Shared by Khalid Sharif, London: I often wondered why the lyrics say “Hello darkness my old friend.” Here’s the story behind it:
It is the story of a poor boy, an American of a Jewish family from Buffalo who wins a scholarship at the Columbia University.
There, he befriends a boy who turned out to be a great friend, and his roommate. But in his freshman year of college, watching a baseball game, all of a sudden, out of nowhere, he went blind.
The doctor said it was conjunctivitis and it would go away. It didn’t; it was a cataract that had damaged his optic nerves. The boy became blind, went into depression, dropped out of school and returned to his hometown.
This friend, his roommate, went there and convinced him to return to the University. The friend said to him: – the darkness will accompany you and I will be your light. The friend started to help him in everything. He read him the tests, the books, everything.
This blind guy ended up graduating with a law degree, then got a master’s degree from Harvard and a Ph.D. from Oxford. He became a well-recognized attorney and became a Counselor in the White House. He worked advising American presidents such as Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter.
This is a beautiful story of overcoming adversity and showing the value of true friendship. It’s the life of Sandy Greenberg.
But going back in time, in 1964, the roommate who helped him graduate, Arthur Ira Garfunkel of the duo Simon & Garfunkel borrowed $400 from Sandy. He needed the money to release a record. Sandy lent him the money. The record was released in 1964, and became one of the most listened to songs.
It was the song that the roommate made in honor of his friend Sandy Greenberg, a song that everyone knows, but no one knew the story behind the lyrics. In listening to the lyric, the music, the song and knowing the story behind gives another meaning to the substance.