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Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard
"Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard" is a song by American singer-songwriter Paul Simon. It was the second single from his second self-titled studio album

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"Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard"Single by Paul Simonfrom the album Paul SimonB-side"Congratulations"ReleasedMay 1972Format7"Recorded1971Genre
  • Pop rock
  • folk rock
Length2:44LabelColumbiaSongwriter(s)Paul SimonProducer(s)
  • Roy Halee
  • Paul Simon
Paul Simon singles chronology "Mother and Child Reunion"
(1972) "Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard"
(1972) "Duncan"
(1972) Music video"Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard" on YouTube

"Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard" is a song by American singer-songwriter Paul Simon. It was the second single from his second self-titled studio album (1972), released on Columbia Records.

  • 1 Lyrical subject
  • 2 Recording
  • 3 Video
  • 4 Personnel
  • 5 Cover versions
  • 6 Performances by other artists
  • 7 In popular culture
  • 8 Chart performance
    • 8.1 Weekly charts
    • 8.2 Year-end charts
  • 9 Notes
    • 9.1 References
    • 9.2 Sources
  • 10 External links
Lyrical subject Time Magazine cover featuring Berrigan

The song is about two boys ("Me and Julio") who have broken a law, although the exact law that has been broken is not stated in the song. When "the mama pajama" finds out what they have done, she goes to the police station to report the crime. The individuals are later arrested, but released when a "radical priest" intervenes.

The meaning and references in the song have long provoked debate. In a July 20, 1972 interview for Rolling Stone, Jon Landau asked Simon: "What is it that the mama saw? The whole world wants to know." Simon replied "I have no idea what it is... Something sexual is what I imagine, but when I say 'something', I never bothered to figure out what it was. Didn't make any difference to me."

More recently, in October 2010, Simon described the song as "a bit of inscrutable doggerel",[1] while the "radical priest" has been interpreted as a reference to Daniel Berrigan,[2][3][4] who was featured on the cover of Time on January 25, 1971,[5] near when the song was written.


The percussion sound in the song, unusual for American pop, was created with a cuica, a Brazilian friction drum instrument often used in samba music.[6]


In 1988, Simon released a video for the song to promote his greatest hits compilation Negotiations and Love Songs. The video was filmed at Mathews-Palmer Park in Hell's Kitchen, which was standing in for Halsey Junior High School in Forest Hills, Queens, the neighborhood in which Simon grew up and met Art Garfunkel in high school. Many of the children featured in the video were from that same school.

It features an introduction by hip hop emcees (and then-fellow Warner Bros. Records label mates) Big Daddy Kane and Biz Markie. Main Source member Large Professor also makes a minor cameo towards the end.[7] The video depicts adults interacting with the youth of an inner-city schoolyard. It shows Simon playing basketball and stickball with the children, and it also features basketball player Spud Webb, baseball legend Mickey Mantle, and football coach-commentator John Madden giving tips to young athletes.

  • Paul Simon - vocals, acoustic guitar, whistling
  • David Spinozza - acoustic guitar
  • Airto Moreira - percussion
  • Russell George - bass guitar
Cover versions

German singer Peter Rainford covered the song in 1973, releasing the single entitled as "Lady Pyjama" in Germany and The Netherlands.[8] It was translated into German and arranged by Uli Roever.[9]

Performances by other artists
  • Simon and Garfunkel performed the song as a duet during their 1981 benefit concert in Central Park; this version also appears on the live album of the concert that was released in 1982, The Concert in Central Park.
  • The punk rock cover band Me First and the Gimme Gimmes covered "Me and Julio" on their 1997 album, Have a Ball.
  • Jack Johnson also covered this song in a medley following the song "Sexy Plexi", available on the J.O.T.C. bootleg compilation.
  • Dave Matthews Band covered the song live a handful of times in 1992, 1993, and 2001.
  • Wheat quotes "Me and Julio" in their song "Body Talk (Part 2)".
  • In 2003, the band !!! released a single called "Me and Giuliani Down by the School Yard", a play on the title of this song, referring to Rudolph Giuliani.
  • Other artists who have performed this song live include Pat McGee Band, Julie Doiron, and Peter Bjorn and John during a session for Morning Becomes Eclectic.
  • New York singer/songwriter Jesse Malin covered this song on his April 7, 2008 covers album On Your Sleeve.
  • Andy Hull of Manchester Orchestra has covered the song.
  • Grant-Lee Phillips covered the song in an episode of Gilmore Girls.
  • It appears on Streetlight Manifesto's cover album, 99 Songs of Revolution: Volume 1.
  • A version of the song was included on a compilation of Arthur Fiedler and the Boston Pops Orchestra titled Greatest Hits of the '70s.
  • fun. cover this song occasionally in concert, most notably at Bonnaroo 2012.
  • New York Voices covered the song on their album The Songs of Paul Simon.
  • Reina del Cid performed this song as part of the Sunday Mornings with Reina del Cid video series on YouTube.
In popular culture

The song appears in a montage in the 2001 film The Royal Tenenbaums directed by filmmaker Wes Anderson. It also appears in the film A Home at the End of the World, over the opening credits of Maid in Manhattan, The Simpsons episode "Holidays of Future Passed", within the film The Muppets, and in the trailer for Missing Link.[10][11][12][13][14][15]

Simon himself performed the song on Sesame Street,[16] along with a girl who backed him up singing "Dance dance dance all right/dance dance dance all right/Everybody dance," etc.

Canadian musician Sam Roberts performed a shortened version of the song on the Kids' CBC program Mamma Yamma, altering some of the lyrics to fit the scene he was in.[17]

The song plays in the second episode of Saturday Night Live, during a Weekend Update segment where Simon plays basketball.[18] It was also featured in an SNL skit paying homage to Wes Anderson as a trailer of a movie in his distinct style.[19]

Simon performed the song with Stephen Colbert on the September 11, 2015 episode of The Late Show.[20]

Chart performance Weekly charts Chart (1972) Peak
position Australia (Go-Set)[21] 40 Canada (RPM)[22] 6 Canada MOR Playlist (RPM)[23] 12 Ireland (IRMA)[24] 19 Netherlands (Single Top 100)[25] 26 New Zealand (Listener)[26] 7 UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[27] 15 US Easy Listening (Billboard) 9 US Billboard Hot 100[28] 22 US Cash Box Top 100[29] 7

Year-end charts Chart (1972) Rank US (Joel Whitburn's Pop Annual)[30] 162

Notes References
  1. ^ Paul Simon, "Isn't It Rich", The New York Times Book Review, Oct. 31, 2010, p. 10.
  2. ^ Gibson, David (1 April 2016). "Daniel Berrigan, anti-war priest, dies at 94". Religion News Service. Retrieved 17 January cite.citation{font-style:inherit}.mw-parser-output .citation q{quotes:"\"""\"""'""'"}.mw-parser-output .citation .cs1-lock-free a{background:url("//")no-repeat;background-position:right .1em center}.mw-parser-output .citation .cs1-lock-limited a,.mw-parser-output .citation .cs1-lock-registration a{background:url("//")no-repeat;background-position:right .1em center}.mw-parser-output .citation .cs1-lock-subscription a{background:url("//")no-repeat;background-position:right .1em center}.mw-parser-output .cs1-subscription,.mw-parser-output .cs1-registration{color:#555}.mw-parser-output .cs1-subscription span,.mw-parser-output .cs1-registration span{border-bottom:1px dotted;cursor:help}.mw-parser-output .cs1-ws-icon a{background:url("//")no-repeat;background-position:right .1em center}.mw-parser-output code.cs1-code{color:inherit;background:inherit;border:inherit;padding:inherit}.mw-parser-output .cs1-hidden-error{display:none;font-size:100%}.mw-parser-output .cs1-visible-error{font-size:100%}.mw-parser-output .cs1-maint{display:none;color:#33aa33;margin-left:0.3em}.mw-parser-output .cs1-subscription,.mw-parser-output .cs1-registration,.mw-parser-output .cs1-format{font-size:95%}.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-left,.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-wl-left{padding-left:0.2em}.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-right,.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-wl-right{padding-right:0.2em}
  3. ^ Lewis, Daniel (30 April 2016). "Daniel J. Berrigan, Defiant Priest Who Preached Pacifism, Dies at 94". The New York Times. Retrieved 17 January 2017.
  4. ^ "Daniel Berrigan, leading Catholic pacifist, dead at 94". Crux. 1 April 2016. Retrieved 17 January 2017.
  5. ^ "Rebel Priests: The Curious Case of the Berrigans". 25 January 1971. Retrieved 17 January 2017.
  6. ^ McGowan, Chris; Pessanha, Ricardo (1998). The Brazilian Sound: Samba, Bossa Nova, and the Popular Music of Brazil. Temple University Press. p. 170. ISBN 9781566395458. Retrieved 10 March 2018.
  7. ^ "SEE, HEAR: Paul Simon ft. Biz Markie & Big Daddy Kane — "Me and Julio Down By The Schoolyard" Music Video (1988)". article. Retrieved 2014-05-04.
  8. ^
  9. ^
  10. ^ "The Music of Wes Anderson Films: The Royal Tenenbaums". MTV News. Retrieved 2018-11-28.
  11. ^ A Home at the End of the World (2004), retrieved 2018-11-28
  12. ^ "Soundtracks from Paul Simon - Maid in Manhattan". Retrieved 2018-11-28.
  13. ^ "The Simpsons" Holidays of Future Passed (TV Episode 2011), retrieved 2018-11-28
  14. ^ "'Muppets' Movie Soundtrack Features Feist, Flight of the Conchords, Andrew Bird". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2018-11-28.
  15. ^ "Missing Link Trailer: Laika's Latest Teams Hugh Jackman & Zach Galifianakis". MovieWeb. 2018-11-08. Retrieved 2018-11-28.
  16. ^ "Sesame Street: Paul Simon Sings Me & Julio". YouTube. 2008-07-30. Retrieved 2016-10-07.
  17. ^ clarke007 (2011-09-10), Mamma Yamma and Sam Roberts perform Me and Julio down by the school yard., retrieved 2018-11-28
  18. ^ "YouTube". YouTube. Retrieved 2016-10-07.
  19. ^ Collective, Hybrid (2015-06-04), SNL Wes Anderson, retrieved 2018-04-16
  20. ^ Rosenbaum, Marty (2015-09-14). "Stephen Colbert Brings Paul Simon "Tribute" Band Troubled Waters To Late Show [Watch] « WXRT". Retrieved 2016-10-07.
  21. ^ Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992. St Ives, NSW: Australian Chart Book. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.
  22. ^ "RPM100: Singles" (PDF). RPM. Ottawa: Library and Archives Canada. 17 (15). May 27, 1972. Retrieved November 12, 2015.
  23. ^ "The Programmers' MOR Playlist" (PDF). RPM. Ottawa: Library and Archives Canada. 17 (16). June 3, 1972. Retrieved November 12, 2015.
  24. ^ "The Irish Charts – Search Results – Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved November 12, 2015.
  25. ^ " – Paul Simon – Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved November 12, 2015.
  26. ^
  27. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 499. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
  28. ^ "Paul Simon Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved November 12, 2015.
  29. ^ Cash Box Top 100 Singles, May 20, 1972
  30. ^ Whitburn, Joel (1999). Pop Annual. Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin: Record Research Inc. ISBN 0-89820-142-X.
Sources .mw-parser-output .refbegin{font-size:90%;margin-bottom:0.5em}.mw-parser-output .refbegin-hanging-indents>ul{list-style-type:none;margin-left:0}.mw-parser-output .refbegin-hanging-indents>ul>li,.mw-parser-output .refbegin-hanging-indents>dl>dd{margin-left:0;padding-left:3.2em;text-indent:-3.2em;list-style:none}.mw-parser-output .refbegin-100{font-size:100%}
  • Bennighof, James (2007). The Words and Music of Paul Simon. Greenwood Publishing Group. ISBN 978-0-275-99163-0.
  • Eliot, Marc (2010). Paul Simon: A Life. John Wiley and Sons. ISBN 978-0-470-43363-8.
External links
  • Lyrics of this song at MetroLyrics
  • v
  • t
  • e
Paul Simon songsDiscographyThe Paul Simon Songbook
  • "I Am a Rock"
Paul Simon
  • "Mother and Child Reunion"
  • "Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard"
  • "Duncan"
There Goes Rhymin' Simon
  • "Kodachrome"
  • "Loves Me Like a Rock"
  • "American Tune"
  • "Take Me to the Mardi Gras"
  • "Something So Right"
  • "St. Judy's Comet"
Paul Simon in Concert: Live Rhymin'
  • "The Sound of Silence"
Still Crazy After All These Years
  • "Gone at Last"
  • "My Little Town"
  • "50 Ways to Leave Your Lover"
  • "Still Crazy After All These Years"
Greatest Hits, Etc.
  • "Slip Slidin' Away"
  • "Stranded in a Limousine"
One-Trick Pony
  • "Late in the Evening"
  • "One-Trick Pony"
  • "Oh, Marion"
Hearts and Bones
  • "Allergies"
  • "The Late Great Johnny Ace"
  • "Think Too Much"
  • "You Can Call Me Al"
  • "Graceland"
  • "The Boy in the Bubble"
  • "Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes"
  • "Under African Skies"
  • "Homeless"
The Rhythm of the Saints
  • "The Obvious Child"
  • "Proof"
  • "Born at the Right Time"
You're the One
  • "Old"
  • "You're the One"
  • "Father and Daughter"
  • "That's Me"
  • "Outrageous"
So Beautiful or So What
  • "Getting Ready for Christmas Day"
  • "The Afterlife"
Stranger to Stranger
  • "Wristband"
  • "Cool Papa Bell"
  • "The Werewolf"
Featured singles
  • "Wonderful World"
  • "The Blues"
  • "The Boxer"
  • "New York Is My Home"
Other songs
  • "Rene and Georgette Magritte with Their Dog after the War"
  • "Thelma"
  • Category



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