Mrs. Robinson

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"Mrs. Robinson" is a song by Simon and Garfunkel that appears in the film The Graduate (1967) and on their album Bookends (1968).

"And here’s to you, Mrs. Robinson,
Jesus loves you more than you will know"

In the film, listless recent college graduate Benjamin Braddock (Dustin Hoffman) has an affair with an older married woman, Mrs. Robinson (Anne Bancroft). The song was not completed for the film; only snippets are heard as incidental music. When the film and the music became popular, Paul Simon put the snippets together into a complete song.

The lines:

"Where have you gone, Joe DiMaggio?
Our nation turns its lonely eyes to you"

are perhaps the most memorable. Paul Simon, a fan of Mickey Mantle, was asked on The Dick Cavett Show by Mantle why he wasn’t mentioned in the song instead of DiMaggio. Simon replied, "It's about syllables, Mick. It's about how many beats there are."

For himself, DiMaggio initially complained that he hadn't gone anywhere, but soon dropped his complaints when he realized that he gained new fame with baby boomers because of the song.

A notable cover version of this song was recorded and charted by the 90's musical group Lemonheads. The single peaked at number 8 on the "The Billboard Hot 100" on 1992. This version can be heard in the 1999 film American Pie, in a scene with similar younger man/older woman overtones to the original scenes in The Graduate.


Audio sample: "Mrs. Robinson" (23 seconds)