At the Zoo

Album: Bookends (1968)
Charted: 16
  • Someone told me it's all happening at the zoo

    I do believe it
    I do believe it's true

    It's a light and tumble journey
    From the East Side to the park
    Just a fine and fancy ramble
    To the zoo

    But you can take the crosstown bus
    If it's raining or it's cold
    And the animals will love it if you do
    If you do, now

    Somethin' tells me it's all happening at the zoo

    I do believe it
    I do believe it's true

    The monkeys stand for honesty
    Giraffes are insincere
    And the elephants are kindly but they're dumb
    Orangutans are skeptical
    Of changes in their cages
    And the zookeeper is very fond of rum

    Zebras are reactionaries
    Antelopes are missionaries
    Pigeons plot in secrecy
    And hamsters turn on frequently
    What a gas, you gotta come and see
    At the zoo
    At the zoo
    At the zoo
    At the zoo
    At the zoo
    At the zoo
    At the zoo
    At the zoo Writer/s: PAUL SIMON
    Publisher: Universal Music Publishing Group
    Lyrics licensed and provided by LyricFind

Comments: 5

  • Oswald Mosley from Burlington, VermontI really love this song because it has literally no meaning other than the joy of going to the zoo. There's no hidden social justice meaning, no political statement. Just a fun song about an innocent pastime that many associate with the content years of their youth.
  • Ken from Philadelphia, PaI disagree with calling this a whimsical piece. It's actually rather deep. Remember this was written at the height of the civil rights era. By whimsically telling us that all animals in a species share a single trait, Paul Simon is reminding us just how ludicrous it is judge people by the color of their skin or their religion or anything really beyond the content of their character.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyHere's some obscure trivia:
    On June 10th 1793, the 'Jardin des Plantes Zoo'*, the world's first public zoo, opened in the center of Paris, France....
    And just under 174 years later on March 12th, 1967 "At the Zoo" by Simon and Garfunkel entered Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart at position #89...
    {See next post below}...
    * I know, I know; S&G were referring to the Central Park Zoo, which opened in 1864 as a menagerie and then in 1934 as a full fledge zoo.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, Ny'Pigeons plot in secrecy, and hamsters turn on frequently'
    On March 12th 1967, "At the Zoo" by Simon and Garfunkel entered Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart at position #89; and six week later on April 23rd, 1967 it peaked at #16 {for 2 weeks} and spent 9 weeks on the To 100...
    Between 1957 and 1982 the NYC duo had eighteen* Top 100 records; eight made the Top 10 with three reaching #1, "The Sounds of Silence" for 2 weeks in 1965, "Mrs. Robinson" for 3 weeks in 1968, and "Bridge Over Trouble Water" for 6 weeks in 1970...
    They just missed having nine Top 10 records when “Scarborough Fair/Canticle" peaked at #11 in 1968...
    * Their first charted record was under the name Tom and Jerry; "Hey! Schoolgirl" peaked at #49 on Billboard's Best Sellers in Stores chart on December 22nd, 1957.
  • Jay from Centereach, Long Island, NyI have vague memories of the Bronx Zoo ad campaign. I was born in 1972, so I was very young at the time they ran. I now realize that this is an odd choice for the Bronx Zoo because the song is clearly about the Central Park Zoo. Paul Simon sings "It's a light and tumble journey from the East Side to the Park." That means Manhattan. You do not say "East Side" when talking about the Bronx, and "the Park" is Central Park.
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