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So I’m going to jump on the throwback Thursday bandwagon, an idea I find slightly if not totally self indulgent, and present to you fine folks the most recent version of Paul Simon’s classic The Boxer, performed by Mumford and Sons. I’ve been on a folk kick lately and Mumford and Sons have been at the top of the playlist for a while. It’s considered one of the best songs of all time and this Mumford version, that stays so true to the original is a testament to both the song’s and Simon’s musical endurance. The song, written as a first person lament, describes the singers struggles to overcome loneliness and poverty in New York. The final verse switches focus from first to third person, as the singer describes the title character of the boxer, who despite the violent effects of “every glove that laid him down or cut him till he cried out”, perseveres. Yet, we find out the boxer relents, whether it be to his opponents gloves or the grips of loneliness as he cries out “I am leaving, I am leaving” - “but”, the singer continues temptingly, “the fighter still remains”. Its a tale of adversity, not necessarily overcoming it, but fighting it and occasionally relenting because sometimes it feels like the only option left.
Marcus Mumford lilting folksiness is the perfect accompaniment to this classic song and the intense banjo sections echo ever so slightly of the great Bob Dylan.
Here’s the track y’all.
Lots of Love