"Boxer" as written by and Brian Fallon....
Got your pride and your prose
Tucked just like a Tommy gun
Somewhere in the smoke
Just in case you need it
I know you got your pride and your prose
Tucked just like a Tommy gun
Somewhere in the smoke
Just in case you needed
Some of her to spin around
Rougher than the last one
Oh, what'd you used to say
The harder they come
But he just swears he's praying for a good time
He, he said he just doesn't miss her
And I have heard you never really lose it
Do you, do you

He took it all gracefully on the chin
Knowing that the beatings had to someday end
He found the bandages inside the pen
And the stitches on the radio
There was something, baby, holding you down
And there were whispers that were driving you crazy
And now you hunt the heart of this town
Remember when I knew a boxer, baby

And you tied two knuckles up
How they grind down
Tried to be a man
Tough just like your father
Try to settle down
Boy, I could calm down
Remember them songs
And the reasons we were singing
But he said he just doesn't miss her
He, he said it's somewhere in his framework
And I have heard you never really lose it
Do you, do you

He took it all gracefully on the chin
Knowing that the beatings had to someday end
He found the bandages inside the pen
And the stitches on the radio
There was something, baby, holding you down
And there were reasons that were driving you crazy
Until you hunt the heart of this town
Remember when I knew a boxer, baby

And you can wait all night long
Until it all goes wrong
And you waste away your soul
And you can wait, wait, wait, wait

You took it all gracefully on the chin
Knowing that the beatings had to someday end
You found the bandages inside the pen
And the stitches on the radio
There was something, baby, holding you down
And there were whispers that were driving you crazy
Until you hunt the heart of this town
Remember when I knew a boxer, baby
Remember when I knew a boxer, baby


Lyrics submitted by eltroyo11, edited by RudySka, paperbackwriter1993

"Boxer" as written by Brian Fallon

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

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Boxer song meanings
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14 Comments

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  • +2
    General CommentThe first time I heard this song it made me think of Hemingway, a man deeply invested in both boxing and prose. Who know's who the song's about, but it's great.
    paperhangeron July 08, 2010   Link
  • +1
    My Interpretation.....I actually believe Brian Fallon has deep seeded father issues, Love/Hate. Questions of whom he is, never addressed by observing his own blood. An absence of resolution is what is beating down this particular boxer. His lack of direction resulted in a collection of stolen emotions, an empathy above self revelation. A view right into complete strangers souls, reasons tears fell, fears that shackle us. Angst at the helm, navigating thru misguided years. Wisdom gained seated in the distance, observation of other human behaviors. Searching for his moment to be original. While this journey results in quite a collage of overlapping layered & complex view of the world. Obviously Its taken its unavoidable toll. A lonely vessel lost & cast into an ocean shed of a saltwater heart. Pride and prose are tools to fill in who he wanted others to perceive, wit and charm. Words are weapons that can heal as well. Who hasn't needed music to cover up deep wounds, no one else seems to notice. Rather we just are preoccupied with our own BLUES. Empathy is not a universal trait. Self discovery without the figure of the "father" to guide, that path is not traveled. No other soul knows another. Not like they want us to. In music we find sympathy that hides inside these "tough" men. Given way to the softer side regardless of outside judgement, the pen is the atom bomb to anyone who's got some "issues" they've been personally diagnosing, therapy is letting it just go. Even the things we want to keep for ourselves, the pain that laid claim to the frail structure beneath the bandaged skin. Until its let out its caged and were its prisoner. "Something holding you down." The whispers of constant self-loathing are louder than any ridicule children could throw into this open pit. The quiet type, with the blue eyes and uninterested disposition. This became Fallon's persona, whom he wanted to be identified as. A Loner, rough cut, the lover just out reach. No one can rescue you from your own demons, but all sure will try. He doesn't miss her? His mother, but will never lose her, she is in his framework. Very influenced by others view, he takes it on the chin without a word, till he finds that pen that leads to a voice hes held inside for far to long. We learn to live with it, till we let it go is the most repetitive theme in many of his "poems" HANDWRITTEN and laid out for all the world to witness. His freedom finally found, he is become the hunter not hunted by the regrets or disappointments hes felt. Finally, MOMENTS, live in them without letting them live in you. Don't waste your time torturing yourself for things that will never change their impact. Lessons. Of course this is a liberal and personal view. I find bandages in his prose and I'm sure he would be satisfied with being there to help us too rise from our own tragedies. Truly an artist that pours himself out on paper as if painting a canvas. With raw vivid imagery, unashamed of his version, acceptance and growth in pure harmonic hues. The Blues in every shade. Rhyme or reason I don't know or question beyond knowing that I personally have found courage, comfort & closure in the journey.
    Loudsilencekjpon August 26, 2015   Link
  • 0
    General CommentGreat song, reminds me kinda of Brando and On the Waterfront, even more than I coul'da been a contender.
    Shonakon May 31, 2010   Link
  • 0
    Song MeaningHoly lord do I love this song, I mean really. It's excellent.

    I think this is a small story from some other songs, he's always talking about Boxers. Like in this and "The Blues, Mary" I think he is a boxer in romance, y'know? Like, he's always getting beat down by everyone. But he finds good things and help on the radio, and it keeps him on his feet.
    jrhop364on June 07, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General Commentcan't believe only 2 people have commented this, this song is absolutely AMAZING!
    tmaloneyon June 28, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentFirst time I heard this song I thought it was about someone who used to be this strong figure who took all his beatings standing up, but as time has gone on he can't deal with everything the way he used to. I think the line "remember when I knew a boxer" is the singer looking at the person and remembering when they were this kind of fighter or warrior.
    kill3rm0nkeyon September 16, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentFirst time I heard this song I thought it was about someone who used to be this strong figure who took all his beatings standing up, but as time has gone on he can't deal with everything the way he used to. I think the line "remember when I knew a boxer" is the singer looking at the person and remembering when they were this kind of fighter or warrior.
    kill3rm0nkeyon September 16, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentBrian talks about this song in this interview. x1075lasvegas.radio.com/2010/07/09/the-gaslight-anthem-%E2%80%93-brian-fallon-interview/
    mccmitchell357on February 20, 2011   Link
  • 0
    MemoryI remember when I first heard the song.

    Got the meaning right away; it’s like ah inspirational/ kick in then pants type… but something kinda rubbed me the wrong way.

    I guess it was the second to last verse “…And you waste away your soul. And you can wait, wait, wait, wait”. I mean according to the above link, that’s part of his advice to his buddie that just went through a quote un-quote rough divorce; you’re wasting your soul. A tad bit pretentious maybe.

    What was Brian hinting at or what was his friend actually going through? Who know really, maybe he spent some time in the big-house, literally did have to fight some gnar fools and is just trying to, figuratively, get back on his feet, idk, just sayin..

    Huum, I guess Brian is just trying to help his friend out. I can dig that..
    mebon February 21, 2012   Link
  • 0
    Song MeaningI saw an interview in which Brian states this song is about a friend who was going through a divorce, and he thought to himself, they're too young to be going through stuff like this.
    He wrote it to pick up his friend, when he speaks about being a boxer, he speaks about how strong his friend was, where as at the time, he was just depressed.
    Brian is basically saying, you've taken the beating, but we all know you're stronger than just to stay down, so get back up, and keep moving forward :)
    boxingfoxon April 19, 2012   Link

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