Study: Simon & Garfunkel Tune Eases Chronic Pain

'Bridge Over Troubled Water' is the new Tylenol

By Ruth Brown,  Newser Staff

Posted Oct 23, 2013 10:16 AM CDT | Updated Oct 27, 2013 7:01 PM CDT

(Newser) – Walk into select Lloyds Pharmacy locations in the UK complaining of a headache, and you may be more likely to walk out with a Simon & Garfunkel CD than a bottle of painkillers. The pharmacy chain commissioned a study that found 41% of all people suffering persistent pain (and 66% of people aged 16-24) felt better after listening to music, reports the Telegraph. Now the store is "trialing the use of music within our pain service in some of our pharmacies," says a company pharmacist. "There are lots of different ways of managing pain, not only with medicines but also with lifestyle changes such as moderate exercise and relaxation," he says.

The study of 1,500 people found pop music was the most effective pain reliever, followed by classical, then rock or indie music. The songs with the highest pain-relieving powers reported were "Bridge Over Troubled Water" by Simon & Garfunkel, "Angels" by Robbie Williams, "Albatross" by Fleetwood Mac, "Candle in the Wind" by Elton John, and "Easy" by The Commodores. This may be an eyebrow-raiser for some people—like the Guardian's music editor, who jokes: "This slightly contradicts my own survey, which found that 100% of all respondents (sample size: one) thought 'Candle in the Wind' induced chronic pain, but there you go."

When you're weary, feeling small, when tears are in your eyes...
When you're weary, feeling small, when tears are in your eyes...   (Shutterstock)
This 1969 file photo shows musicians Art Garfunkel, left, and Paul Simon of Simon and Garfunkel.
This 1969 file photo shows musicians Art Garfunkel, left, and Paul Simon of Simon and Garfunkel.   (AP Photo)
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