Songfacts®: You can leave comments about the song at the bottom of the page.
When asked what "Mama Pajama" saw that made her so distraught in this song, Paul Simon has said that he's not exactly sure, but he assumed it was something sexual. Simon made up a crazy little story for the song, and named the main character Julio because it sounded like a typical New York neighborhood kid (Simon grew up in Queens). What Paul didn't realize until years later was the impact the song had on Spanish-speaking listeners who were thrilled to hear a song coming out of America with a Latin name in the title.
The title is not proper grammar. "Julio and I down by the schoolyard" would be correct, but wouldn't capture the youthful innocence that made the song so popular.
Paul Simon was Simon's first solo album after he broke up with Art Garfunkel.
Simon made a video for this in 1988. It showed Paul playing basketball with some school kids on a playground. The video had a rap intro by Biz Markie and Big Daddy Kane, and a cameo by baseball legend Mickey Mantle, who lip-synchs the chorus. At the end of the video, NFL Hall of Famer John Madden is shown giving tips to the young players. (thanks, Alex - small town, IL)
The BBC refused to play this song because of the reference to "Newsweek," which is an American magazine. The BBC had a strict policy against product mentions in the songs they played.
Eric Kretz of Stone Temple Pilots
The STP drummer talks about how they write their songs, and how the process is different now that Chester Bennington has replaced Scott Weiland.
Michael Glabicki of Rusted Root
Michael tells the story of "Send Me On My Way," and explains why some of the words in the song don't have a literal meaning.
Richie Wise (Kiss producer, Dust)
Richie talks about producing the first two Kiss albums, recording "Brother Louie," and the newfound appreciation of his rock band, Dust.
Al Jourgensen of Ministry
In the name of song explanation, Al talks about scoring heroin for William Burroughs, and that's not even the most shocking story in this one.