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"It was against the law," Paul Simon sang. "What the mama saw? It was against the law."
It's one of the great enigmas of pop music — what exactly did
The song is Me
and Julio Down By The Schoolyard. But what incident is it
It made the mama "spit on the ground every time my name gets mentioned,"
according to the mysterious lyrics, and made papa determined to stick him "in
the house of detention."
Paul Simon seemed to enjoy the ambiguity. (In the song's chorus he sings "I don't know where I'm going, but I'm on my way.") Wikipedia ultimately records his definitive answer to the controversy.
Which makes this an extremely disturbing video — a middle-aged Paul Simon singing the song on Sesame Street.
And click here for a remembrance of "Me and Julio..." by Moe Zilla