notnicolajames

New singer-songwriter favorite: Harper Simon – Wishes and Stars

girls-headThere’s an amazing song on the soundtrack of the HBO series GIRLS: Harper Simon – Wishes and Stars. That song works not just for twenty-somethings in NYC. The feel of the song immediately reminded me of Simon & Garfunkel’s beautiful “The only living boy in New York”. Little did I know Harper is Simon’s offspring!

hbo_girlsI did not know the American singer-songwriter Harper Simon before I watched the HBO series GIRLS. Apparently his music was featured in film and television shows before, so I’m glad I finally discovered him.

His song “Wishes and Stars” is one of my favorites on the soundtrack of the series, and the feel, melody and lyrics are beautiful.

Everyone seems so certain, Everyone knows who they are … Except me ’cause I’m a fool, I’m as simple as a bee, as a melody in C, but it don’t matter. There are more wishes than stars.

Song meaning

For me, that line is about finding yourself. The song captures the whole atmosphere of GIRLS quite nicely: trying to make it in the city, being enthusiastic but melancholic at the same time, finding yourself and growing up. In the first episode, the main character Hannah tells her parents that she’s trying to become the “person who I am”. But even outside of the series, I think the song works for non-twenty-somethings who don’t live in NYC just as well.

Paul Simon’s son

harper-simonI had planned to describe the feel of the song by referring to Simon & Garfunkel’s beautiful “The only living boy in New York“. This song featured in one of my favorite films “Garden State” which has one of the best soundtracks I’ve ever come across. “The only living boy in New York” is about finding yourself as well: “Half of the time we’re gone but we don’t know where, And we don’t know where.”

Once I checked Harper Simon’s Wikipedia page, though, I was surprised – he seems to be Paul Simon’s son with his first wife Peggy Harper. Now I feel almost as I shouldn’t make that comparison – we all know how artists hate to be compared to their parents.

So here are both songs as vido, and the lyrics to “Wishes and Stars”. Enjoy.

Wishes and Stars

The only living boy in New York

Lyrics

Everyone seems so certain
Everyone knows who they are
Everyone’s got a mother and a father
They all seem so sure they’re going far
They all got more friends than they can use

Except me ’cause I’m a fool
I’m as simple as a bee
As a melody in C
But it don’t matter
There are more wishes than stars

Every guest
So pleased with themselves
They’re brimming with success
Their whole life’s been blessed
But it doesn’t matter

Everyone’s been on a holiday in the sun
Or they just got back from one
All they do is just have fun
They all got more friends than they can use

Except me ’cause I’m a fool
I’m as simple as a bee
As a melody in C
But it don’t matter
There are more wishes than stars

I’m not too certain about many things
I’m not too sure who I am
I ain’t got no mother and I ain’t got no father
I ain’t got no girlfriend to hold my hand

I’m slow like the trees when they grow
I’m sluggish like the ocean when it moves
I’m plain like water or like rain
But I shouldn’t complain ’cause it don’t matter

There are more wishes than stars
More wishes than stars

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