DAILY DIRT: The next time I hear ‘Mother and Child Reunion’ it will take on a whole new meaning


Daily Dirt for Wednesday, April 5, 2023

The information about today’s first song is downright hilarious, but the second is rather shocking … Welcome to today’s three thoughts that make up Vol. 571 of The Daily Dirt.

1.All of us sing along with our favorite songs, often unaware there may be hidden messages in the lyrics — or subtle statements we simply choose to ignore.

The following are three major hit songs, one each from the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s, that you may not have known the back story about or what the lyrics were really telling us:

Gold medal: “Mother and Child Reunion,” by Paul Simon (1972): “The title tries to tell us what this song is about and the idea of a mother and her child coming back, (which) together sounds like a great idea for a tune,” writes Daniel Delsinger for heraldweekly.com. “However, that’s not why Paul Simon wrote the song. While he was talking to ‘Rolling Stone’ in 1972, he said that he wrote the title after going to a Chinese restaurant and seeing a dish with the same name. For the record, the dish had chicken and egg. That’s the kind of humor we like to see in our Chinese restaurants.”

There may be nothing finer in a diner than quality food humor.

Silver medal: “99 Luftaballoons,” by Nena (1983): This was one of the major hits of the early 1980s, especially the German-language version. To this day, I still like to “sing along,” even though I have no idea what I’m saying. But what I didn’t know until just recently is that the song is about war, presumably a nuclear war, and its devastating aftermath. Who knew!?

Bronze medal: “Last Train to Clarksville,” by the Monkees (1966): For years, the line “I don’t know if if I’m ever coming home” was thought to be some sort of romantic statement, but it was something a lot more sobering. The song actually dealt with a soldier being shipped out to Vietnam. The lyrics were not that clear at the time.

2. U.S. presidents are carefully positioned to appear taller — or shorter — than they actually were/are when behind a podium. Remember, it has always been about “image” when it comes to politics.

With that in mind, here are the tallest and shortest U.S. presidents. When you read the ensuing lists, keep track of how many times you say “hmmm” to yourself:

The tallest

  • 1. Abe Lincoln, 6 feet, 4 inches
  • 2. Lyndon B. Johnson, 6 feet, 3 1/2 inches
  • 3. Thomas Jefferson, 6 feet, 2 1/2 inches
  • 4-tie. Bill Clinton, 6 feet, 2 inches
  • 4-tie. George Washington, 6 feet, 2 inches
  • 4-tie. Franklin D. Roosevelt, 6 feet, 2 inches
  • 4-tie. George H.W. Bush, 6 feet, 2 inches

The shortest

  • 1. James Madison, 5 feet, 4 inches (Madison was also the lightest, weighing barely 100 pounds.)
  • 2-tie. Martin Van Buren, 5 feet, 6 inches
  • 2-tie. Benjamin Harrison, 5 feet, 6 inches
  • 4-tie. John Adams, 5 feet, 7 inches
  • 4-tie. William McKinley, 5 feet 7 inches
  • 4-tie. John Quincy Adams, 5 feet, 7 inches

3. Fun fact: The salary of the president of the United States is $400,000 per year.

An MLB rookie makes a minimum of $720,000, an NBA rookie is paid a minimum $925,258 and an NFL rookie makes at least $705,000.

Steve Thought O’ The Day — I’m never going to forget the information about that Paul Simon song. That’s truly ingenious.

Steve Eighinger writes daily for Muddy River News. But which came first, the chicken or the egg?

Miss Clipping Out Stories to Save for Later?

Click the Purchase Story button below to order a print of this story. We will print it for you on matte photo paper to keep forever.

Muddy River TV+

Current Weather

Trending Stories