Before I get into it, I'd like to make it clear that I think it's a great song.
However, I'm a little bugged by some of the lyrics.
Take, for example, the opening line:
Wake up, Maggie. I think I've got something to say to you.
The rest of the song goes on to enumerate the reasons the protagonist has for leaving his Mrs. Robinson.
Here's my beef with that: You don't wake somebody out of a deep slumber and say "I think I've got something to say". If you wake someone up, you best have a damn good reason. And although this turned out to be a good reason, it should have been prefaced with something more like -- "Wake up Maggie. I've got some bad news for you", or better yet, just leave the "I think" part out and say "Wake up Maggie, I've got something to say to you". He needs to be more certain, more forceful.
In the second verse, he says
I laughed at all your jokes. My love you didn't need to coax
My issue with this is that it's awkward, even clumsy wording. And don't even start with the "but it's done in the interest of the rhyming scheme", because the rest of the song has very few rhyming lines. It could have gotten away without that clumsiness.
Later, there's just a poor choice of words:
...But you turned into a lover, and mother what a lover..
It's already a bit icky because it's pretty clear that the protagonist is having an affair with a much older woman. Then, he chooses the word "mother" as emphasis preceding "what a lover". Where some folks might say "Holy Mackinaw! What a lover!", or "Golly! What a lover!", he says "Mother! What a lover!". As if we weren't already slightly creeped out, the word "mother" puts a whole new Oedipus-like spin on it.
But then the kicker is the final line:
Maggie I wish I'd never seen your face // I'll get on back home one of these days
One of these days? After all that, after waking poor Maggie up, all he has to say is "I'm leaving you, but not today".
Maybe we weren't meant to look that closely at the lyrics. At the end of the day, though, I still think it's a great song.
Chris Bell I am the Cosmos