Wednesday 27 December 2023

You can't say we're satisfied

Today's offering comes courtesy of Henry Normal (and his GLW) together with a little help from Paul Simon (and his brother, Ed).

Henry, a son of Nottingham, signed my copy of his recent anthology The Escape Plan a couple of years back and it remains one of my treasured processions. In his poetry Henry makes many passing references, both directly and indirectly, to his wife Angela - an award winning screenwriter in her own right.

My wife said nothing rhymes with orange 
But before despair could befall her 
I corrected Angela
Or Ange, as I call her

When Simon & Garfunkel released Anji (or Angie) on their 1966 album Sounds of Silence, Paul Simon was paying homage to his folk hero Davy Graham who'd written this fingerpicking bluesy classic the previous year. The story goes it was inspired by a young Soho waitress who knew all the bums, beatniks and young musicians riding the coattails of London's folk resurgence of the early/mid 60s.  
Here it is being played by Paul Simon and his younger brother Ed on a 1968 TV special. No, it's not camera trickery, it really is his near identical sibling on second guitar.

Paul Simon (with Ed Simon) - Anji (1968)


  1. I passed up an opportunity to see Henry Normal and Lemn Sissay performing as a double headliner at The Sub Rooms in Stroud last year and my shins are still bleeding from kicking myself...

  2. Love that little poem by Henry. On one of the last Saturday nights I was in hospital, they had a quiz for the patients and one of the questions was what word doesn't rhyme with anything - I was stumped with that one but think I won overall. I won't forget it in a hurry now.

    That's a lovely clip of a very young and seemingly shy Paul Simon. Great that his brother got up on stage too and a fine piece of guitar playing by the pair of them. Thanks for sharing it.

  3. Late contenders for my Brother's,Sisters series perhaps?!

  4. As Alyson says - lovely poem and lovely clip of a great song. Paul's brother is so uncannily like him that I found it slightly freaky!

  5. K/Alyson/CC/C: Henry Normal and Paul Simon - two genuinely nice guys. If you haven't already, try and catch Henry when he comes to a town near you. (PS on the other hand has, I'm led to believe, put his guitar away for the last time.)