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Single by Simon and Garfunkel
from the album Bridge over Troubled Water
B-side "The Only Living Boy in New York"
Released April 1970
Format 7" Vinyl
Recorded 1969
Genre Rock
Length 2:54
Label Columbia Records
Writer(s) Paul Simon
Producer Roy Halee, Paul Simon, Art Garfunkel

|- ! colspan="3" scope="col" style="text-align: center; background:lightsteelblue;" | Bridge over Troubled Water track listing |- | colspan="3" |

"El Condor Pasa (If I Could)"
"Keep The Customer Satisfied"
Single by Suggs featuring Louchie Lou & Michie One
from the album The Lone Ranger
Released 1996
Format 7" Vinyl
Recorded 1995
Genre Pop
Length 3:08
Label WEA
Writer(s) Paul Simon
Producer Sly & Robbie
Suggs chronology
"The Tune"
"No More Alcohol"

"Cecilia" is a song written by US musician Paul Simon. It was first recorded by Simon and Garfunkel for their 1970 album Bridge Over Troubled Water. When released as a single, it reached #4 in the US charts. The single did not chart in the UK, despite being released as the follow-up to Simon and Garfunkel's number one hit "Bridge Over Troubled Water".

The "Cecilia" of the title is generally interpreted as being a capricious lover, causing both anguish and jubilation to the singer. However, another interpretation[1] is that Cecilia might refer to St. Cecilia, patron saint of music in the Catholic tradition, and thus the song might refer to the frustration of fleeting inspiration in songwriting. St. Cecilia is mentioned in another Paul Simon song, "The Coast" (from his 1990 album The Rhythm of the Saints): "A family of musicians took shelter for the night in the little harbor church of St. Cecilia."

Legacy, other versions, and instances in popular culture

French-speaking American musician Joe Dassin sang a French version of this song in 1970, while in February 1971 a version was released in England by the New Wave Band (a group that comprised three members of the band that would soon become 10cc) and Herman's Hermits guitarist Derek Leckenby. It did not chart.

A cover version by California-based dance duo Times Two was released in 1988; it did not chart. [1]

Another cover version by Suggs (the lead singer of UK pop band Madness) that appeared on his 1995 debut solo album The Lone Ranger, became his most successful single, reaching #4 in the UK, and selling more than 500,000 copies.[2]

The first bar of this song is sampled repeatedly in the song "Midlife Crisis" by Faith No More, from their fourth studio album Angel Dust. The song was released as the first single from said album and reached number 10 in the UK charts in 1992.

In 1998, Swedish pop band Ace of Base released a Motown track titled "Cecilia" from their album Flowers, which continues the story of the Paul Simon's character. Jenny Berggren, lead vocalist for the band, sings, "This is a song about a well known girl", then tells of Cecilia's continuous bouncing back and forth between lovers.

In 2004 Latvian rock outfit The Hobos also did a cover of "Cecilia" on their studio album Radio Jah Jah.

A short parody of this song is featured at the end of the Clay Porn segment of Damn! Show called "Necrophilia"; "Necrophilia; the body's still warm..."

In 2007 BluesBrothersFilms member Mike Voss lips-synced the song which went on to become their most viewed video. It is featured on the popular gaming and video site

In the final episode of The Sopranos, Paulie Walnuts has a techno version of the song as his ringtone.

William Fitzsimmons and Joshua Radin performed Cecilia at the Henry Fonda Music Box during the Hotel Cafe Tour on April 12, 2008.

The "Right Place Right Time" episode of How I Met Your Mother featured a Venn diagram showing Cecilia as the intersection of "people who are breaking my heart" and "people who are shaking my confidence daily."

The song is covered live by Counting Crows and Augustana.


  1. ^ Cecilia will put song in your heart, Ideally Speaking (Jerry Johnston), Deseret News, 14 November 2009, p. E1. Johnston writes: " . . if you're a composer who needs a melody, talk to Cecilia. She'll put a song in your heart."
  2. ^ Suggs interview at Question of Pop, BBC

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