Revisiting Paul Simon’s heartwarming performance on Sesame Street, 1977
Paul Simon has never been one to follow the rule book page by page. The singer-songwriter has always done things on his own terms without worrying if it’s perceived as ‘cool’ or not, nothing epitomises this attitude more when he popped up on Sesame Street to perform ‘Me and Julio Down By The Schoolyard’ in 1977.
Simon was part of the first wave of huge name artists to take advantage of Sesame Street’s massive audience and, of course, it did help that the show was filmed in his New York City stomping ground. Following Simon’s appearance, the show no longer had any issues recruiting some of the biggest musicians in the world to take part in the mayhem.
The wholesome track’s innocence and childlike nature make it a perfect fit for Sesame Street which shared the same sensibilities as Simon’s 1972 hit. The song was also covered by Jack Antonoff in 2019 to soundtrack The Secret Life Of Pets 2, a project which echoes how the melodic delight of a track goes down a treat with children.
Simon also performed ‘El Cóndor Pasa‘ for the episode, a track which was originally created by Peruvian composer Daniel Alomía Robles, which will have undoubtedly captivated the Sesame Street audience who, you’d assume, are all giant Robles fans…
Wholesomely, Simon appears on the front stoop of 123 Sesame Street next to a young girl who, taking the occasion in her stride, begins to make up her own lyrics on the spot: “Dance dance dance,” she sings. “Everybody dance. You can dance with me…” Simon is clearly delighted by her enthusiasm and creativity, but eventually, he finds a spot to cut in and sing the song. As soon as he gets to the whistling segment, however, she was back to free-styling like a champ.