Simon & Garfunkel's 'Mrs. Robinson:' Where Did You Go, Eleanor Roosevelt?

|
Anne Bancroft and the woman she replaced (in song), Eleanor Roosevelt. Sources: MGM, Getty

Simon & Garfunkel's song "Mrs. Robinson" is almost inseparable from the 1967 film The Graduate, in which it appears. Mrs. Robinson is one of the main characters in the movie; played by Anne Bancroft, she seduces the young protagonist Ben (Dustin Hoffman) and sets in motion a plot that deals with the forces of love and lust amid the generation gap of the '60s. 

“Mrs. Robinson,” was originally titled, “Mrs. Roosevelt.” The song and had absolutely nothing to do with the plot of The Graduate. When director Mike Nichols said he needed another song for his movie, Paul Simon told him that they were too busy touring and that he only had “a song about times past, about Mrs. Roosevelt and Joe DiMaggio and stuff,” but it wasn’t finished yet. It was originally a tribute to Eleanor Roosevelt and the passing of an era; a more innocent era to be exact.

When Nichols realized "Mrs. Roosevelt" had the same number of syllables as “Mrs. Robinson”, he asked Simon to change the title and the song “Mrs. Robinson” was born.