Celebrating great American folk, ballads, light rock and blues.
The Boxer
by Paul Simon
Return to Liner Notes

I am just a poor boy, though my story is seldom told.
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.

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, runnin' scared.
Laying low, seeking out the poorer quarters,
Where the ragged people go.
Lookin' for the places, only they would know.

Lie-la-lie ...

Asking only workman's wages I come lookin' 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.
La, la, la, la, la, la, la.

(Instrumental break)

Li la li ...

And I’m laying out my winter clothes, and wishing I was gone, goin’ home
Where the new york city winters aren’t bleedin’ me, leadin’ me goin' 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 'til he cried out in his anger and his shame,
"I am leaving, I am leaving."
But the fighter still remains.

Lie-la-lie ...


Alan Klein – lead vocals, guitar, percussion
Dave Lyman – vocal harmonies, guitar
Chuck Cole – mandolin
Wes Peterson – Hohner Golden Melody C harmonica

Dave: Years ago, Alan and I did this in the back room just prior to a choir practice with another person. The choir director came in and listened to the last 1/3 of the song and then asked how long we had been performing (it was the first time we had ever done the song.) Alan and I have a brother type blend of voices that serve us well on this well known Paul Simon song. Wes does an unbelievable harp solo.

Wes: It's true, this song was probably the origin of Vintage Fare. With the choir director's praise, Dave, Alan and Paul formed a band, Rubber Soul. Cynthia and I later joined Rubber Soul, and it was a pretty fun ride while it lasted.  We were all learning and being stretched.

With Paul's departure, Rubber Soul disbanded, and there was a hiatus of about 18 months until Alan approached us about a gig at the Lido Bar & Grill.  That was July of 2008.

We were all having way too much fun, and wanted to bring The Boxer back into our repertoire.  But, without a keyboard player, there was nothing for it but to try the instrumental bridge on harmonica.

This song got under my skin when I was a teenager, a fine example of Paul Simon's incredible gifts. As soon as I realized the instrumental bridge could be played pretty easily on harmonica, I wondered why Simon & Garfunkel did otherwise. With Simon's impeccable guitar work, and Garfunkel's harmonies, it seemed out of place to put a synth in a mix that could have been "pureer" folk.


It's next year already ☺ (2017) and Vintage Fare is going strong!

In 2016, in addition to our monthly appearances at several local venues we:

- Performed at the Nichelini Winery, the oldest in the Napa Valley,

- Performed private parties, and

- We're invited to perform, yet again, at A Taste of Carmichael, a great community event.


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