“The Boxer” by Simon & Garfunkel
Marty E: Between all of the 70s Heavy Metal and Shock Rock, someone happened to slip a copy of Simon & Garfunkel’s Greatest Hits into my collection during this period of time, and I loved it just as much as I did the rest of them.
I can’t exactly place just why, but I used to listen to this album a LOT. I don’t know what the mood was that struck me that made me want I listen to this, but I know that it comforts me somehow when I hear it now. Maybe that was also true then.
Worth noting – this was one of the only albums my parents (especially my mom) and I could agree on.
My favorite song, then, just as now, was “The Boxer.” Surely, though, I didn’t love it then for the same reasons I do now. There was a simple reason for my affinity of this song as a preschooler: that blissfully never-ending, HUGE, epic ending part that goes, “Lie-la-lie…..BOOM!! Lie-la lie-lie lie-la lie, lie-la-lie…BOOM!!” Etc. I just thought that huge, exploding sound was the coolest thing ever, and I used to play it over and over.
When I got older, after I moved to NYC and spent time finding out what struggling was all about. I appreciated the song more for what it’s about, which, to me, is frustration, hunger, and resilience. It’s strange to think about, but I really did come here to “be,…where the ragged people go, Looking for the places only they would know.”
It’s kind-of funny, when I when I hear that lyric about, “a come-on from the whores on Seventh Avenue”, it reminds me of when first moved to NYC and after drinking $2 PBRs all night, I’d get off the subway in Hell’s Kitchen and get cat-called by prostitutes in the dawn’s early light. For the record though, I was never, “so lonesome that I took some comfort there”, thank you very much!
Now that I think about it, it does seem kind of odd that I used to listen to this, as a 4-year-old, with BOTH of my parents. But, I suppose that life has its unavoidable ways of being nefarious, no matter how young & sheltered you may be.
In any case, “the fighter still remains.”
OUR LAST song with Marty