What does The Only Living Boy In New York mean?

Simon & Garfunkel: The Only Living Boy In New York Meaning

Album cover for The Only Living Boy In New York album cover

Song Released: 1970

The Only Living Boy In New York Lyrics

Tom, get your plane right on time.
I know your part’ll go fine.
Fly down to mexico.
Da-n-da-da-n-da-n-da-da and here I am,
The only living boy in new york.
I get the news I need on the weather report.
I can gather all the news I need on the...


    #1 top rated interpretation:
    click a star to vote
    Feb 2nd 2006 !⃝

    It's about the tension at the time between Simon & Garfunkel. Something about Art Garfunkel 'flying down to Mexico' to be in the film "Catch 22" interrupted the recording sessions for the Bridge over Troubled Water album. So Paul is by himself for a while to work on the record, and simply put, he's the "Only Living Boy in New York."

  2. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Apr 18th 2021 !⃝

    "Tom" refers to Art who was the Tom in the duo's first band name, "Tom and Jerry". It is about Tom flying down to Mexico to perform as an actor in the film Catch 22. The lines bear this out. "I know your part will go fine".

  3. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Dec 31st 2012 !⃝

    "Here I am" these lyrics touch my soul

  4. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Dec 20th 2011 !⃝

    It's a prescient commentary on the coming of NAFTA...very insightful being that it was written decades ahead of time, but that's Paul Simon for you.

    Tom is an acronym for Tons Of Manufacturing.

    When Paul says, "I've got nothing to do today but smile", he's taking on the voice of the working people--"nothing to do" is referring to the fact that they're out of work...and "smile" is completely sarcastic, because, of course, they're mad as hell.

    This interpretation has been marked as poor. view anyway
  5. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    May 8th 2009 !⃝

    Its about how he feels that the entire city is just going through the motions and he feels that he is the only one to really just stop and smell the flowers so to speak. He is the only one that is truly LIVING.

  6. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    May 23rd 2007 !⃝

    I think that once the writer's friend has left he feels lonely and is inspired to write this song about everyone going off and doing many things and not enjoying life. "I've got nothin' to do today but smile."

  7. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    May 4th 2007 !⃝

    I feel that the song portrays a certain magnitude of loneliness in Paul's life where art is gone.

  8. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Feb 21st 2006 !⃝

    The song starts with "Tom get you plane..." refering to Art and S&G's early name Tom and Jerry.

  9. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Jan 10th 2006 !⃝

    I think this song is about disconnection, and bemused innocence in the entire process of disconnection. The main speaker in this song has lost his friend, and now is left only with himself, mired in the truth and purity of an realized human being, that is content in the sad truths of this life "Half the time were gone and we don't know where and we don't know where". A very touching song.

More Simon & Garfunkel songs »


Latest Articles


Submit Your Interpretation

[ want a different song? ]

Just Posted

Meeting Across the River anonymous
A Pearl anonymous
If You Want Love anonymous
ROCKSTAR anonymous
You Raise Me Up anonymous
25 Minutes Ayam
Green-Eyed Lady anonymous
Nine Ball anonymous
Slippery anonymous
This Is Not An Exit anonymous
Call It What You Want anonymous
Again anonymous
Girl Crush anonymous
Trouble is a Friend anonymous
Bird Song anonymous

(We won't give out your email)