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Slip Slidin’ to the Mean

1 August 2017 105 views 2 Comments
Lyric © 2017 Lawrence M. Lesser, reprinted with permission

Lawrence Lesser of The University of Texas at El Paso repurposed Paul Simon’s 1977 top-five hit “Slip Slidin’ Away” to teach regression to the mean.

CHORUS: Slip slidin’ to the mean,
slip slidin’ to the mean:
when there’s imperfect correlation,
you know you’re slip slidin’ to the mean.

Well parents have daughter or son—
their heights were all observed by England’s Francis Galton:
extreme parents he did see
had kids that regressed toward mediocrity!
(Repeat Chorus)

And I know a teacher who gave high praise
to the students whose midterms were the highest A’s;
those failing badly received rebuke—
but the next test showed those extremes were a partial fluke!
(Repeat Chorus)

And I know a rookie who made the All-Star team
and the cover of Sports Illustrated magazine.
You can imagine what the coach thinks
when the star has sophomore slump as if there was a jinx!
(Repeat Chorus)

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