Tuesday, May 21, 2013

The Boxer

My older brother John was an avid Simon and Garfunkel fan.  If we didn't have all of their albums, we sure had most of them.  I remember listening to them on this old RCA record player as a kid.  It had a huge heavy tonearm and a single giant speaker.  I think my folks had it since they were married.  We are talking late 40's.

I had every word of every one of those albums memorized.   I could sing along with any of them still.  I think this was their last studio album.  It has so many great songs on it that it was a challenge to come up with a favorite.  My old friend Kevin taught this to me back in high school.  It brings back such good memories of his friendship.

I surely don't know what New York was like in the 60's.  And I am not sure why this lonely song mesmerizes me the way it does.  I am left with more questions than anything.  But it moves me.  Enjoy.

This is the last of my month long music retrospective.  It has been a blast, combing through my memory, reading over these lyrics, humming along with the tunes, even getting a little misty as they brought back old friends and places like nothing else can for me.  Blogs, by their nature, are pretty autobiographical.  There really isn't much of a conversation going on here.  Not at all like Facebook or other social networking opportunities.  Selecting and posting one's favorite songs is even more introspective than writing about politics or working with children or family biz.  How can you even comment, right?  "Good song" or "Well chosen" or "I like her too" is about all you can say, right?  But it was fun to post a song a day (almost) and think enough about it to write a little something.  Thanks for hanging in there.  

I am just a poor boy 
Though my story's seldom told 
I have squandered my resistance 
For a pocket full of mumbles such are promises 
All lies and jests 
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 

Lie la lie ... 

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 

Lie la lie ... 

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 
Bleeding 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 layed 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 

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Wow, it'd be hard to pick one S & G song from so many really good ones. The Boxer is definitely one of my favorites. Bridge Over Troubled Water was one of only two or three songs performed at our wedding. Pretty somber choice I guess. But beautiful. I think I came to know of Simon and Garfunkle from the movie The Graduate, a movie you still need to watch!