leejohnson's current selection is:
Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard
by Paul Simon

Probably only the second 'radio song' I remember hearing from him following his split with Art Garfunkel (after "Mother and Child Reunion"), and what a joyous one it was too. Infectiously upbeat but also with a dark side, I was only two years out of school myself, so the "schoolyard" reference still hit a chord for me, and my personal dark times while "learning" there. However, I have no clue regarding the exact detail of the back story being told in the lyrics - and neither, it seems, does our blogger today.

Despite all that, a very nice breakdown and examination of the song here at the "Every Single Paul Simon Song" blogsite, posted on December 14th 2010:


Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard

One way to ensure an enduring hit is to leave a bit of mystery. People are still trying to figure out who Carly Simon thought was "so vain". And they are still wondering "what the mama saw," here, as well.

Whatever it was, it inspired both an arrest and a sense of disgust. Not only was it "against the law", but it caused the mama to freak out, as they used to say. She didn't just call the cops on the phone, she "ran to the police station"... still in her "pajamas"! And after the arrest, she would still "spit" at the "mention" of the teen's mere "name".

The father, meanwhile, was both dismayed and incensed. He "started the investigation", wanting our speaker locked up in a hall for juvenile delinquents. But not before emitting a disappointed "Oy!".

So the crime was also something that evoked, as the saying goes, both "fear and loathing". Was it alcohol? Drugs? Sex? Burning a draft card? What could elicit such intense emotions?

Not simply someone stealing a bicycle; while a crime, that would hardly provoke such a visceral reaction. Not smoking a cigarette, which would seem insolent - as it was something only adults should do - but might not be a "crime". Nor could it be something truly indefensible by even a "radical" priest, such as throwing rocks at a stray dog or harassing a child in a wheelchair. Not even a progressive man of God would condone such cruel acts.

Simon has been asked repeatedly in interviews "what the mama saw", and staunchly refuses to say.

[ Surely you MUST want to read on? http://paulsimonsongs.blogspot.com/2010/12/me-and-julio-down-by-schoolyard.html ]


The record may only have achieved a No. 15 chart placing in the UK Singles, but (as I hinted above) was hardly off the radio in Britain during the year 1972. Outstanding airwave promotion. In the US Billboard Hot 100, it reached No. 22 in the same year.
1972 - Columbia Records - United States - From his self-titled album.
Posted: About 14 hours ago
Born in 1954, leaving education by 1972, 'glam' was my thing, "Ziggy" Bowie my hero. I was even the only guy in my town with the haircut (though not the carrot red colouring!). Therefore every seventh selection is a Bowie track.
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