Quiz about Bridge Over Troubled Water
Quiz about Bridge Over Troubled Water

Bridge Over Troubled Water Trivia Quiz


How well do you remember this classic album from Simon and Garfunkel? Or, if you weren't listening to them in 1970, maybe you'd like to explore the lyrics of Paul Simon (but you won't hear the wonderful harmony work here).

A multiple-choice quiz by looney_tunes. Estimated time: 4 mins.
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Author
looney_tunes
Time
4 mins
Type
Multiple Choice
Quiz #
392,810
Updated
May 28 22
# Qns
10
Difficulty
Average
Avg Score
7 / 10
Plays
518
Awards
Top 5% quiz!
Last 3 plays: Guest 184 (8/10), Guest 222 (5/10), rainbowriver (8/10).
This quiz has 2 formats: you can play it as a or as shown below.
Scroll down to the bottom for the answer key.
1. Paul Simon originally only wrote two verses for 'Bridge Over Troubled Water', but Art Garfunkel thought a third verse was needed. Apparently the verse was written in tribute to Simon's then wife. Which of these is the first line of that verse? Hint

When you're weary, feeling small
Like a bridge over troubled water
When you're down and out
Sail on, silver girl, sail on by

2. The second track on the album represented Paul Simon's first foray into World Music. Which song, based on what he thought was a traditional song from the Peruvian Andes, starts with the line, "I'd rather be sparrow than a snail"? Hint

Scarborough Fair / Canticle
El Condor Pasa (If I Could)
April Come She Will
Leaves That Are Green

3. 'Bridge Over Troubled Water' includes a song that is (at least superficially) about a woman who is unfaithful to the singer, and whose name is the title of the song. What is the name of this fickle woman? Hint

Emily
Mrs. Robinson
Kathy
Cecilia

4. What is the subject matter of the song 'Keep the Customer Satisfied'? Hint

The rigors of touring
The tribulations of a shoe clerk
The joy of working in a fast food restaurant
The life of a 'working girl'

5. The song 'So Long, Frank Lloyd Wright', it has been suggested, is about the upcoming breakup of Simon and Garfunkel, because Art Garfunkel had studied to follow what profession, shared by the man in the song's title? Hint

Lawyer
Architect
Teacher
Painter

6. "I am just a poor boy / Though my story's seldom told" are the opening lyrics of a song about an occupation which is the title of the first song on the second side of the album. What is it called? Hint

The Boxer
The Preacher
The Movie Star
The Soldier

7. Which of these does the narrator of 'Baby Driver' NOT tell us about his father? Hint

My daddy got a big promotion
My daddy was the family bassman
My daddy's bigger than yours
My daddy was a prominent frogman

8. Paul Simon wrote 'The Only Living Boy in New York' while he was working on the songs for this album, but Art Garfunkel was away, making the film 'Catch-22'. According to the lyrics of the song, where was this filming taking place? Hint

Los Angeles
Mexico
London
Bombay (now Mumbai)

9. Where does the singer of 'Why Don't You Write Me?' say he is as he bemoans the lack of correspondence? Hint

At the beach
In the jungle
In the mountains
Alone in a foreign city

10. What was the last song on 'Bridge Over Troubled Water', the fifth and final studio album from Simon and Garfunkel? Hint

Cloudy
The Dangling Conversation
Flowers Never Bend With the Rainfall
Song for the Asking


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Quiz Answer Key and Fun Facts
1. Paul Simon originally only wrote two verses for 'Bridge Over Troubled Water', but Art Garfunkel thought a third verse was needed. Apparently the verse was written in tribute to Simon's then wife. Which of these is the first line of that verse?

Answer: Sail on, silver girl, sail on by

The change of feel in the third verse of the album's opening track always puzzled me until I read the interview in which Simon explained why it was quickly written and added on to the first two carefully-constructed verses. According to the interview, his wife, Peggy Harper, had discovered a grey hair, and become upset over it. The verse encouraged her to face the future with hope and confidence.

"Sail on silver girl, sail on by
Your time has come to shine
All your dreams are on their way
See how they shine
Oh, if you need a friend
I'm sailing right behind
Like a bridge over troubled water
I will ease your mind
Like a bridge over troubled water
I will ease your mind."
2. The second track on the album represented Paul Simon's first foray into World Music. Which song, based on what he thought was a traditional song from the Peruvian Andes, starts with the line, "I'd rather be sparrow than a snail"?

Answer: El Condor Pasa (If I Could)

Paul Simon wrote the lyrics, using an arrangement of the musical piece 'El Cóndor Pasa' performed by Los Incas, which he was told had been arranged by them from a traditional piece of Andean music. Actually, it was composed in 1913 by Daniel Alomía Robles, who is now given credit in the song's listings. Paul Simon provided the words, which surprisingly do not mention a condor. However, when you listen to them, you can readily picture someone watching an elegant condor soaring overhead, apparently free of care, and able to go where it pleases. Herewith the second verse:

"Away, I'd rather sail away
Like a swan that's here and gone.
A man gets tied up to the ground,
He gives the world its saddest sound,
Its saddest sound."
3. 'Bridge Over Troubled Water' includes a song that is (at least superficially) about a woman who is unfaithful to the singer, and whose name is the title of the song. What is the name of this fickle woman?

Answer: Cecilia

'Cecilia' started life late at night, after a party, with some random rhythms being tapped out on a bench, and taped for fun. There followed a lot of playing around with the material, which eventually developed into the song we know. Paul Simon has suggested that he chose the name in reference to St. Cecilia, the Roman Catholic patron saint of music, making it a general reference to the difficulty of musical creation, the fleeting nature of any sense of inspiration, and the excitement when it all falls into place. As the song finishes,

"Jubilation
She loves me again
I fall on the floor and I'm laughing."

The other names all featured in the titles of other songs from Paul Simon: 'For Emily, Whenever I May Find Her', 'Kathy's Song' and 'Mrs. Robinson', famously used in the movie 'The Graduate'.
4. What is the subject matter of the song 'Keep the Customer Satisfied'?

Answer: The rigors of touring

Like the earlier song 'Homeward Bound', this number expresses some of the unpleasant aspects of touring and performing one's music. The adoring audience sees the glamor and excitement; the performer sees a sometimes seemingly-endless string of hotels and less-than-ideal performance venues. Not to mention the media stories, often based on pure imagination, and the antagonism from people who see young performers as challenging authority and trying to change the way things ought to be.

"Gee but it's great to be back home,
Home is where I want to be.
I've been on the road so long my friend,
And if you came along
I know you couldn't disagree.

It's the same old story, yeah,
Everywhere I go,
I get slandered, libeled,
I hear words I never heard in the Bible.
And I'm one step ahead of the shoe shine,
Two steps away from the county line,
Just trying to keep my customers satisfied,
Satisfied."
5. The song 'So Long, Frank Lloyd Wright', it has been suggested, is about the upcoming breakup of Simon and Garfunkel, because Art Garfunkel had studied to follow what profession, shared by the man in the song's title?

Answer: Architect

Frank Lloyd Wright (1867-1959) was one of the pre-eminent American architects, as mentioned in the song's lyrics. If you listen to the song as being about a musical partnership, it makes a lot more sense than it does as a tribute from a musician to a deceased architect, however inspirational he may have been in his field.

"I'll remember, Frank Lloyd Wright,
All of the nights we'd harmonize till dawn.
I never laughed so long,
So long,
So long."

If you punctuate the finishing series of "So Long" repetitions appropriately, you can change them from describing something that happened for a long time to making a statement of farewell. Of course, this interpretation is more easily made with hindsight, as most of those who bought the album in 1970 were not at the time aware of the internal stresses in the duo. In fact, not even Art Garfunkel realised the intention!
6. "I am just a poor boy / Though my story's seldom told" are the opening lyrics of a song about an occupation which is the title of the first song on the second side of the album. What is it called?

Answer: The Boxer

Paul Simon has said that the song was actually autobiographical, describing how at that time he felt as if everyone was ganging up to beat him down, and he was struggling to survive - hence the metaphor of the boxer. The song doesn't have a proper chorus, but uses a series of nonsense syllables over the bridge: "Lie la lie, lie la lie la lie la lie / Lie la lie, lie la lie la lie la lie, la la lie la lie." At the time, it was suggested that this may have been intended as a dig aimed at Bob Dylan, accusing him of writing pretentious and phony lyrics. Simon, however, states that they were intended as syllables to indicate the tune and rhythm until he came up with a proper chorus, which (somewhat to his embarrassment) he never did.
7. Which of these does the narrator of 'Baby Driver' NOT tell us about his father?

Answer: My daddy's bigger than yours

The family's occupations and interests seem to be quite varied - his mother was an engineer and in the Naval reserve, before getting a raise in pay (in the second line of each of the three verses containing the descriptions of his father in the first line). Him? He's just hooning around in his car, and trying to lure girls into his room, with such catchy pick-up lines as, "I wonder how your engines feel".
8. Paul Simon wrote 'The Only Living Boy in New York' while he was working on the songs for this album, but Art Garfunkel was away, making the film 'Catch-22'. According to the lyrics of the song, where was this filming taking place?

Answer: Mexico

Art Garfunkel played the role of a pilot named Lt. Nately in the movie, which was filmed in Mexico, used as a stand-in for the Mediterranean island that was the setting for the action. The song is clearly addressed to him, including the use of the name Tom (referring to an earlier name used by the duo, Tom and Jerry). When 'Cecilia' was released as a single, 'The Only Living Boy in New York' was on the B side.

"Tom, get your plane right on time
I know your part'll go fine
Fly down to Mexico
Do-n-do-d-do-n-do and here I am,
The only living boy in New York."
9. Where does the singer of 'Why Don't You Write Me?' say he is as he bemoans the lack of correspondence?

Answer: In the jungle

"Why don't you write me?
I'm out in the jungle,
I'm hungry to hear you."

After these opening lines, the song goes on to describe how hard it is to be separated (presumably from a loved one) and feeling isolated. In fact, at one point he says that it would be better to hear that it's over than to be left without any information and a sense that there must be something wrong to explain the lack of communication! We follow him through a mail-less week, with things getting increasingly desperate.

Once again, in hindsight, this can be seen as "really" being about the impending breakup of Simon and Garfunkel, with the jungle being metaphorical, and the separation caused by Garfunkel's film work at the time the album was being compiled.
10. What was the last song on 'Bridge Over Troubled Water', the fifth and final studio album from Simon and Garfunkel?

Answer: Song for the Asking

The incorrect options are all found on the earlier album 'Parsley, Sage. Rosemary and Thyme', released in 1966. 'Song for the Asking' has been described as a mutual offer of peace and the possibility of some future reconciliation between the two performers who had meant so much to each other, but who now felt the need to pursue separate careers. It makes a nice recapitulation:

"Here is my song for the asking,
Ask me and I will play
So sweetly, I'll make you smile.

This is my tune for the taking,
Take it, don't turn away;
I've been waiting all my life.

Thinking it over, I've been sad;
Thinking it over, I'd be more than glad
To change my ways for the asking.

Ask me and I will play
All the love that I hold inside
Hm, hm."
Source: Author looney_tunes

This quiz was reviewed by FunTrivia editor 1nn1 before going online.
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