Ruminations around the lyrics of the Boxer – Simon and Garfunkel.


‘I have squandered my resistance
For a pocketful of mumbles
Such are promises
All lies and jest
Still, a man hears what he wants to hear
And disregards the rest’

There are times when a song conveys a truth to me that nothing else does. The words of this song do that for me. Paul Simon hits the spot. His lyrics are poetry.

I think we all hear what we want to hear and disregard the rest. We live in a bubble that reflects our own attitudes back at us. We select the things we listen to and watch. We put our slant on all we see and hear. We listen to the arguments that reinforce the views we hold. We buy in to the lies we are told and still naively believe the promises.

‘Now the years are rolling by me
They are rocking evenly
And I am older than I once was
And younger than I’ll be
But 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’

I often feel that despite all the knocks, disappointments, betrayals, disclosures, realisations and lies I am still the same naïve person I was. I am still the idealist who believes we can make things better. I haven’t changed that much. I’m just older and wiser and a lot more cynical. I’m a little bit more depressed and a bit more desperate.

It seems strange to me.

‘In the clearing stands a boxer
And a fighter by his trade
And he carries the reminders
Of every 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’

Life is a bit of a battle. We carry the scars. But there are things worth fighting for, things worth believing in. There is hope. There is love and there is creativity.

We stand up for what we believe. We speak our mind. We take the consequences.

The moment I stop striving is the moment I am dead.


17 thoughts on “Ruminations around the lyrics of the Boxer – Simon and Garfunkel.

  1. Reminds me of the Khalil Gibran quote,

    Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls; the most massive characters are seared with scars.

    Nice post, Opher

    1. Thanks Dave – it does have resonance with Gibran doesn’t it?
      I’m setting about, after a few weeks of despondency and recuperation, going to try editing Green based on your fine suggestions. I’ll see how it goes.

  2. I just re-read this, Opher. It seems even more poignant now than it did back then. This time it made me cry. Yes, we sure all change as we get older, but I am convinced the core of who we are stays the same. ❤

    1. Me too Cheryl. I think I’m still fighting for the same things. We live in bleak times but they will get better. We have to try to make it happen faster.

  3. Reblogged this on Impromptu Promptlings and commented:
    This morning I re-read Opher’s musings on Simon and Garfunkle’s song “The Boxer” and it made me all teary. Though he wrote it clean back on
    July 19, 2016, it seems to hold so much more meaning for reflection for me today as I consider what’s happening around me…

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