Paul Simon Has a New Song, ‘Cool Papa Bell’: Listen

By Amanda Wicks

Paul Simon revealed a new song off his upcoming album Stranger to Stranger. It marks the second song he’s shared prior to the album’s release on June 3. Titled “Cool Papa Bell,” the song has a stream-of-consciousness factor to it. Simon sings about “Cool Papa” Bell or James Thomas, the early 20th century baseball player.

Related: Paul Simon Planning Album, Not Talking to Art Garfunkel

Simon’s lyrics evoke a whimsical quality as he describes his current outlook as one people might call a new age fad, or his tattoo which reads “wall-to-wall fun.” Simon even gets flippant, dropping a few “mother f-ckers,” including one aimed at a squirrel.

“Cool Papa Bell” in some ways harkens back to his 1973 album There Goes Rhymin’ Simon, at least in terms of melody and pop-folk rhythms. But it features certain updates like a tuba that peppers the light-hearted song with a weightier feel.

Simon has said Stranger to Stranger is about putting a fresh spin on what’s become older fare. He stated how it’s “about getting you to actually hear something in a new way…about making music that sounds old and new at the same time–music with a sense of mystery” (via Ultimate Classic Rock).

Fans can expect Simon to tour in support of the album, but he has not yet announced dates or other specifics. Listen to “Cool Papa Bell” below:

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