Paul Simon's Heir - Dan Hardin - Revealed on YouTube

One of the best ways of identifying rising musical talent on YouTube is to locate people singing flawless cover songs of your favorite musical artist. I'm a huge fan of Paul Simon, so I recently searched YouTube for "Paul Simon cover" and discovered this flawless cover of Papa Hobo, one of Paul Simon's lesser known songs. Dan Hardin sure knows how to sing and play guitar. And I adore Papa Hobo. It's a complex song that packs so much musicality and meaning into two minutes.

Having enjoyed Dan Hardin's wonderful rendition of Papa Hobo, I was ready to dip my toes into Dan Hardin's original material. I wasn't prepared for what came next -- a song so much in the Paul Simon tradition, it both continues and expands the tradition. Some songs are hauntingly beautiful. Four Minute Waltz is such a song.

I watched it once. And then again. And then a third, fourth, fifth, sixth time.

What a chorus. What imagery. What a gift that you and I can experience this song direct from its author. Dan Hardin is surely Paul Simon's heir. Now I'd love to see Paul Simon do a cover of Four Minute Waltz and upload it to YouTube. That's when we would know that the circle is complete. That's how we nod to each other in this modern day.

Phil Shapiro

The author is an adjunct professor of education and a technology commentator in the Washington DC-area. He can be reached at

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