Sometimes a song gets lodged in your head and loops there endlessly for the rest of the day. Today it’s “She Moves On,” the underrated masterpiece from Paul Simon’s Rhythm of the Saints album in 1990. As songs go, it’s a great one to have stuck on repeat. A lot better than, say, “Achy Breaky Heart.”
Don’t ask me how it got there. Maybe the opening lyric: “I feel good, it’s a fine day …” I was walking the dog on a crisp sunny morning and a pretty woman smiled as I passed. I see fewer crisp mornings and beautiful smiles than I used to, so it struck a chord, so to speak. A fine day indeed.
I do love this song. Maybe because it never got played to death on the radio and didn’t show up on a lot of compilation albums. To me it represents everything that is great about Paul Simon: the subtle, evocative lyrics, the exotic instrumentation, the emotional complexity that he always makes seem simple. The guy is an enduring genius. Hard to believe he’s 70. But then, it’s hard to believe I’m … well, never mind.
Give it a listen. The video’s from his Central Park concert in 1991 or so, so the quality isn’t great. Or, listen to the studio version. Either way, I always get a little tingle when the backing vocals come in over that samba beat. And of course the chorus:
“Ooh, my storybook lover
You have underestimated my power
As you shortly will discover …”