What does El Condor Pasa mean?

Simon & Garfunkel: El Condor Pasa Meaning

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Album cover for El Condor Pasa album cover

Song Released: 1970

El Condor Pasa Lyrics

I'd rather be a sparrow than a snail
Yes I would, if I could, I surely would
I'd rather be a hammer than a nail
Yes I would, if I only could, I surely would

Away, I'd rather sail away
Like a swan that's here and gone
A man gets tied up to...


    #1 top rated interpretation:
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    Sep 6th 2012 !⃝

    This song was once banned in the (old) Soviet Union. Re-read the lyrics and see the meaning of the comparisons. My oldest brother had pointed these out to me.
    A snail, slow and stuck on the ground where-as a sparrow is fleet and free to fly where-ever it wants.
    A hammer being the strength to build where-as a nail gets put into one place, never going anywhere else.
    It also speaks of religious freedom rather being "tied up to the cross".
    A forest than a street, where one can grow and expand rather be laid out and trampled upon continuously.
    Reinforced by feeling "the earth beneath my feet."
    Definitely the song is about freedom.


    #2 top rated interpretation:
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    May 8th 2013 !⃝

    El condor pasa. surely about freedom, there are many things we wish for but unfortunately at one point or the other limitations may set in. Because in life we may strive for the best but we can never have it all. If(condition due to limitations) i could i surely would.


    #3 top rated interpretation:
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    Sep 12th 2011 !⃝

    It's a song about freedom of being in control and a song about death, and not having others control us and given the choice we would surely choose freedom if only we could but living in the system makes us a prisoner to freedom and the system is a prisoner on to itself and none is free not even the wealthy and if it were only so to be free it would be short lived because we are all bound to the prison of death and return to the ground of the earth never to feel the earth under our feet again.

  4. anonymous
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    Sep 4th 2020 !⃝

    Took an beautiful creation (the Peruvian music) and superimposed a very Godless, selfish, dark brooding spirit emoting no kindness or care... resulting in desired power yet having none while steeped in self loathing... but it's so beautiful. Subliminal garbage from the hippie era

    This interpretation has been marked as poor. view anyway
  5. kooljohn176
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    Sep 16th 2016 !⃝

    A beautiful and educational song that yearns the power of freedom to imagine through bird flight how it must feel to be free by relearning it's meaning, and not to be oppresst by The Oppressors on the land that could influence us[you] or make you[us] wanna be like somebody we're not in order to survive if not careful. This song originally, that was started from the beginning was from a Peruvian[Inca Son] homecoming folk song as a national anthem of their culture. That was made more popular worldwide with some changes by our beloved Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel. But in certain places ''EL CONDOR PASA'' was banned, like in the old-Soviet Union[Russia] for about 3 to 6 Thousand Days by the peoples Oppressors not to use it as a protest song of freedom against their Communist Government during the cold war days.

  6. stephen_melinger
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    Mar 11th 2013 !⃝

    Paul Simon meant that in the situation of cause and effect it is preferable to be the instigator and not the recipient. He alludes to living creatures but in an obtuse way leaving room for a personal interpretation by others.

  7. anonymous
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    Oct 19th 2011 !⃝

    it is all about a snail who wants to be a sparrow,who can fly up high in the evening and day...

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