com. Retrieved 6 May 2021.
  7. ^ "A proud lamppost guards the Queensboro Bridge". 7 January 2013.
  8. ^ Leigh, Spencer (2016). Simon & Garfunkel: Together Alone. Carmarthen United Kingdom: McNidder & Grace. ISBN 978-0857161505.
  9. ^ New Yorker September 2 1967 "On the Road With Simon & Garfunkel: the music duo discusses poetry, popularity, and pain" by James Stevenson
  10. ^ "Simon & Garfunkel – Old Friends | Album Reviews, Songs & More". AllMusic.
  11. ^ "Simon & Garfunkel – The Very Best of Simon & Garfunkel: Tales from New York | Album Reviews, Songs & More". AllMusic.
  12. ^ "Simon & Garfunkel – The Essential Simon & Garfunkel | Album Reviews, Songs & More". AllMusic.
  13. ^ "45cat – Simon And Garfunkel – The 59th Street Bridge Song (Feelin' Groovy) / I Am A Rock – CBS – Germany – 7169". 45cat.com. Retrieved 29 May 2023.
  14. ^ "Paul Simon wraps up farewell tour back home". CBC News. 23 September 2018. Retrieved 24 September 2018.
  15. ^ "NameBright – Coming Soon". Kiddiematinee.com. Archived from the original on 17 January 2005. Retrieved 29 May 2023.
  16. ^ "H.R. Pufnstuf (1969–1970): Trivia", IMDB.com. Accessed Sept. 16, 2017.
  17. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2002). Top Adult Contemporary: 1961-2001. Record Research. p. 111.
  18. ^ "Television Scout: King Gable Comes to Video; Best Bets". The Pittsburgh Press. March 5, 1968. p. 51. Retrieved November 17, 2023.
  19. ^ "Tori Amos Setlist Database". Toriset.org. Retrieved 29 May 2023.
  20. ^ Rojas, Anita (20 June 2017). "La música de Chespirito". La Rata (in Spanish). p. larata.cl. Retrieved 6 May 2021.
  21. ^ "S5E10: Pfeiffer's Choice – The Wonder Years Soundtrack". Tunefind.com. Retrieved 16 February 2020.
  22. ^ Mack, Ann M. (28 February 2003). "Laird's Gap Is 'Groovy' for Spring". AllBusiness.com. Archived from the original on 11 October 2010. Retrieved 11 October 2010.
  23. ^ Mark Pentleton (2 May 2015). "The 59th Street Bridge Song (Feelin' Groovy)". Markpentleton.com. Retrieved 6 May 2021.
  24. ^ Cook-Wilson, Winston (17 April 2017). "In season 3 of the Leftovers, everyone is waiting around to die". Spin. Retrieved 21 April 2017.
  25. ^ "Paul Simon And Stephen Colbert Are 'Feelin' Groovy'". YouTube. 24 May 2017. Archived from the original on 22 December 2021. Retrieved 26 May 2017.