by Simon and Garfunkel
Complete your handout during or after visiting this page.
This song is definitely the most difficult here to wrap your head around. The lyrics amount to an abstract, poetic story, so you'll have to infer about what's going on. To help you, I've included a video using scenes from the wonderful movie Almost Famous (2000).
The movie Almost Famous uses the song when the main character's older sister moves out at 18 to make it on her own. Compare the film scene to the lyrics and see what connections you can make. I've also included the straight audio of the song so you can listen to it without the movie clip too.
(Warning: There is some slight "language" at the end of the clip, but it's not really there and it's quite comical... watch it to see what I mean!)
Let us be lovers,
We'll marry our fortunes together.
I've got some real estate
Here in my bag.
So we bought a pack of cigarettes,
And Mrs. Wagner's pies,
And walked off
To look for America.
"Kathy", I said,
As we boarded a Greyhound in Pittsburgh,
Michigan seems like a dream to me now.
It took me four days
To hitch-hike from Saginaw.
"I've come to look for America."
Laughing on the bus,
Playing games with the faces,
She said the man in the gabardine suit
Was a spy.
I said, "Be careful,
His bow tie is really a camera."
"Toss me a cigarette,
I think there's one in my raincoat."
We smoked the last one
An hour ago.
So I looked at the scenery,
She read her magazine;
And the moon rose over an open field.
"Kathy, I'm lost", I said,
Though I know she was sleeping.
"I'm empty and aching and
I don't know why."
Counting the cars
On the New Jersey Turnpike
The've all come
To look for America,
All come to look for America,
All come to look for America.