Sunday, June 16, 2024

Paul Simon Drops a Couple of Ironic F Bombs in Great New Single “Cool Papa Bell”


Paul Simon drops a couple of F bombs and the word ‘shit’ in his new single “Cool Papa Bell.” The single is from Simon’s new album “Stranger to Stranger,” due June 3rd. Like its predecessor, “Wristband,” this song is bass heavy with an unusual construction that echoes Simon’s songs stretching from “Cecilia” to “50 Ways to Leave Your Lover” to “Boy in the Bubble.” The cursing is ironic. Simon probably thinks he can’t get played on radio anymore so why not do whatever he wants. What can I say? I think he’s brilliant, one of the greatest artistic innovators.

“Cool Papa Bell was a baseball player in the Negro Leagues from 1922 to 1950,” Simon observes in the album notes. “He was considered one of the fastest men ever to play the game. Legend has it that Bell could turn off a light switch and be in bed before the light went out. He once bunted a triple. A friend gave me a painting of Cool Papa Bell, and somehow he found his way into a song.”

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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