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Readers’ Poll: The 10 Best Paul Simon Deep Cuts

See what song managed to top “Obvious Child,” “Hearts and Bones” and “American Tune”

Paul Simon

UNSPECIFIED - CIRCA 1970: Photo of Paul Simon Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Michael Ochs Archives/Getty

Paul Simon played his beloved classic "Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard" when he appeared on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert earlier this month, but his solo work extends well beyond the tunes you hear on classic rock radio. He's been releasing solo albums ever since The Paul Simon Songbook hit shelves in England 50 years ago, and his 2011 record So Beautiful or So What was absolutely brilliant and deserved to be heard by a wider audience. We asked our readers to select their favorite Paul Simon deep cuts. Here are the results. 

Paul Simon

UNSPECIFIED - CIRCA 1970: Photo of Paul Simon Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

3

“Rene and Georgette Magritte With Their Dog After the War”

German photographer Lothar Wolleh took two famous photos of dadaist artist René Magritte and his wife Georgette: "René and Georgette Magritte With Their Dog During the War" and "René and Georgette Magritte With Their Dog." For his 1983 LP Hearts and Bones (which has proven to be oddly popular with our readers), Paul Simon paid tribute to these works. It's a sweet look back at a time long past that namechecks 1950s pop acts the Moonglows, the Orioles and the Five Satins. Simon hasn't played the song a single time since his 1984 summer tour. 

Paul Simon

UNSPECIFIED - CIRCA 1970: Photo of Paul Simon Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

2

“Something So Right”

This 1973 tune from There Goes Rhymin' Simon was never a single, but Paul must have realized it was special since he made it the B side of "Take Me to Mardi Gras" and, four years later, as the B side to "Slip Slidin' Away." The song is a confessional tune about Simon's inability to recognize when a relationship is going well. "They got a wall in China," he sings. "It’s a thousand miles long/To keep out the foreigners/They made it strong/And I got a wall around me/That you can’t even see/It took a little time/To get next to me."

Paul Simon

UNSPECIFIED - CIRCA 1970: Photo of Paul Simon Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

1

“Duncan”

Much like "The Boxer," Paul Simon's 1972 song "Duncan" is about a poor kid that tries to make his way in a scary, new world. Lincoln Duncan is the son of a fisherman who travels to New England, meets a woman preaching in the crowd, loses his virginity to her in a tent and then plays his guitar under the stars. There's no real conclusion, though it seems like Duncan has a revelation of sorts after the successful seduction. It was the third single from the Paul Simon LP and failed to reach higher than Number 52 on the Billboard Hot 100, but today is widely-seen as a masterpiece of simple songwriting.