What’s in a title? The inspiration for “Mother and Child Reunion”

January 17, 2009 | By | 5 Replies More

I heard this story years ago and it always draws a chuckle or a grimmace.

Musician Paul Simon once had a big hit song called “Mother and Child Reunion.”    The lyrics included the following:

But I would not give you false hope
On this strange and mournful day
When the mother and child reu-nion
Is only a motion away . . .

The twist to this story is that Simon has indicated that the title to the song owes its inspiration to an entree on the menu of a Chinese Restaurant.  It was a dish that featured chicken meat and eggs.   Here’s more on the story from Snopes.


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Category: music, Whimsy

About the Author ()

Erich Vieth is an attorney focusing on consumer law litigation and appellate practice. He is also a working musician and a writer, having founded Dangerous Intersection in 2006. Erich lives in the Shaw Neighborhood of St. Louis, Missouri, where he lives half-time with his two extraordinary daughters.

Comments (5)

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  1. Niklaus Pfirsig says:

    I think it would go well with a tall ice-cold glass of "bie the wax tadpole"

  2. Dan Klarmann says:

    "Bite the wax tadpole", and you must have it with a smile. Youse a spill chucker, dewd.

  3. Vicki Baker says:

    How about a lukewarm glass of very special ginger ale?

  4. Candy says:

    People tend to follow a fad not knowing the full meaning behind it. I am so glad you explained what the Mother and Child Reunion meant. I myself thought that a mother who died years earlier was about to meet the left behind through death. I was so sorrowful at the song, but now find it to be a very wonderful song with a catching tune. Thank you again.

    • Erich Vieth says:

      Candy: I can't quite tell whether you are really glad I revealed that origin or whether you are being sarcastic because I potentially ruined a song that had deep meaning for you. Keep in mind, that this story only goes to the title of the song, and not the ultimate meaning with which Paul Simon imbued it.

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