3 Songs You Didn’t Know Paul Simon Wrote for Film

Paul Simon’s name is synonymous with songwriting. Since the 1960s, Simon’s lyrics have been a staple in the music landscape from “The Sound of Silence” to “Mrs. Robinson” and “The Boxer.”

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In addition to writing songs for himself, Simon & Garfunkel and other artists, Simon has also lent his pen to a variety of film soundtracks. Below, we look at three songs Simon wrote for film.

1. “Mrs. Robinson” for The Graduate

One of Simon & Garfunkel’s biggest hits was written specifically for the Academy Award-winning film, The Graduate. Simon had been enlisted by Director Mike Nichols to write three new songs for the film, alongside the already-released “The Sound of Silence.”

At the time, Simon had a rough draft of a song referencing legends of the past like Eleanor Roosevelt and baseball star Joe DiMaggio, with Nichols telling him to change Mrs. Roosevelt to “Mrs. Robinson.” Simon then wrote the rest of the lyrics to adapt to the film. Simon & Garfunkel included it on their 1968 album, Bookends, and it appeared on The Graduate soundtrack. “Mrs. Robinson” won Record of the Year at the 1968 Grammy Awards.

2. “Soft Parachutes” for One-Trick Pony

Simon has long been a prolific songwriter, but he translated those skills to film when he wrote the screenplay for the 1980 feature film, One-Trick Pony. In addition to starring as Jonah Levin, Simon also wrote the song “Soft Parachutes,” which he performs in the film. It appears in a scene where Levin is requested to play his anti-war ballad about a young man who is shipped off to fight in the Vietnam War.

3. “Father and Daughter” for The Wild Thornberrys Movie

Simon stepped into the world of animation when he wrote and performed, “Father and Daughter,” for the 2002 film, The Wild Thornberrys Movie, based on the Nickelodeon show of the same name. Simon wrote it in honor of his seven-year-old daughter at the time, Lulu, and it features background harmonies from his then 10-year-old son, Adrian, on the chorus. “Father and Daughter” was nominated for Best Original Song at both the Academy Awards and Golden Globe Awards.

Photo by Paul Natkin/Getty Images

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