"The Boxer" as written by and Paul Simon....
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,
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
And cut him till he cried out
In his anger and his shame,
"I am leaving, I am leaving."
But the fighter still remains
Lie la lie

Lyrics submitted by Gbness

"The Boxer" as written by Paul Simon

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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The Boxer song meanings
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  • 0
    General CommentI think the meaning of this song is described so well by the exerpt of "fanfare for the common man" that is in the song. Aren't we all fighting for life and love. The boxer is the everyman. The last line gets me teared up for the futility of the boxers (and my own) cry. Someday both the me and the boxer will find our home. P.S. I always thought it was "a come on from the warzone (as in army recruiters) 7th avenue. The next line makes more sense now.
    Simonfanon August 03, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentHmmm.....not sure about the fanfare for the common man. Isn't this song really a veiled reference to Bob Dylan ?
    NHSMonkeyon October 27, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Commentapparently it was originally written with another verse listed below. anyhow...great song i'm surprised there aren't more comments.

    "Now the years are rolling by me
    They are rocking evenly
    I am older than I once was
    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"
    oofuson March 16, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThat "other verse" can be heard in the Concert in Central Park version ... I dunno if it's original or added later.
    freewneelon August 13, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI've heard that Paul wrote about himself at the time, even though many people think it's about Bob Dylan. He was struggling to express himself creatively (which is amazing given his extraordinary output of that era). But he felt he had to struggle to say what he wanted, he felt like an old, defeated, yet unbowed boxer.

    It's my favourite S&G tune of all.

    I used to play this album in the 1980s on vinyl, three or four times a night, probably every day of my life from about 9 through to 16, with those huge 70s' headphones on because it drove my parents bonkers
    kamahl_o_koalaon May 25, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentKind of reminds me of 'Catcher in the Rye' - same kind of messed up state in a NYC boy.
    ugotstahwonderon April 23, 2012   Link

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