About the song
If you are a fan of classic folk rock, you probably know the song “Mrs. Robinson” by Simon & Garfunkel. But do you know the history behind this iconic tune? In this blog post, we will explore how the song was written, how it became part of the movie The Graduate, and what it means to different generations of listeners.
The song was originally composed by Paul Simon in 1967, before the release of The Graduate, a film directed by Mike Nichols and starring Dustin Hoffman and Anne Bancroft. Nichols had asked Simon to write some songs for the movie, but rejected the first two he submitted. Simon then played him a fragment of a song he had been working on, which had the working title of “Mrs. Roosevelt”. Nichols liked it and asked him to change the name to “Mrs. Robinson”, the name of Bancroft’s character, who seduces Hoffman’s character in the film.
Simon and his partner Art Garfunkel recorded two short versions of the song for the film’s soundtrack, which only included the chorus and the bridge. The full song, with verses and a guitar solo, was recorded on February 2, 1968, and released as a single on April 5, 1968, by Columbia Records. It was also included on their fourth studio album, Bookends, which came out on April 3, 1968.
The song became a huge hit, reaching No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in the US, and No. 4 on the UK Singles Chart. It also won two Grammy Awards in 1969: Record of the Year and Best Contemporary-Pop Performance – Vocal Duo or Group. It was the first rock song to win Record of the Year, and it is considered one of the best songs of all time by various critics and publications.
The song is famous for its catchy chorus, which features a reference to baseball legend Joe DiMaggio. According to Simon, he chose DiMaggio as a symbol of American culture and values, which he felt were in decline in the late 1960s. He also said that he didn’t know much about DiMaggio, and that he was just looking for a name that fit the rhythm of the song. DiMaggio himself was puzzled by the mention, and reportedly asked Simon why he wanted him to go away. Simon explained that he meant it as a compliment, and that he admired him as a hero.
The song has been covered by many artists over the years, such as Frank Sinatra, The Lemonheads, and Bon Jovi. It has also been used in various movies, TV shows, and commercials, such as Forrest Gump, The Wolf of Wall Street, and Apple’s iPhone X ad. The song has become a cultural icon, representing different meanings and emotions for different generations of fans. Some see it as a satire of suburban life and middle-aged boredom, some as a tribute to rebellious youth and sexual freedom, some as a nostalgic ode to a simpler time and place.
In this blog post, we have learned about the history of “Mrs. Robinson” by Simon & Garfunkel, one of the most popular and influential songs of the 20th century. We hope you enjoyed reading it and listening to this classic tune. If you have any comments or questions, feel free to leave them below.