About the song

If you are a fan of folk rock music, you have probably heard of the song “The Boxer” by Simon & Garfunkel. This song is one of their most popular and acclaimed songs, and it has a fascinating history behind it. In this blog post, I will introduce you to the song and highlight some of the interesting facts and stories that surround it.

The Boxer is a song written by Paul Simon and recorded by Simon & Garfunkel for their fifth studio album, Bridge over Troubled Water, which was released in 1970. The song was also released as a single in March 1969, nine months before the album came out. The song is a folk rock ballad that alternates between a first-person lament of a poor and lonely man who struggles to survive in New York City, and a third-person sketch of a boxer who fights despite the odds. The lyrics are largely autobiographical and partially inspired by the Bible, and they reflect Simon’s feelings of being unfairly criticized and misunderstood by the public and the media at the time. The song also features a famous refrain, in which Simon and Garfunkel sing “lie-la-lie”, accompanied by a heavily reverberated snare drum that creates a powerful echo effect.

The song is one of the duo’s most highly produced songs, and it took over 100 hours to record. The recording was done at multiple locations, including St. Paul’s Chapel at Columbia University in New York City and Columbia studios in Nashville on a 16-track recorder. The song features various instruments, such as pedal steel guitar, piccolo trumpet, bass harmonica, and acoustic guitar. The song also incorporates some innovative techniques, such as using an echo chamber to create the snare drum sound, and overdubbing the vocals to create harmony.

The song was a commercial and critical success, reaching No. 7 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in the US, and charting within the top 10 in nine other countries. The song also received praise from critics and peers, such as Bob Dylan, who called it “a masterpiece”. Rolling Stone ranked the song No. 106 on its list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.

The Boxer is a song that has endured over time, and has been covered by many artists, such as Mumford & Sons, Emmylou Harris, Neil Diamond, Joan Baez, and Johnny Cash. The song has also been used in various movies, TV shows, commercials, and video games, such as Forrest Gump, Scrubs, The Wire, Guitar Hero World Tour, and The Simpsons.

The Boxer is a song that tells a powerful story of resilience and hope in the face of adversity. It is a song that resonates with many people who have faced challenges and hardships in their lives. It is a song that showcases the talent and creativity of Simon & Garfunkel, one of the most influential and successful musical duos of all time.

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Lyrics

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, lie la la la lie la lie, lie la lie
Lie la la la lie la lie, la la la 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
La la la la la la la

Lie la lie, lie la la la lie la lie, lie la lie
Lie la la la lie la lie, la la la 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
Leading me
Going home

In the clearing stands a boxer
And a fighter by his trade
And he carries the reminders
Of every glove that laid him down
Or cut him ’til he cried out
In his anger and his shame
“I am leaving, I am leaving”
But the fighter still remains

Lie la lie, lie la la la lie la lie, lie la lie
Lie la la la lie la lie, la la la la lie
Lie la la la lie la lie, lie la lie
Lie la la la lie la lie, la la la la lie
Lie la la la lie la lie, lie la lie
Lie la la la lie la lie, la la la la lie
Lie la la la lie la lie, lie la lie
Lie la la la lie la lie, la la la la lie
Lie la la la lie la lie, lie la lie
Lie la la la lie la lie, la la la la lie
Lie la la la lie la lie, lie la lie
Lie la la la lie la lie, la la la la lie
Lie la la la lie la lie, lie la lie
Lie la la la lie la lie, la la la la lie
Lie la la la lie la lie, lie la lie
Lie la la la lie la lie, la la la la lie