The Dangling Conversation

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"The Dangling Conversation"
Single by Simon and Garfunkel
from the album Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme
Released September 1966
Format 7" single
Recorded December 1965 -
August 1966
Genre Folk rock
Length 2:37
Label Columbia Records
Producer(s) Bob Johnston
Simon and Garfunkel singles chronology
"I Am a Rock"
"The Dangling Conversation"
"A Hazy Shade of Winter"

"The Dangling Conversation" is a song written by Paul Simon, first released in September 1966 as a Simon and Garfunkel single "The Dangling Conversation/The Big Bright Green Pleasure Machine". The song only climbed to 25 on the US charts and never made it onto the UK charts. Simon was surprised that it was not a bigger hit and attributed the song's lack of success to its heaviness.[1] It was included as a track on the Simon and Garfunkel album Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme, released a month later.

The theme is failed communication between lovers. The song starts in a room washed by shadows from the sun slanting through the lace curtains and ends with the room "softly faded." They are as different as the poets they read: Emily Dickinson and Robert Frost.

Simon has compared this song to "The Sound of Silence", but says "The Dangling Conversation" is more personal.[2]

Cover versions[edit]

Joan Baez included a cover of the song on her 1967 Joan album. She changed one of the lines to "Is the church really dead?" and Simon insisted that a line be inserted on the album's back cover that read: "Paul Simon asks Joan to note that the original line is, 'Is the theater really dead?'"

Les Fradkin has a dramatic version on his 2006 album, Jangleholic.

Chart performance[edit]

Chart (1966) Peak
Australian Kent Music Report 85
Canadian Singles Chart[3] 27
US Billboard Hot 100 25


  1. ^ Jackson, L: Paul Simon: Definitive Biography, Citadel Press, 2004
  2. ^ "Show 36 - The Rubberization of Soul: The great pop music renaissance. [Part 2]". UNT Digital Library. University of North Texas. Retrieved 2016-01-15. 
  3. ^ "RPM 100". Library and Archives Canada. Government of Canada. Retrieved 2016-01-15.