Song of the Week: A Simple Desultory Philippic (or How I Was Robert McNamara’d into Submission)

Another look at Paul Simon this week with his work on Parsley, Sage, Rosemary & Thyme (1966) in Simon and Garfunkle, but originally published the year prior on The Paul Simon Song Book, which was released only in the UK. This is an interesting view because what we get from the song “A Simple Desultory Philippic” is a young and angry Paul Simon full of spirit and vigor, ready to take on anyone, even Phil Spector. It is Phil Spector that has finally brought this article to publish, as today, it is announced that he passed away at 81 years-old. We will take a better look at who Phil Spector was in “Phil Spector Resurrected,” but now, we listen to the song and hear what he tells us.

This is a cultural attack against the mainstream and crushing fascists against the free way of life, starting from the top of the chain, Lyndon B. Johnson, President of the United States (1963–1969), not just named in the song but is the name of the song in the UK version and the opening of the song is spoken: “A Simple Desultory Philippic Or How I was Lyndon Johnson’d Into Submission.” Paul tells us about his heroes, allies and foes in music, art and politics.

Influencers listed in the song are:



In both:

1965 UK Release:

1966 US Release:

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