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Concerts Country and Folk

10 Best Paul Simon Songs Performed Live

April 04, 2016 by Alyssa

Paul Simon Live

Paul Simon is without question one of the great American songwriters. The performer has spent more than half a century in the spotlight, first as half of the legendary duo Simon and Garfunkel, and later as a formidable solo artist.

In 2016 Simon is going on tour again, this time in support of his first album of new music in four years. His upcoming tour dates will likely highlight this new music, but you can bet that his classic songs will be his fans’ favorite parts of every set.

Over the years, the best Paul Simon songs have been a staple of his concerts. The star has performed each of his top tracks hundreds of times on stage, and thanks to modern technology we have dozens of live videos to experience these gems over and over again. Of course, videos can never be a true replacement for the real thing, but they’re a great way to get a small taste of Simon’s talent.

50 Ways to Leave Your Lover

By many standards, “50 Ways to Leave Your Lover” is considered one of the best Paul Simon songs. It’s certainly one of the most popular, as it was his only single to reach No. 1 on Billboard’s mainstream singles chart. The 1975 single is definitely one of the top audience pleasers whenever Simon takes the stage.


The Boxer

Technically a Simon and Garfunkel song, “The Boxer” was written by Simon for the duo’s iconic 1970 album, “Bridge Over Troubled Water.” Today the song--which was Simon and Garfunkel’s last No. 1 hit--is a staple of Simon’s live set.


Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes

This classic track off “Graceland” is one of the most popular Paul Simon songs you’ll experience in concert. The original recording of the song features the vocal talents of South African outfit Ladysmith Black Mombazo. If you get to see Simon perform on stage with the world-renowned vocal group, you’re in for a real treat.



The title track off Simon’s 1986 album is also considered one of the best Paul Simon songs to hear in concert. “Graceland” was Simon’s only solo single to win the GRAMMY for Record of the Year, following two earlier wins with Simon and Garfunkel. Named after Elvis’ famed Memphis mansion, the song is thought to be about Simon’s breakup with his former wife Carrie Fisher.


Late in the Evening

Released in 1980, “Late in the Evening” was Paul Simon’s last song to reach the top 10 in the U.S. It was a single off the soundtrack “One-Trick Pony,” which Simon wrote to accompany the film of the same name in which he starred.


Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard

“Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard” was only the second single released off Paul Simon’s debut self-titled album. Over the years the 1972 single has remained a hit with fans for its jaunty, carefree lyrics. To this day, Simon proves he’s still an able whistler whenever he performs the song live.


Mrs. Robinson

Another soundtrack single, “Mrs. Robinson” is perhaps one of the best-known Simon and Garfunkel songs. Originally intended as a duet, the song was one of the most memorable parts of Simon’s 2014-15 co-headlining tour with Sting.


The Sound of Silence

Simon and Garfunkel’s somber “The Sound of Silence” has become a defining song of the 1960s. Penned by Simon, “The Sound of Silence” was also the duo’s first song to reach No. 1 in the U.S., so it’s no wonder this remains one of the top Paul Simon live tracks.


Still Crazy After All These Years

The title track off Simon’s 1976 album, “Still Crazy After All These Years,” this song is a jazzy nostalgic number beloved by fans. Thanks to its introspective lyrics and the moving saxophone solo, this introspective tune is one of the best Paul Simon songs.


You Can Call Me Al

The 1986 hit “You Can Call Me Al” stands as one of the most fun entries in Simon’s solo catalog. The bouncy track is routinely tabbed as the closing song at Simon’s concerts, wrapping up a setlist full of moving, inspiring, and influential greatest hits.

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