What does You're Kind mean?

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Paul Simon: You're Kind Meaning


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You're kind
You're so kind
You rescued me when I was blind
And you put me on your pillow
When I was on the wall
You're so kind
So kind
So kind

And you're good
You're so good
You introduced me to you
Seems like I ain't...


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    Feb 26th, 2008 2:46pm report

    Paul Simon lyrics are notoriously hard to crack, because nearly all his songs are first person and nearly all of those are about other characters, many of whom are unreliable narrators ("Paranoia Blues", for instance) and the vast majority of which don't have the courtesy to inform us that the narrator is not Paul Simon (notable exception: "Duncan"). So I expect to be contributing random thoughts to this site for a long time to come. (Anyone who manages to figure out "When Numbers Get Serious" gets a cookie from me.)

    Anyhow, my one big win was "You're Kind," from Still Crazy. It, too, is a story about someone who isn't Paul Simon, despite being in the first person voice. The way I hear it, it's a story about a pet--most likely a stray cat--who is rescued by a human, treated kindly, and then leaves. It's told from the perspective of the pet, and features the sort of unusual and arbitrary reasoning one would expect from an animal mind ("I'm gonna leave you now and here's the reason why: I like to sleep with the window open but you keep the window closed). Note particularly the use of the word "humans" as if the narrator is not a member of the human group.

    In some ways, "You're Kind" can also be read as a breakup letter, and in some ways I suppose that's exactly what it is--a breakup between animal companion and human benefactor, who, as we hear, planned to "love me now, indefinitely."

    Years of similar hard thinking never paid off with "Silent Eyes," though. No idea what's going on there.

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