Having originally been considered to be the lead-off single when Simon & Garfunkel’s Bridge Over Troubled Water album was released in 1970 (eventually losing out to the title track), the catchy and upbeat “Cecilia” eventually peaked at number 4 on the U.S. charts. Interestingly enough, the song also resonated quite well across the pond as it peaked at number 5 on the U.K. charts whereas the title track “Bridge Over Troubled Water” never cracked the top 75 there.
Over the years, it has been pretty firmly established that the song is not paying tribute to a specific musical muse named Cecilia. It is more likely that the reference is to Saint Cecilia the patron saint of musicians in the Catholic church. At the time “Cecilia” was released, it was fairly well established that the personal relationship between Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel was in serious turmoil and this was the last S&G before the initial breakup.
The relative scarcity of cover song sightings in the wild makes the recent single by the Acoustic Folk duo Cicada Rhythm all the more pleasurable. Cicada Rhythm stylistically pays tribute to the original sticking fairly close to the original template, albeit with a bit more of a slow burn. Andrea DeMarcus does most of the heavy lifting on lead vocal while partner and guitar player David Kirslis provides voice-melding harmony support. Hearing the song performed from a female point of view provides a new perspective, and multiple nuanced listens reveal the immense talent in both of these musicians that complement each other perfectly.