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Mrs. Robinson

Mrs. Robinson

by Simon and Garfunkel

Lyrics

And here's to you, Mrs. Robinson; / Jesus loves you more than you will know.

Quick Thought

In 2009, life imitated art when Iris Robinson, a 60-year-old politician from Northern Ireland, was forced to resign her position in Parliament when it was revealed that she had had an extramarital affair with a 19-year-old.

Deep Thought

Mrs. Robinson was 59 and the mother of three children—all of whom are older than her boy-toy—at the time of the affair.

Robinson’s critics immediately labeled her a moral hypocrite. She had identified herself as a born-again Christian and had gained notoriety for her views on homosexuality. Labeling it “an abomination” and arguing that gays could be “turned around” through counseling, she added that, "just as a murderer can be redeemed by the blood of Christ, so can a homosexual."

In addition to her romantic affairs, Robinson allegedly tried to commit suicide in 2009. She was also accused of misappropriating funds, and an investigation was begun to look into her financial affairs. The woman sure loves affairs.

God bless you, please, Mrs. Robinson;

Quick Thought

Anne Bancroft, the actress who played Mrs. Robinson in The Graduate, was only 36 at the time.

Deep Thought

In The Graduate, Mrs. Robinson is supposed to be a middle-aged alcoholic when she seduces the twenty-year-old Benjamin. In reality, Anne Bancroft, the actress who portrayed Robinson, was only 36. Dustin Hoffman, who played Benjamin was 30. Katharine Ross, who played Robinson’s 19-year-old daughter Elaine, was 27—only nine years younger than her supposed mother.

Put it in your pantry with your cupcakes.

Quick Thought

Europeans may be famous for their desserts, but the cupcake seems to have been an American invention.

Deep Thought

The term “cupcake” was first used in a cookbook published by Philadelphia baker Eliza Leslie in 1828. An even earlier recipe for little cakes baked in cups was included in Amelia Simmons’ 1796 cookbook, published in Hartford, Connecticut. Is anyone else hungry all of a sudden?

Coo-Coo-Ca-choo, Mrs. Robinson;

Quick Thought

This piece of gibberish may be drawn from The Beatles’ “I Am the Walrus.”

Deep Thought

This “Coo-coo-ca-choo” line only appears in the version of “Mrs. Robinson” that was released in 1968, on Simon and Garfunkel’s album Bookends. The Beatles song, which was released in 1967, could have influenced Simon in completing “Mrs. Robinson.”

Some have speculated that John Lennon was influenced by James Joyce's epic, Finnegans Wake. In one passage, Joyce wrote, “downand she went on her knees to bless ersef that were knogging together like milk-juggles as if it was the wrake of the hapspurus or old Kong Gander O'Toole of the Mountains or his googoo goosth she seein, sliving off over the sawdust lobby out of the backroom.”

It’s a bit of a reach. If anything, it seems more likely that Simon, a former English major with a tendency toward literary fluff, would have appreciated the connection, not the working-class hero Lennon (the rest of “I Am the Walrus” was inspired by the Lewis Carroll poem “The Walrus and the Carpenter”). Either way, “Mrs. Robinson” and “I Am the Walrus” came out within a year of each other, and they are almost certainly the two most famous songs that feature the line “Coo-coo-ca-choo.”

Where have you gone, Joe DiMaggio? / Our nation turns its lonely eyes to you.

Quick Thought

Paul Simon later explained that he meant to honor DiMaggio as “an American hero” at a time when “genuine heroes were in short supply.”

Deep Thought

Paul Simon may have meant to honor DiMaggio, but he also selected the “Yankee Clipper” because of the number of syllables in his name. Simon’s own baseball hero was Mickey Mantle, but this would have forced some awkward phrasing—“where have you gone, Mickey Ma-antle?” Nope, doesn’t work.

Moreover, if Simon really wanted to honor an American hero, Mantle would have been a harder sell. On the field, Mantle was an incredible talent. He succeeded DiMaggio in center field for the Yankees, appeared in sixteen All-Star games, and won three MVP titles. He lacked DiMaggio’s grace as a fielder, but he hit with bone-crushing power. Several of his homeruns traveled more than 500 feet; one shot was closer to 650 feet. But off the field, he was the mirror opposite of DiMaggio. A hard drinker and notorious carouser, he had to be poured into his uniform more than once. Later in life he confronted his alcoholism, but by then his liver was destroyed. He received a liver transplant in 1995 but died shortly after.

Jolting Joe has left and gone away.

Quick Thought

Joe DiMaggio was given this nickname while in the middle of his record setting hitting streak.

Deep Thought

Between May 15 and July 16, 1941, Joe DiMaggio hit safely in a record 56 consecutive games. As of 2010, that record still stands (the closest anyone has come since is Pete Rose with 44 games in 1978). In the midst of that streak, he was nicknamed “Joltin’ Joe.” It’s uncertain who first coined the nickname, but the Les Brown Orchestra etched the name in the public memory by recording “Joltin’ Joe” in the same year:

Hello Joe, whatta you know?
We need a hit so here I go.
Ball one (Yea!)
Ball two (Yea!)
Strike one (Booo!)
Strike two (Kill that umpire!)
A case of Wheaties

He started baseball's famous streak
That's got us all aglow
He's just a man and not a freak,
Joltin' Joe DiMaggio.

Joe, Joe DiMaggio
We want you on our side

He tied the mark at forty-four
July the 1st you know
Since then he's hit a good twelve more
Joltin' Joe DiMaggio

Joe, Joe DiMaggio
We want you on our side

From coast to coast that's all you'll hear
Of Joe the one man show
He's glorified the horsehide sphere
Joltin' Joe DiMaggio

Joe, Joe DiMaggio
We want you on our side

He'll live in baseball's Hall of Fame
He got there blow by blow
Our kids will tell their kids his name
Joltin' Joe DiMaggio

We dream of Joey with the light brown plaque
Joe, Joe DiMaggio
We want you on our side

And now they speak in whispers low
Of how they stopped our Joe
One night in Cleveland Oh Oh Oh
Goodbye streak DiMaggio

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