5/29/18: Simon & Garfunkel “The Boxer”
Paul Simon is an absolute master singer/songwriter and consummate artists, and one of his best songs was playing in my head first thing this morning: “The Boxer.”
Simon & Garfunkel – who started out as Tom & Jerry, by the way – got famous with songs like “Mrs. Robinson” and “Scarborough Fair,” along with “The Sound of Silence” and a slew of others. Those three songs in particular were found on the soundtrack for “The Graduate,” starring Dustin Hoffman, and the success of that movie helped to push the duo even farther toward stardom!
From “Homeward Bound” to “Cecilia,” the list of memorable Simon & Garfunkel songs goes on and on. But “The Boxer” has always been one of my favorites. It’s an emotional, complicated song with some amazing lyrics – the kind of lyrics that only Paul Simon could deliver! Supposedly, “The Boxer” took more than 100 hours total to record, with done in several different studios. I think the final product is worth it, though. Listen to the words, take in the music, and see what you think it all means when the music comes together.
“The Boxer” is complex without being complicated. It’s emotionally charged with sadness, loneliness, anger. It’s depressing at times. But it’s also open to interpretations that are hopeful, even encouraging! I guess only Paul knows what he meant when he originally recorded it. My favorite line in the song is “Still, a man hears what he wants to hear and disregards the rest.” The song might have been released in 1970, but sentiments like that are timeless.
It’s a great song. Well written, well performed, well recorded. You’ll find some beautiful harmonies here too, thanks to Art Garfunkel. So, enjoy one of my favorites from one of the most famous duos in music!