As he winds down his final episodes of the Late Show, David Letterman has asked some of his musical guests to cover some of his favorite songs, with Tracy Chapman covering the late Ben E. King‘s “Stand By Me” and John Mayer offering his rendition of Don McLean’s “American Pie.” Thursday night, he welcomed Swedish folk duo First Aid Kit to play the Simon & Garfunkel classic “America”—a song they had previously covered on a special Record Store Day Black Friday 10″ EP.
Before the duo performed the song, backed by a pianist and (an unpaid, according to Letterman) string section, Letterman explained the reason why he asked them to play that particular song. According to the host, “America” was one of two songs, along with the aforementioned “Stand By Me,” that he used to sing to his son as a part of their bed time rituals when the child was young. After the performance, an emotional Letterman thanked the duo and noted that their performance meant a great deal to him.
Watch First Aid Kit perform Simon & Garfunkel’s “America” on one of the final episodes of the Late Show with David Letterman below: