Simon, or whomever is having this dream, tries to warn these conformists in the lines that read "'Fools' said I, "You do not know/ Silence like a cancer grows/ Hear my words that I might teach you,/ Take my arms that I might reach you."" But his warning is swallowed in the abyss of submission: "But my words like silent raindrops fell,/And echoed/In the wells of silence."
This song may refer to a particular nation or people, but most likely it refers to people in general who submit themselves too freely. The song continues to describe the people's capitulation in several lines, most notably in the words, "And the people bowed and prayed/To the neon god they made."
The song's meaning is for the listener to decide and there are many different ideas; however, I personally have always believed that it pertains to a people's readiness to support a leader without fully realizing the possible outcomes.
I am aware Paul Simon in an NPR interview, has admitted there was no profoundly deep meaning to the lyrics when he wrote them. He said he was possibly expressing teenage angst and frustration as to how they are largely ignored by society.Click below to read the whole article: