THE  BOXER
Written by Paul Simon
Performed by Simon & Garfunkel
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, hmmmm

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, runnin' scared, laying low,
Seeking out the poorer quarters, where the ragged people go,
Looking for the places only they would know.
Li la li...

Asking only workman's wages, I come lookin' for a job,
But I get no offers,
Just a come-on from the whores on 7th Avenue.
I do declare, there were times when I was so lonesome
I took some comfort there.
Li la li...

Now the years are rolling by me, they are rockin' evenly,
And I'm older than I once was, younger than I'll be, that's not unusual
Oh it isn't strange, after changes upon changes,
we are more or less the same, after changes, we are more or less the same.
Li la li...

And I'm laying out my winter clothes and wishing I was gone,
goin' home
Where the New York City winters aren't bleedin' me, leadin' me,
goin' 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.
Li la li...
Simon & Garfunkel certainly have better known songs, but this has always been my favorite.  The line "I am leaving, I am leaving... but the fighter still remains" is a classic.

I believe that we all have a boxer and a fighter within us.  We fight battles all the time, although they are less obvious than a boxing bout, and the winners and losers are not as clearly defined..  The boxer fights in ways that are apparent to others - with gloves, with words, or with lethal weapons.  The fighter deals with our inner demons and fears, and allows us to take an unpopular stand, cope with a serious illness or injury, or overcome long odds to accomplish things that, on the surface, seem unattainable.  The same spirit drives both the boxer and the fighter.

I debated a long time about whether or not to include the extra verse Simon & Garfunkel added cor the Concert at Central Park performance "years are rolling by me".  I think it's a great bit of poetry; I'm just not sure how it fits in with the story of the boxer.  It seems like somebody woke up one day, realized the concert was today, had meant to write a new song for the concert, but now there's no time to write, let alone learn and rehearse a whole new song, so I'll just an extra verse to this song...  In the end, I decided to use this version, with the extra verse.
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