"The Boxer (Paul Simon cover)" 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 pocketful 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 every glove that laid 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

Lie la lie


Lyrics submitted by mike, edited by TeamAlphaDoG, Mellow_Harsher

"The Boxer" as written by Paul Simon

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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The Boxer (Paul Simon cover) song meanings
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6 Comments

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  • +4
    General CommentI think this song is about a young man moving far from home and struggling to make ends meet. In the last stanza the song references a boxer. I think the boxer is an analogy. The young man had many times he wanted to go back home, many times he was hurt, and many times he even said he was leaving, yet he stayed and kept fighting.
    popper93on October 14, 2012   Link
  • +2
    General CommentThis is my all-time favorite song. I love it because it starts off with a very sad and lost kind of sound and with hopeless-sounding lyrics. My favorite part is how the boxer at the end is such a sign of hope. It says that he's been beaten down many a time and has said he will give up over and over again but HE HAS NOT GIVEN UP--the fighter still remains. That really speaks to me.

    Also: has anyone else thought that the boxer IS the poor boy from the beginning?
    halcyondayson October 11, 2015   Link
  • +1
    My OpinionI really love this song, because it speaks to me about the struggles of leaving home for the first time. At first we are all scared, we are among a lot of people we don't know and it is a struggle just to make ends meet. but Just like the last stanza says, we keep on fighting, even though we bare the marks of the battles we have lost before :) at least thats what I think
    ohpeanuton February 05, 2013   Link
  • +1
    General CommentAmazing song. It reminds me of my mum and everything she's been through. I actually bought her this cd and she introduced me to the song. Anyways I love the song.
    ScoutLilyon April 01, 2013   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI agree with everyone. He started out poor and became a fighter(Boxer)
    lorenzo116on November 06, 2015   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI believe this song is about people from the Great Depression who would leave home around the age of ten (or older) to find work. These people were called Boxers. This was because they would use trains as a means of travel to find a job. They would do this by jumping onto freight cars as the train began to leave the station (which was very dangerous and illegal) with many other boxers (strangers). From the trains they would go off and find jobs or if they hadn't found one yet they would find a place in the open that other boxers had used as shelter and occasionally left clothing or food for the next people. They would occasionally work for any wage as long as they got meals and shelter thus "asking only workman's wages". But due to the many people looking for jobs, it was often hard for anyone to find a job. Many of these people would get lonely as they'd be traveling alone and would "take comfort" with the "whores on seventh avenue" (they would go to a whore house) as often if they had a job they would only be with other men (as men were usually the ones looking for jobs and the women would just look for a man). The boxers usually missed their old life and would want to go back to the times before the depression as reference as "home" or literally wanting to go to their old home before they had to leave to find work. When the song refers to the "boxer and a fighter by his trade" it is talking about how the boxer had to fight the early elements and occasionally other people to survive. And the pieces about the "glove that laid him down or cut him til he cried out" it is talking about the bosses that fired them or that turned them down when they asked for jobs. They would, from time to time, get fed up with their lifestyle and say they were going to leave but when it came down to it they wouldn't leave thus the line "but the fighter still remains."
    Srt127on July 03, 2016   Link

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