Monday, July 14, 2008

The Boxer

click for Wikipedia entry on The Boxer

Words and music by PAUL SIMON
From the album BRIDGE OVER TROUBLED WATER (1969)

This is the first Simon and Garfunkel song that I knowingly came into contact with when I went to livein Italy in my late teens, and is connected in my mind with Strega, penne arrabiate and the sort of summer sunsets that you only appreciate within a certain timeframe in your life. At the end is the extra verse which was left out from the recorded version, but is sometimes performed live, as was performed in music-nights in the students' common room by Joe Keenan, who taught me to play guitar.

I am just a poor boy.
Though my story's seldom told,
I have squandered my resistance
For a pocketful of mumbles,
Such are promises
All lies and jest
Still, a man hears what he wants to hear
And disregards the rest.

When I left my home
And my family,
I was no more than a boy
In the company of strangers
In the quiet of the railway station,
Running scared,
Laying low,
Seeking out the poorer quarters
Where the ragged people go,
Looking for the places
Only they would know.


Asking only workman's wages
I come looking for a job,
But I get no offers.
Just a come-on from the whores
On Seventh Avenue
I do declare,
There were times when I was so lonesome
I took some comfort there.


Then I'm laying out my winter clothes
And wishing I was gone
Going home
Where the New York City winters
Aren't bleeding me,
Leading me,
Going home.

In the clearing stands a boxer,
And a fighter by his trade
And he carries the reminders
Of ev'ry glove that laid him down
Or cut him till he cried out
In his anger and his shame,
"I am leaving, I am leaving."
But the fighter still remains


Now the years are rolling by me,
They are rocking evenly.
I am older than I once was,
But younger than I'll be.
That's not unusual.
No, it isn't strange,
After changes upon changes,
We are more or less the same.
After changes we are more or less the same.

No comments: