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Paul Simon releases new single ‘Cool Papa Bell’

Paul Simon has a bevy of new projects in the works, including a new biography from former Times music critic Robert Hilburn, and a new album, “Stranger to Stranger,” due out June 3. Now he’s released another single from that record.

Cool Papa Bell” follows the previously released “Wristband,” and it charges Simon’s whimsical, beachy folk arrangements with some unexpectedly barbed lyrics.

“Ugly got a case to make/ It’s not like every rodent gets a birthday cake ... but you, you ... , are a filthy rat,” he sings.

The song has some sweeter undertones though, as he acknowledges his advancing age (74) and mortality while trying to stay vital creatively.

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“Every day I’m here, I’m grateful, And that’s the gist of it / Now, you may call that a bogus ..., New Age point of view/ But check out my tattoo/ It says ‘Wall to wall fun.’”

The album is the first since Simon’s 2011 LP “So Beautiful or So What,” and he’s scheduled to play the Hollywood Bowl on June 1. 

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