4.25-FAKIN' IT (Simon & Garfunkel)

Simon & Garfunkel


When she goes, she's gone.
If she stays, she stays here.
The girl does what she wants to do.
She knows what she wants to do.

     And I know I'm fakin' it,
     I'm not really makin' it.

Such a dubious soul
And a walk in the garden wears me down.
Tangled in the fallen vines,
Pickin' up the punch lines,

     [Repeat partial chorus]

          Is there any danger?
          No, no, not really, just lean on me.
          Takin' time to treat
          Your friendly neighbors honestly.

     I've just been fakin' it,
     I'm not really makin' it.
     This feeling of fakin' it--
     I still haven't shaken it.

          Prior to this lifetime
          I surely was a tailor, look at me...

          (Spoken: "Good morning, Mr. Leitch.
          Have you had a busy day?")

          I own the tailor's face and hands.
          I am the tailor's face and hands!

     [Repeat full chorus]

     [Repeat partial chorus]


Although Scarborough Fair was a jewel of psychedelic complexity, by the time Simon & Garfunkel released a single for the Summer of Love, Paul Simon seemed to think he wasn’t up for the task. One might surmise from the lyric that the insecurity is more general, and has something to do with a woman, but the production loudly protests that Simon doesn’t appreciate having to do so much more than songwriting to have a hit record. The intro and the coda sound like they were lifted off the final measures of the Beatles’ Strawberry Fields Forever. (This psychedelic quotation also would serve as the background to the chorus.) The spoken break, with accompanying atmospheric music from the Old World, addressing Mr. Leitch (which is Donovan’s last name), though an improvisation at the time, seems to also protest that Simon has to act like hippie Donovan in order to compete. When he sings that he owns a tailor’s face & hands, apparently expressing that he is not good enough for the woman he sings about, he is also saying that he is a simple songwriter. Prior to this lifetime alludes to the recent interest in reincarnation among the hippies, due to the Buddhist influence of the time. But it may also allude to simpler times, when Simon was just a folk singer. Now everything has to be such a production! Fakin’ It is one of the earliest protests against the psychedelic aesthetic. More protests from other performers would soon follow.

Despite the fact the Sound of Silence was a number one hit of the folk rock genre, the real popularity of Simon & Garfunkel didn’t arrive until 1968, with the use of many of their recordings for the film The Graduate, and the release of the Bookends album. By the time of Bookends release, Simon was writing music more aligned with the art rock of the Beatles’ Eleanor Rigby and the Beach Boys’ God Only Knows. But in 1967, Paul Simon was still trying to find his way, and wasn’t considered by the public as being in the same league with Paul McCartney and Brian Wilson.Outside of At The Zoo released in February 1967, Fakin' It would be Simon & Garfunkel's only new single of the year. It made only a modest showing on the charts, and in 1967, Simon, like Dylan, did not release an album.