PDA

View Full Version : Me and Julio Down By the Schoolyard


Gamaliel
07-14-2004, 12:24 AM
I seem to remember reading that someone (Gore Vidal? Norman Mailer?) suggested that this song was an account of a childhood homosexual tryst, and Paul Simon's response was something like "I don't know what his childhood was like but mine wasn't like that." Google doesn't help. Does anyone know more about this? :confused:

Marley23
07-14-2004, 12:31 AM
I think that may have been Vidal. Simon apparently said he didn't know that it was about.

Skywatcher
07-14-2004, 10:42 AM
I don't think you'll find any consensus as to what it's about (http://boards.academicpursuits.us/sdmb/showthread.php?t=138504&highlight=julio+schoolyard), if anything.

Biffy the Elephant Shrew
07-14-2004, 10:56 AM
I think that may have been Vidal. Simon apparently said he didn't know that it was about.
If I remember correctly, in Simon's 1972 Rolling Stone interview he was asked "what the mama saw," and his response was something like "I don't know. Something sexual, I imagine."

Diogenes the Cynic
07-14-2004, 11:04 AM
I always sort of guessed that that Paul and Julio were smoking pot down by the school yard and that's what the mama saw that was against the law. Sex never occurred to me before I read this thread.

Diogenes the Cynic
07-14-2004, 11:07 AM
As an addendum to my post above, I would like to add that a lot of pot heads (as I was for many years) tend to interpret all kinds of songs, movies, books, etc. as being secretly about getting high.

fishbicycle
07-14-2004, 11:08 AM
You know those fantasies you have, like, if you ever met a certain celebrity, the conversation you'd have? It had always been one of mine to meet Paul Simon, and say, "All right, it's been more than 30 years. I have got to know. What the hell were you and Julio doing down by de schoolyard????!!"

But now he says he doesn't know.

Wanker.

Draelin
07-14-2004, 11:10 AM
I had a conversation just this past weekend about what it could possibly be that Paul and Julio were doing down by the schoolyard. Possibilities included selling drugs, selling porn, and having sex. Then it occurred to us that most likely, the "radical priest" mentioned in the third verse probably wouldn't be campaigning for the release of drug dealers/pornographers/homosexuals.

What strikes me funny now is that my friend and I, both longtime pot smokers, didn't even think that that's what they could have been doing.

The Devil's Grandmother
07-14-2004, 11:16 AM
How can he not know? Didn't Simon write the song and lyrics?

Saintly Loser
07-14-2004, 11:30 AM
I always thought the singer was sleeping with the underage Rosie, gets caught, has to run away rather than go to the house of detention, agrees to meet his friend Julio down by the schoolyard, and is saying goodbye to Rosie, the queen of Corona.

Corona, by the way, is a neighborhood in Queens, one of the five boroughs of New York City, quite close to where Paul Simon (and I, not that that matters for this discussion) grew up. It had (when I was growing up, not sure about Simon) a large Latin population, hence the names "Rosie" (presumably a nickname for "Rosa") and "Julio".

xvxdarkknightxvx
07-14-2004, 11:51 AM
I always thought the singer was sleeping with the underage Rosie, gets caught, has to run away rather than go to the house of detention, agrees to meet his friend Julio down by the schoolyard, and is saying goodbye to Rosie, the queen of Corona.

Corona, by the way, is a neighborhood in Queens, one of the five boroughs of New York City, quite close to where Paul Simon (and I, not that that matters for this discussion) grew up. It had (when I was growing up, not sure about Simon) a large Latin population, hence the names "Rosie" (presumably a nickname for "Rosa") and "Julio".
That's a pretty thorough explanation. :) I like it!

Spoke
07-14-2004, 12:29 PM
I always thought the singer was sleeping with the underage Rosie, gets caught, has to run away rather than go to the house of detention, agrees to meet his friend Julio down by the schoolyard, and is saying goodbye to Rosie, the queen of Corona.

Corona, by the way, is a neighborhood in Queens, one of the five boroughs of New York City, quite close to where Paul Simon (and I, not that that matters for this discussion) grew up. It had (when I was growing up, not sure about Simon) a large Latin population, hence the names "Rosie" (presumably a nickname for "Rosa") and "Julio".

I always interpreted that as a bit of double entendre.

"Rosie" is also slang for the hand, as used in masturbation. Back in the day (the70s) the slang used to be "I have a date with Rosie tonight," meaning I don't have a date at all, but will be spending the evening with my rosy palm. And "corona" in addition to being a neighborhood near Queens is also a term for the tip of the penis.

So when the singer is saying "Goodbye Rosie, Queen of Corona," I took it to mean he no longer needs to masturbate, since he's found a new source of pleasure in Julio.

So in other words, I think it's a homosexual tryst song.

Which would explain why the mother and father are so mad, and why a radical priest gets involved.

Gamaliel
07-14-2004, 12:42 PM
I read some old threads here and according to this (http://boards.academicpursuits.us/sdmb/showpost.php?p=1887546&postcount=3) it was Truman Capote, not Vidal or Mailer.

JThunder
07-14-2004, 12:59 PM
Look, there's a simple way to resolve this debate. Does anyone know which issue of Newsweek featured this as the cover story?

Coelacanth Soup
07-14-2004, 01:17 PM
Originally posted by LMM
Corona, by the way, is a neighborhood in Queens, one of the five boroughs of New York City, quite close to where Paul Simon (and I, not that that matters for this discussion) grew up. It had (when I was growing up, not sure about Simon) a large Latin population, hence the names "Rosie" (presumably a nickname for "Rosa") and "Julio".

Isn't there a hot dog/papaya stand in Queens named Queen of Corona or King of Corona or Corona King that has benn around since the 50's?

Originally posted by The Devil's Grandmother
How can he not know? Didn't Simon write the song and lyrics?

Its often the case that lyricists (and poets) write words that have no concrete meaning even to themselves. They write for the sounds of the words themselves and for the visceral emotion that phrase elicits. The resulting ambiguity ends up being more than a side-effect, however, by adding more mystery, depth, absurdity, or profundity to the piece as a whole.

Simon says he didn't have anything specific in mind - of course he might be lying. It may be personal to him, or he might just want to keep people guessing in order to give an air of mystery to the song. I personally don't think he had anything in mind because the context of the entire song wouldn't make sense. Why would two boys having sex, or smoking pot, or masturbating make the cover of Newsweek?

Saintly Loser
07-14-2004, 02:25 PM
Isn't there a hot dog/papaya stand in Queens named Queen of Corona or King of Corona or Corona King that has benn around since the 50's?

Could be. I'm familiar with (and have been since I was a child in the sixties) the Lemon Ice King of Corona, but that was ices, not hot dogs.

Saintly Loser
07-14-2004, 02:28 PM
I always interpreted that as a bit of double entendre.

"Rosie" is also slang for the hand, as used in masturbation. Back in the day (the70s) the slang used to be "I have a date with Rosie tonight," meaning I don't have a date at all, but will be spending the evening with my rosy palm. And "corona" in addition to being a neighborhood near Queens is also a term for the tip of the penis.

So when the singer is saying "Goodbye Rosie, Queen of Corona," I took it to mean he no longer needs to masturbate, since he's found a new source of pleasure in Julio.

So in other words, I think it's a homosexual tryst song.

Which would explain why the mother and father are so mad, and why a radical priest gets involved.

Seems to be a bit of a stretch to me. I mean, really, mom and dad are going to be mad enough when they catch the singer sleeping with, and possibly knocking up, their daughter. And Simon is definitely a writer identified with New York, and a former resident, or near-resident, of the neighborhood in question.

NoCoolUserName
07-14-2004, 03:17 PM
Its often the case that lyricists (and poets) write words that have no concrete meaning even to themselves. They write for the sounds of the words themselves and for the visceral emotion that phrase elicits. The resulting ambiguity ends up being more than a side-effect, however, by adding more mystery, depth, absurdity, or profundity to the piece as a whole.My partner wrote a song where one of the chorus lines is "One piece of leather to tie me down"--she gets more questions about that one line than everthing else she's written (3 CDs full). Her answer: it's just a song! It doesn't mean anything![/hijack]

Why would two boys having sex, or smoking pot, or masturbating make the cover of Newsweek?Ah, but they didn't make the cover until "radical priest come to get me released"--that's where the news is: they got out of jail free.

Voyager
07-14-2004, 03:27 PM
Ah, but they didn't make the cover until "radical priest come to get me released"--that's where the news is: they got out of jail free.

But before the radical priest comes "the press gives the story ink." I'm in the it doesn't mean anything camp myself.

ltfire
07-14-2004, 04:01 PM
Here ya go. Feel free to dissect.


Artist: Paul Simon Lyrics
Song: Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard Lyrics

The mama pajama rolled out of bed, and she ran to the police station
When the papa found out, he began to shout, and he started the investigation
It's against the law, it was against the law
What the mama saw, it was against the law.

[ LYRICS DELETED BY MODERATOR ]

Spoke
07-14-2004, 04:39 PM
And Simon is definitely a writer identified with New York, and a former resident, or near-resident, of the neighborhood in question.

And I don't doubt he is also referencing that neighborhood. That's why it's a double entendre.

Coelacanth Soup
07-14-2004, 04:58 PM
Related question:

What musical instrument is it that makes the sort of whistling monkey hoot-hoot-hoot-hoot on this song?

Marley23
07-14-2004, 04:58 PM
Its often the case that lyricists (and poets) write words that have no concrete meaning even to themselves.
Paul McCartney, anyone?

susan
07-14-2004, 05:03 PM
Given the eara, I assumed it was draft card burning.

P.S. Coelacanth Soup?? That's just wrong.

susan
07-14-2004, 05:05 PM
That would be "era."

Cicero
07-14-2004, 05:31 PM
I always thought the singer was sleeping with the underage Rosie, gets caught, has to run away rather than go to the house of detention, agrees to meet his friend Julio down by the schoolyard, and is saying goodbye to Rosie, the queen of Corona.



That's the way I always thought of it. Then again, I didn't disect it much at all.

Cicero
07-14-2004, 05:33 PM
Isn't there a hot dog/papaya stand in Queens named Queen of Corona or King of Corona or Corona King that has benn around since the 50's?



Its often the case that lyricists (and poets) write words that have no concrete meaning even to themselves. They write for the sounds of the words themselves and for the visceral emotion that phrase elicits. The resulting ambiguity ends up being more than a side-effect, however, by adding more mystery, depth, absurdity, or profundity to the piece as a whole.



You took the words right out of my mouth- how did you know that I was going to say that?

And 'Blinded By The Light' springs to mind.
:wally

Gatopescado
07-14-2004, 06:08 PM
Related question:

What musical instrument is it that makes the sort of whistling monkey hoot-hoot-hoot-hoot on this song?

I don't know what it is called but I saw some in Brazil. It looks like a gord, or hollowed out shell/drum, with a stretchy membrane over the open end. The "player" sticks his hand into the membrane and by moving it in and out (it was actually bloody obscene! :D Much like a "fisting" scene in a porno I once saw! ) creates this strange sound. Seemed to be pretty common in Samba music.

Hope that helps. Maybe you can find a better answer out on the web, complete with pictures.

Biffy the Elephant Shrew
07-14-2004, 06:26 PM
I don't know what it is called but I saw some in Brazil. It looks like a gord, or hollowed out shell/drum, with a stretchy membrane over the open end. The "player" sticks his hand into the membrane and by moving it in and out (it was actually bloody obscene! :D Much like a "fisting" scene in a porno I once saw! ) creates this strange sound. Seemed to be pretty common in Samba music.
I believe that's a cuica (http://acslink.aone.net.au/christo/inrec001/inr00018.htm).

vanilla
07-14-2004, 09:51 PM
We always used to hear Stop The Love You Save by the Jackson 5 and hear the lyric "Oh its a homo"

Also ABC, "jesus gonna show you how to get an A"

sorry.
carry on.

BrainGlutton
07-14-2004, 10:17 PM
I would like, even more, to hear Simon explain the lyrics to "You Can Call Me Al," "The Obvious Child," "Baby Driver," and "Keep the Customer Satisfied."

If he can. As Coelocanth Soup pointed out, lyricists sometimes don't understand their own lyrics.

fishbicycle
07-14-2004, 10:30 PM
Scoot down the road, what's my number?
I wonder how your engines feel.
Shine a light.

Um....yeah!

BrotherCadfael
09-05-2004, 04:14 PM
I would like, even more, to hear Simon explain the lyrics to "You Can Call Me Al," "The Obvious Child," "Baby Driver," and "Keep the Customer Satisfied."

If he can. As Coelocanth Soup pointed out, lyricists sometimes don't understand their own lyrics.Our LP of "Keep the Customer Satisfied" had a rather bad scratch on it. To this day, I can't hear the refrain without my head supplying the skip: "Keep the Customer Satisisfied, Satis-Satisfied, Satis-Satisfied, Satis-Satisfied (Bump) Satisfied!"

C K Dexter Haven
09-05-2004, 07:07 PM
ltfire, we do not permit quoting entire lyrics of copyrighted songs, and I have therefore deleted them. "Fair usage" allows quoting stanza or so, but not the entire song.

Far better is to provide a link to an online site that has permission to reproduce the lyrics.

Send questions for Cecil Adams to: [email protected]

Send comments about this website to:

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope!
(Your direct line to thousands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.)

Copyright 2018 STM Reader, LLC.

Best Topics: burying the hatchet flashlight shining dear sir auction hunter fake hell wasp giter done pi island bartender school atlanta utility easement motor burned out running with boots gb gang pronounce pyongyang dooney and bourke vintage purse panang curry paste whole foods spanish flea theme song how long does it take for a stomach to empty why is gps free best weapons in dragon age origins what does raid do to insects take prednisone with food how often do you replace car batteries red fox urine uses daryl knife walking dead where to buy styptic pencil