A Hazy Shade of Winter by Simon & Garfunkel Lyrics Meaning – Unveiling the Metaphoric Change of Seasons

You can view the lyrics, alternate interprations and sheet music for Simon & Garfunkel's A Hazy Shade of Winter at Lyrics.org.
Article Contents:
  1. Music Video
  2. Lyrics
  3. Song Meaning


Time, time time, see what’s become of me
While I looked around for my possibilities

I was so hard to please
Don’t look around
The leaves are brown
And the sky is a hazy shade of winter

Hear the Salvation Army band
Down by the riverside’s, there’s bound to be a better ride
Than what you’ve got planned

Carry your cup in your hand
And look around
Leaves are brown, now
And the sky is a hazy shade of winter

Hang on to your hopes, my friend
That’s an easy thing to say
But if your hopes should pass away
Simply pretend that you can build them again
Look around
The grass is high
The fields are ripe
It’s the springtime of my life

Seasons change with the scenery
Weaving time in a tapestry
Won’t you stop and remember me
At any convenient time?
Funny how my memory skips while looking over manuscripts
Of unpublished rhyme
Drinking my vodka and lime
I look around
Leaves are brown, now
And the sky is a hazy shade of winter
Look around
Leaves are brown
There’s a patch of snow on the ground
Look around
Leaves are brown
There’s a patch of snow on the ground
Look around
Leaves are brown
There’s a patch of snow on the ground

Full Lyrics

Beneath the iconic folk-rock harmonies of Simon & Garfunkel’s ‘A Hazy Shade of Winter,’ lies a poetic tapestry rich with symbolism and a reflection on the passage of time. Originally released in 1966 as a single and later included on their 1968 album ‘Bookends,’ the song pulses with an urgency atypical for the duo, known for their more subdued and introspective tunes.

Plunging into the heart of the song, one finds it’s more than a mere ode to the changing seasons. ‘A Hazy Shade of Winter’ is a complex narrative, weaving together themes of personal growth, the relentless march of time, and the existential pursuit of meaning within the cold confines of winter’s metaphorical embrace.

The Season of Discontent: Winter as a Metaphor for Life

As the crisp guitar strings mimic the chill of winter, Simon & Garfunkel drip metaphors into our consciousness. Winter here is less about the cold and more about a figurative season of life. It’s a backdrop for the transformation within; the brown leaves and the hazy sky not only paint a picture of the external world but also reflect a state of inner desolation and weariness.

Throughout the lyrics, there’s this sense of searching for something lost within the barren landscape. The ‘hazy’ aspect—both in the sky and in the title—suggests a lack of clarity, a world where once vibrant colors are now muted, and the path forward is obscured, mirroring the protagonist’s uncertainty about the future.

Echoes of Time: The Persistent Tick-Tock in Every Line

If the song itself were a clock, its ticks would reverberate with each mention of time—’Time, time, time,’ the haunting opening words resonate, establishing time as the heartbeat of the narrative. The ticking clock is relentless, as is the singer’s recognition of time slipping away, prompting a reflection on personal achievements and aspirations.

As they sing about ‘unpublished rhymes’ and memories that ‘skip’, they tap into the shared human experience of seeing one’s efforts and dreams seemingly pushed aside, a sobering reminder of mortality’s dance with creativity.

A Melody of Melancholy and Motivation

Amidst the melancholic resonance lies an undercurrent of motivation; ‘Hang on to your hopes, my friend,’ implores the singer, intertwining despair with a thread of resilience. It’s a battle cry against the crushing weight of time, an exhortation to hold fast to one’s aspirations despite the daunting grip of winter.

But Simon & Garfunkel don’t shy away from the inherent complexity of hope. They acknowledge the fragility in ‘But if your hopes should pass away,’ understanding that to revive and build anew is as natural as the changing seasons.

The Thread of Seasons: A Subtle Reminder of Rebirth

The song may drape the listener in winter, but it doesn’t leave them there. Sprouts of rebirth emerge in the imagery of ‘The grass is high / The fields are ripe.’ Here, the pivot to spring alludes to the cyclical nature of life, a soothing reminder that even in the darkest winters, renewal awaits.

With the lyrics’ seasonal shift, Simon & Garfunkel quietly reassure us that time, while it can erode, also heals and rejuvenates. It’s a message that maturity and a fresh start are perpetually just around the corner, as inevitable as the return of springtime in one’s life.

Unforgettable Verses: Lines That Linger Like Winter’s Chill

‘Look around, the leaves are brown.’ This simple yet evocative line perfectly captures the visceral essence of the season and the heart of the song’s theme. It punctuates the narrative like a painter adding the final brushstrokes to a masterpiece, leaving an indelible mark on our collective memories.

And as the song closes, the repetitive visual of ‘Leaves are brown, there’s a patch of snow on the ground’ reinforces both the passage of time and the notion of cycles that the song is etched upon. It encapsulates the bittersweet recognition of change, a looming presence that is both end and beginning.

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