great music | Reviewer: Jim A | 7/19/14
of course you can find a deeper meaning if you try, but just on the surface this song starts with a great acoustical guitar riff and follows with well phrased and metered lyrics with some not so easy notes to sing.
find any meaning that makes you happy, it's still a great tune.
Are you guys nuts? | Reviewer: Anonymous | 1/22/13
I thought EVERYone knew that the song is about gay sex. That's what the singer and Julio were doing that made the mama want to spit on the ground. "Queen" is also a term for a flamboyant gay.
What Paul Simon said about the song | Reviewer: Rich Larson | 10/1/11
Rather than trying to put your own spin on this song and call it gospel, you should read what Paul Simon himself wrote. This song is NOT inspired by any actual events and what the mamma saw could be anything according to Simon, but he always thought of something sexual. There ya go, from his words, Wikipedia the song and read for yourself!
i thought this song was about smoking weed and getting caught for it i heard julio was a nickname for marijuana and how people associate marijuana as mary j as a girls name which explains "Mama looked down and spit on the ground ever time her name gets mentioned" and "it was against the law" and Rosie the Queen of Corona was his dealer and he couldnt see her n e more cause he got in trouble with the police and me and julio down by the schoolyard refers to where he would get his weed and smoke it till his mom caught him and how they exploit it so bad with the priest getting the press involved in what not but then again thats just what i think i was born in '92 and am only 18 and did not live through this time though i wish i had so i dont really know what was really going on in this era for him to write this song but thats just my interpretation of it
I lived Queens | Reviewer: Joe | 9/30/10
Back then, if you were Italian or Jewish and you were hangin' out with a Latino...Man, your parents would whip ya! We never saw anything wrong with it but the older folks had issues with the mix. They all wanted to get out of town.
I lived in Queens, near Corona in the 1960's | Reviewer: Angela | 9/20/10
Corona is a neighborhood in Queens, NY. At that time Queens was changing. It had been populated by middle class Italian, Irish and Jewish but what was changing was the influx into the area of hispanic, Puerto Rican and Black families. Many of the Jewish, Italian and Irish felt uncomfortable with the different cultures coming in and decided to move away. This song sounds like what my family lived through at that time. We are middle class Italian and moved further east because of the racial unrest, affordable low income housing projects, and a few other issues. Paul Simon is Jewish and lived in Queens. There's a line in the song that he says "Goodbye to Rosie" because I believe Paul Simon was leaving Queens. He also discusses the news at the time which contained racial unrest to give the listener an idea of what was happening at the time. I understand why he doesn't discuss it because it may not seem politically correct.
Found someone who lived the song... | Reviewer: Carmen | 9/19/10
I lived in Corona (Lefrak City on the L.I.E.)at the time (the last years of the Lindsay admin in NYC. The public schools, and notoriously IS 61 in Corona were shut down in 1969 on and off, first due to Al Shanker's UFT strike against the city, then by a student (8th graders!) protest against the War in Vietnam.
The neighborhood was in the Daily News constantly as a ground of confrontation between latino (including many new South American immigrants who did not get along with the local Puerto Rican kids) and black gangs on Junction Blvd, and confrontations between the older Italian homeowners that were laying down in front of bulldozers to stop the City from building more "affordable" housing.
The most common name at IS61 was Rosa or Rosita, and at least one Julio I knew then (from the Philippines, actually), was arrested for running across the L.I.E. on dares to dodge traffic.
One event from those days did end up in Newsweek and on the radio/TV the weird teacher led move by parents at PS206 across the road in Rego Park to through throw away their toy guns as a sign of their willingness not to become violent.
The fact is that nearly everything that is talked about in the song is a compression of actual events and reportage of the neighborhood from 1967 to 1969.
The radical preacher was the leader of the Ocean Hill Brownsville citizens revolt against the NYC School Chancellors to fight for local autonomy in school boards. The issue revolved around the flushing of poor teachers into the poorest districts of NYC, Bed Stuy and Corona among them.
I think the guy's name was Winston Bone.
It pays to have been there. The truth is more interesting than the inspired guesses. I grew up knowing I had lived the song, and so did the few white kids in Corona at the time.
The issue was not homosexual: no one cared in Corona. It was racial, and the Romeo and Juliet angle is precisely right.
- Peter, Newark, NJ
Grateful child....and isn't there a line...? | Reviewer: Anna
I was given all the Paul Simon albums in years following my father's death in "71-- I was 11 yrs. old --, I've recently re-found all these songs that completely contributed to my formative years in the most amazing way. I'll always be grateful to Paul Simon for writing words I didn't how to say, for expressing feelings I didn't know I had, for music that lifted my soul and spirit in a beautifully healing way...that I only now begin to understand.
That said, wasn't there a line in Me and Julio... about "smokin' myself a J" or something like that?? ...because I thought I was so radical having music with that in it once I figured out that meaning...
me and julio by the school yard | Reviewer: porfirio cruz
WHY DOES THE SONG Me and julio down by the school yard bring back so many wonderful memories?...I DONT KNOW. I WAS THEN A YOUNG ELEMENTARY SCHOOL TEACHER Being bilingual(SPANISH AND ENGLISH)I WAS WAS TEACHING 6TH GRADERS AT THE 1ST BILINGUAL SCHOOL IN N.Y.C.(BRONX).I had a student nmed JULIO. JULIO WAS VERY RESPECTFUL TO HIS TEACHERS,HARD WORKING A BEAUTIFUL BOY WITH AN ETERNAL BEAUTIFUL SMILE.PAUL SIMON IS A GENIUS.How did he know that Me amd Julio were down by the school yard where I lined up my students before i took them up to the classroom (three flights) upstairs. I will carry that song forever in my heart.GOD bless you Paul Simon.