What does I Am A Rock mean?

Simon & Garfunkel: I Am A Rock Meaning

Album cover for I Am A Rock album cover

Song Released: 1966

I Am A Rock Lyrics

A winter’s day
In a deep and dark December;
I am alone,
Gazing from my window to the streets below
On a freshly fallen silent shroud of snow.
I am a rock,
I am an island.
I’ve built walls,
A fortress deep and mighty,
That none may...


    #1 top rated interpretation:
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    Nov 26th 2005 !⃝

    This song is about a person who was deeply hurt by either friends or love (or both). He or she runs for the safety of solitude. He or she loses themselves in studies of literature and art. The song is an allegory of building walls when one is hurt.


    #2 top rated interpretation:
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    Dec 3rd 2012 !⃝

    This is the best description of Asperger's Syndrome I have ever come by in the rock music.

    I mean, this song describes exactly my feelings and how I feel inside. I just want to be alone, I need solitude and I feel myself alien in company. Aspergers usually have very poor social skills and manage to either irritate or drive away people around them, causing unease to other people and sorrow to themselves.

    I am very uneasy in crowd, and I prefer being alone. Hearing laughter makes me feel I am laughed upon, and I am unable to feel love as neurotypical people are. I rather prefer reading a good book or writing a sarcastic and witty poem rather than going to party. For me, intellectual pursuits provide far more satisfaction than sex.

    Asperger's is far more prevalent amongst the Jews than amongst any other nation. Both Simon and Garfunkel are Jews. Scandinavians and Finns are also well represented amongst Aspergers. I can well relate to what Paul Simon writes.


    #3 top rated interpretation:
    click a star to vote
    Jun 26th 2009 !⃝

    The song points out the emotional cost of living, no matter what you do:
    If you trust and open yourself up to others, you expose yourself to the cost of being hurt
    If you want to avoid that by withdrawing, hiding behind your defenses, and alienating yourself, then the cost will be loneliness and sadness, because in the end we need others to validate our worth
    From this perspective, you can't win: winter, dark, alone, silence, shroud, pain. What a bummer...
    The morale? While others can and will hurt us, that's better than the alternative

  4. anonymous
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    Dec 9th 2022 !⃝

    When the song first came out, I thought of it as satire, depicting the futility of withdrawal and the comfort the person gets from thinking of himself as strong when he is really very fearful.

  5. anonymous
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    Feb 26th 2021 !⃝

    I think the song is a song about depression or anxiety, or just loneliness. The lyrics of the song "I am a rock, I am a island" means he wants to be as far away from others as possible.

  6. anonymous
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    Jun 10th 2020 !⃝

    It's about Covit 65...

    The federal government can use isolation and quarantine to protect people from contagious diseases. States also have the authority to institute isolations or quarantines. Breaking a quarantine has consequences that range from a fine to imprisonment.

    This interpretation has been marked as poor. view anyway
  7. anonymous
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    Jun 15th 2019 !⃝

    Only Simon knows. The rest are hacks.

    This interpretation has been marked as poor. view anyway
  8. anonymous
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    Jun 18th 2017 !⃝

    This song is about a recluse locking himself away from the world. When he says, "I am a rock, I am an island," he means away from everything and everyone. It's far from autobiographical, as Paul Simon was doing his best to write a hit song with this effort, and didn't write it for himself. The use of the word "rock" is interesting in that Simon considered himself a folk singer, and didn't associate himself with rock music. In the vast majority of songs with the word "rock" in the lyrics, it is used to imply music or lifestyle, but for Simon, it was just a piece of stone. He did the same thing in 1973 for his song "Loves Me Like A Rock."

    Moving On

  9. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Jul 13th 2016 !⃝


  10. kooljohn176
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    Aug 26th 2015 !⃝

    One of my first albums bought was Simon and Garfunkel greatest hits. This song could also be about a Immigrant or an Alien with a green card that can relate alot more in trying to adapt to The New World culture of the land he came to live in in that sometimes contradicts the family values he was brought up in. He can find himself being an introvert more unreal with his feelings that can harden like a rock from the culture shock of bulling him to the point that hardens him to feel like he is becoming his own god as a rock to survive by believing in his books and his poetry to use as a shield to protect him that can lead him back deeper in the old faith of The Words Of Love he once knew or it would be sad if he falls to stay harden into Atheism of Narcissim.

  11. anonymous
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    Oct 7th 2014 !⃝

    The insight of the person who wrote on Asperger's is quite on the spot. Feelings I suffered all my life, and finally figured I had this.. funny thought it was because I am Irish. Some who read this do not grasp the disorder. I felt lonely all my life, was smart, but clumsy, only wanted one friend at at time. Never fit in socially but was a good person. Most do not have empathy for others or do not understand it totally. Feel left out of everything. My grandson is a genius, taught himself to read at 2 years old. Parent did not even know he could read until someone pointed it out. Loner, just like me. I learned to read at four, but mom taught me. Just never fit in with anyone. I am a grandmother now. And I think my grandson may have signs of it or autism, but not straight up autism. He learned sign language when he was too young to talk and used it to speak. Wow! I am still amazed. We have Mthfr gene mutation in our family as well. Don't know if that contributes to it.. However, I can relate to this song too well.

  12. Nuggie
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    Sep 28th 2014 !⃝

    Instead of zebras I choose to see horses ~ In Paul Simon's own words f rom 1965 "Artie likes to call this my most neurotic song yet... it is a song about loneliness" ~ not too much of a stretch when you think how hard his childhood and teen years must have been... the musically gifted boy poet who never broke 5'3" in height... it's the perfect recipe for an adolescence of melancholy and escape and we the public have been the beneficiaries ~

  13. anonymous
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    May 11th 2014 !⃝

    My son (an aspie) and I discussed this song last night and he offered an interesting observation.I agree it is the most profound description of Aspergers I think I have ever read. And the words at first appear despondent. But the music tells us it is not so horrible after all. "I am a rock" (I am strong) I have my books to protect me (I can find other enjoyments in life) "Hiding in my room, safe within my womb" (I like being alone and my room is my haven). That doesn't mean that Aspies don't want to interact at all. Its just that it can be hurtful and frustrating when you are really not able to pick up on social cues and come across as weird because of it. So you isolate yourself. But you find other things to compensate. Many aspies have made significant contributions to the world. Einstein and Newton apparently had Asperger's.

  14. anonymous
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    Mar 12th 2014 !⃝

    It is the feeling inside that the author feels. It tells you the feelings of a rock. Loneliness and sullen

  15. anonymous
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    Sep 28th 2013 !⃝

    my mum past away yesterday first song on the radio this morning thought it was a message from her to me. took care of her last few week of her life. confuse when listen to the whole song again.

  16. gregory
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    Sep 24th 2013 !⃝

    I can't help but think of another of their songs to go with this one. The sounds of silence.
    I think it's a common thing for people to balance the need for insulation from pain with the need for company. If this song was about a small portion of society, or some particular group, it would never have been so popular.
    I think this song protests the space between us all, and suggests that we might risk a little pain to connect with each other.

  17. anonymous
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    Aug 5th 2012 !⃝

    I think this song is about a person who has been hurt in the past and wants to run away from events like this happening in the future by isolating himself and not allowing himself to get attached to others. "I won't disturb the slumber of feelings that have died. If I never loved I never would have cried." "I have no need for friendship. Friendship causes pain."

    The part where he says "I've built walls, a fortress deep and mighty" and "hiding in my room safe within my womb" shows that he is isolating himself by perhaps staying indoors. In the first few lines it talks about him gazing from his window. The upbeat tune of the song suggests that he's using stubborness to hide his lonely feelings.

    This song is fantastic. I can relate to it.

  18. anonymous
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    Mar 13th 2012 !⃝

    This is the same person who mentioned that Garfunkle might have been an Asperger, and is also a responce to the person who brought up Asperger's Syndrome and Autism:
    You wrote: "(1 in 110 kids have and autism specrum disorder. Just ten years ago, it was like 1 in 100*, and Thirty years ago it was 1 in 2500 or something like that.)"
    *I think you ment that ten years ago the rate of Autism Spectrum Disorder was 1 in 1000, not 1 in 100. Sorry if pointing this out looks rude or nit-picky. I'm not trying to be rude, because I know it's a easy typo to make-I just wanted to clarify the rate to highlight that the previlency of Autism is increasing dramatically, from being 1 in 1,000 ten years ago to 1 in 110 today.

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