Mrs. Robinson (Simon & Garfunkel)

Mrs. Robinson

mrsrobinson1
And here’s to you, Mrs. Robinson
Jesus loves you more than you will know, wo wo wo
God bless you please, Mrs. Robinson
Heaven holds a place for those who pray, hey hey hey…

We’d like to know a little bit about you for our files
We’d like to help you learn to help yourself
Look around you, all you see are sympathetic eyes
Stroll around the grounds until you feel at home

And here’s to you, Mrs. Robinson
Jesus loves you more than you will know, wo wo wo
God bless you please, Mrs. Robinson
Heaven holds a place for those who pray, hey hey hey…

Hide it in a hiding place where no one ever goes
Put it in your pantry with your cupcakes
It’s a little secret, just the Robinsons’ affair
Most of all, you’ve got to hide it from the kids

Coo coo ca-choo, Mrs. Robinson
Jesus loves you more than you will know, wo wo wo
God bless you please, Mrs. Robinson
Heaven holds a place for those who pray, hey hey hey…

Sitting on a sofa on a Sunday afternoon
Going to the candidates’ debate
Laugh about it, shout about it
When you’ve got to choose
Every way you look at it you lose

Where have you gone, Joe DiMaggio?
A nation turns its lonely eyes to you, wo wo wo
What’s that you say, Mrs. Robinson
‘Joltin Joe’ has left and gone away, hey hey hey…

 

Paul Simon began writing this song as “Mrs. Roosevelt,” but when Mike Nichols who was making “The Graduate” heard it, he asked Simon to adapt it for the film.
In the film Anne Bancroft is Mrs. Robinson, a bored socialite housewife who seduces the much younger Dustin Hoffman.
She represents  the confusion the older generation has brought into the world, from the artificiality of their vision to the emptiness of their marriages. She is responsible for the   corruption of Benjamin, a confused but idealistic 21-year-old; the hypocrisy of the existence of the adult is contrasted with the comparative purity of the young.

It’s not completely clear  which secret the song refers to: it could be the fact that Mrs. Robinson is an alcoholic ,  stuck in an empty marriage. Or it might refer to the fact that her daughter was not conceived in holy matrimony, but on the backseat of a car.

The song contains a famous reference to sports  star Joe DiMaggio even if he had already retired from baseball.
In 1954, he married Marilyn Monroe, but they divorced a year later. However, he never said anything negative about her, got her released from a mental hospital in 1961, and asked her to remarry him in order to protect her from what he thought was dragging her towards self-destruction. When she died, he mourned her and honoured her memory by sending flowers to her grave every week for decades. The lines in the song about DiMaggio are meant as a sincere tribute to an unpretentious hero of the past, who possessed qualities both on and off the field. He represents a model of moral values, in a film condemning the hypocrisy of the older generation.

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