When I say “clever”, I mean that these two blokes wrote (write ? – that I don’t know) songs that were wonderfully melodious and appealing, but also meaningful. I refer to two of my favourites who were both big stars in the ’70s but are still writing and performing – Paul Simon and Paul Williams.
(The “w.m. and a.” part could be truly applied to, say, “What a day for a daydream”, but certainly not the “m.”, for instance ..)
Whereas Simon’s career has been that of an absolutely successful and admired around the world musician,
as indicated by his official website (link behind screengrab), Paul Williams’ career has been much more varied,
Paul Simon has performed his own compositions I believe exclusively – that is, in terms of actual recordings, anyway. Some of those I love most are:
— which are from the album “There goes Rhymin’ Simon”; and also
both from “Still crazy after all these years” album, and I delight in the title track.
The ’60s and ’70s weren’t just rock, not by any means: in fact it was during those two decades that some of the loveliest songs ever written in the ‘pop’ genre (which is to say, music listened to by the youth of the day) were released.
Two of Paul Williams’ most haunting tracks are
Evergreen – an Academy Award winner !, and
The Rainbow Connection. Now THERE’s a novel version .. or not really – the song is Kermit’s, after all.
Williams has written so many wonderful songs that I can’t possibly enumerate them; but “Rainy days and Mondays”, “Out in the Country” – yesss ! Three Dog Night recorded it !, “Someday man”, “Ordinary Fool” – dozens and dozens of examples of beautiful music with terrific lyrics. If I don’t link to them it’s only because I know I would immediately wish I’d mentioned different songs.
But here’s one from Randy Newman written about Paul Williams ! You will soon learn why .. [grin] It’s a great song, btw, and you’ll enjoy it, I think. As to why Newman wrote this song .. you have only to listen to the lyrics of Williams’ Do you love me babe ? ..
So my use of the adjective “clever” should now be clear: these are men almost without peer in their industry, and they deserve all the accolades their fans heap on them.