Quiz about Song by Song Bridge Over Troubled Water
Quiz about Song by Song Bridge Over Troubled Water

Song by Song: "Bridge Over Troubled Water" Quiz


This quiz surveys the context, lyrics, and covers of the Simon & Garfunkel song "Bridge Over Troubled Water"

A multiple-choice quiz by skylarb. Estimated time: 4 mins.
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Author
skylarb
Time
4 mins
Type
Multiple Choice
Quiz #
400,030
Updated
Dec 03 21
# Qns
15
Difficulty
Average
Avg Score
11 / 15
Plays
405
Awards
Top 10% Quiz
Last 3 plays: Guest 24 (8/15), Guest 72 (11/15), Trivia_Fan54 (11/15).
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. Complete this lyric: "When you're weary, feeling _____ / When tears are in your eyes, I'll dry them all."

Answer: (One Word)
2. The title lyric of "Bridge Over Troubled Water" was inspired by a phrase in Claude Jeter's version of the 1958 song "Mary Don't You Weep."

True
False

3. What man in black covered "Bridge Over Troubled Water" on his album "American IV: The Man Comes Around"? Hint

Elvis Presley
Johnny Cash
Elton John
Billy Joel

4. "Bridge Over Troubled Water" was released as a single with what song on the B-side? The song begins, "Gee but it's great to be back home / Home is where I want to be." Hint

Keep the Customer Satisfied
Mrs. Robinson
The Boxer
The Only Living Boy in New York

5. "I'm on your side, oh, when times get rough / And _____ just can't be found." What can't be found? Hint

dreams
joys
hopes
friends

6. In the original studio recording of "Bridge Over Troubled Water," who played piano? Hint

Larry Knechtel
Art Garfunkel
Paul Simon
Billy Joel

7. In which of these categories did "Bridge Over Troubled Water" NOT win a 1971 Grammy Award? Hint

Best Gospel Performance (Other than Soul Gospel)
Record of the Year
Song of the Year
Best Contemporary Song

8. "When you're down and out / When you're on the street. / When ____ falls so hard / I will comfort you." What's missing from the blank?
Hint

evening
your heart
nighttime
your hope

9. What King of Rock and Roll covered "Bridge Over Troubled Water" on his 1970 album "That's the Way It Is"? Hint

Billy Joel
Jerry Lee Lewis
Elvis Presley
Mick Jagger

10. "Bridge Over Troubled Water," at about five-minutes long, was the first song to break the "three-minute barrier" on radio.

True
False

11. "Sail on silver girl. / Sail on by." According to Paul Simon, what or who is "silvergirl"? Hint

Paul Simon's wife
the needle on a record player
Paul Simon's mother
a drug user's hypodermic needle

12. What word is missing from this lyric? "Like a bridge over troubled water / I will ease your _____." Hint

soul
mind
heart
sorrows

13. What X Factor and American Idol judge arranged the recording and release of a charity single of "Bridge Over Troubled Water"? Hint

Blake Shelton
Kelly Clarkson
Randy Jackson
Simon Cowell

14. Whose R&B cover of "Bridge Over Trouble Water" reached number one on Billboard's Hot R&B chart in 1971? Hint

Drake
Aretha Franklin
Usher
Tina Turner

15. Which of the following musicians has never recorded a cover of "Bridge Over Troubled Water"? Hint

The Jackson 5
Otis Redding
The Supremes
Roberta Flack


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Quiz Answer Key and Fun Facts
1. Complete this lyric: "When you're weary, feeling _____ / When tears are in your eyes, I'll dry them all."

Answer: small

The song "Bridge Over Troubled Water" peaked at number one on the Billboard Hot 100 and held the position for six weeks.

After the Eastern China flood in 1991, the song was translated into Cantonese and sung by Hong Kong singers to raise money for disaster relief.
2. The title lyric of "Bridge Over Troubled Water" was inspired by a phrase in Claude Jeter's version of the 1958 song "Mary Don't You Weep."

Answer: true

According to an article in the "Daily News," ("Legendary Singer Claude Jeter Dies" 1/8/2009), "Simon told Jeter he was inspired to write 'Bridge' after hearing Jeter sing the line 'bridge over deep water' in the Swans' hit 'Oh Mary, Don't You Weep.' Jeter later said he improvised the line from a verse he remembered in the Bible." The article goes on to quote Gospel historian Anthony Heilbut, who said, "I remember Simon came to my apartment and personally gave Jeter a check for $1,000 for inspiring the song." The line about the "bridge over deep water" was not part of the original lyrics of the old spiritual, but an addition by Jeter.

In 1973, Paul Simon hired Claude Jeter to sing on his album "There Goes Rhymin' Simon."
3. What man in black covered "Bridge Over Troubled Water" on his album "American IV: The Man Comes Around"?

Answer: Johnny Cash

Johnny Cash sang the song with Fiona Apple. Their cover was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Country Collaboration with Vocals in 2003. However, Willie Nelson and Lee Ann Womack won in that category for "Mendocino County Line."
4. "Bridge Over Troubled Water" was released as a single with what song on the B-side? The song begins, "Gee but it's great to be back home / Home is where I want to be."

Answer: Keep the Customer Satisfied

Both songs were included on Simon and Garfunkel's fifth studio album, "Bridge Over Troubled Water," which was recorded in 1968 and released in 1970. "The Boxer" was the first single to be released from the album, with "Baby Driver" on the B-Side. "Bridge Over Troubled Water" was the follow-up single to "The Boxer" and featured "Keep the Customer Satisfied" on the B-Side.
5. "I'm on your side, oh, when times get rough / And _____ just can't be found." What can't be found?

Answer: friends

The song "Bridge Over Troubled Water" was ranked #48 on "Rolling Stone" magazine's 2004 list of "The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time." The magazine reports, "When Simon wrote this tribute to friendship, he and Garfunkel were arguing over everything, even who should sing it." Art Garfunkel ended up singing the solo at Paul Simon's urging, with Simon joining him on the chorus.
6. In the original studio recording of "Bridge Over Troubled Water," who played piano?

Answer: Larry Knechtel

Larry Knechtel was a member of the so-called "Wrecking Crew," a group of session musicians based in L.A. who worked with prominent musicians such as Paul Simon, the Doors, the Monkees, Elvis Presley, and the Beach Boys. The song also makes use of bass guitar, played by Joe Osborn, and is closed out with drums, played by Hal Blaine. There was also a horn section.
7. In which of these categories did "Bridge Over Troubled Water" NOT win a 1971 Grammy Award?

Answer: Best Gospel Performance (Other than Soul Gospel)

The Oak Ridge Boys won for "Talk About the Good Times" in the category of Best Gospel Performance (other than soul gospel).

"Bridge Over Troubled Water" swept the 13th Annual Grammy Awards in 1971. The song won in the Record of the Year, Song of the Year, and Best Contemporary Song categories. (Record of the Year is awarded for a single from an album.) Larry Knechtel and Paul Simon also won a Grammy for the song for Best Arrangement Accompanying Vocalist(s). Roy Halee won in the Best Engineered Recording, Non-Classical category for his work engineering the song. And the album itself won Album of the Year.
8. "When you're down and out / When you're on the street. / When ____ falls so hard / I will comfort you." What's missing from the blank?

Answer: evening

The song continues:

"I'll take your part, oh, when darkness comes
And pain is all around
Like a bridge over troubled water
I will lay me down."

Australian singer and stage actor Anthony Callea, who was the runner up in the 2004 season of "Australian Idol," covered "Bridge Over Water" in 2005 as a single released with his song "Rain." It reached number one on the ARIA Australia Singles Chart.
9. What King of Rock and Roll covered "Bridge Over Troubled Water" on his 1970 album "That's the Way It Is"?

Answer: Elvis Presley

Presley frequently used this song in his live performances, and Paul Simon witnessed him sing it in Las Vegas. The king's performance of the song was also included in the original theatrical release of the 1970 documentary "Elvis: That's the Way It Is." The documentary "Elvis on Tour" contains a 1972 performance of the song.
10. "Bridge Over Troubled Water," at about five-minutes long, was the first song to break the "three-minute barrier" on radio.

Answer: false

It's rare for the radio to play a song longer than about three minutes (or "3:05" as Billy Joel famously sings in "The Entertainer"). In the first half of the 20th century, exceptions to this unwritten rule were rare. The Righteous Brothers' 3:45 song, "You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'," was played on the radio, but only after the producer Phil Spector deceptively stamped 3:05 on the single.

However, in 1965, Bob Dylan's "Like A Rolling Stone" made it onto the radio, despite being over six minutes long. That success influenced Columbia's decision to try to get "Bridge Over Troubled Water" onto pop radio in 1970. So while it wasn't the first song to break the "three-minute barrier," it was one of the few to do so.

In 2019, the average pop song on the Billboard Hot 100 averaged 3:30, according to "Digital Music News."
11. "Sail on silver girl. / Sail on by." According to Paul Simon, what or who is "silvergirl"?

Answer: Paul Simon's wife

The lyrics continue:

"Your time has come to shine
All your dreams are on their way."

The meaning of the verse has been often debated, but Paul Simon put the controversy to rest in a 1984 interview with "Playboy":

"The last verse, it was about Peggy, whom I was living with at the time: 'Sail on, silver girl ... / Your time has come to shine' was half a joke, because she was upset one day when she had found two or three gray hairs on her head." Paul Simon married Peggy Harper in 1969, shortly before this song was released as a single.
12. What word is missing from this lyric? "Like a bridge over troubled water / I will ease your _____."

Answer: mind

Buck Owens and the Buckaroos covered "Bridge Over Troubled Water" in 1971, and their version peaked at number ten on the Billboard Hot Country Singles chart. In 1989, the song was covered on "Heaven," the third album of brother and sister duo BeBe & CeCe Winans.
13. What X Factor and American Idol judge arranged the recording and release of a charity single of "Bridge Over Troubled Water"?

Answer: Simon Cowell

The single was orchestrated to raise money for the families of the victims of the June 2017 Grenfell Tower fire as well as for the The London Community Foundation. The artist Stormzy wrote an intro to the song referring to the tragedy, and may other artists participated, including Robbie Williams, Roger Daltrey, James Blunt, and John Mcclure.

The single also featured the London Community Gospel Choir. It peaked at number one of the UK Singles Chart.
14. Whose R&B cover of "Bridge Over Trouble Water" reached number one on Billboard's Hot R&B chart in 1971?

Answer: Aretha Franklin

Usher and Drake were not yet born in 1971. Aretha's version won a 1972 Grammy Award for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance. It reached number one on the Billboard R&B charts but also reached number six on the Billboard pop charts
15. Which of the following musicians has never recorded a cover of "Bridge Over Troubled Water"?

Answer: Otis Redding

Otis Redding died in 1967, before Paul Simon wrote the song. The Jackson 5 recorded it on "Third Album," which was released in 1970. The Supremes included a cover on their 1970 album "New Ways But Love Stays." Finally, Roberta Flack covered "Bridge Over Troubled Water" on her 1971 album "Quiet Fire."
Source: Author skylarb

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