Simon & Garfunkel - The Boxer - 1970

Simon & Garfunkel's "The Boxer" - 1970

Simon & Garfunkel, a folk rock duo consisting of Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel, are renowned for their close harmonies and poignant lyrics. One of their most famous songs, "The Boxer," was released in 1970 and remains a significant part of their musical legacy. This song, characterized by its narrative style and the famous "lie-la-lie" chorus, tells a story of loneliness and perseverance against life's struggles.


"The Boxer" is a folk ballad that showcases Paul Simon's songwriting prowess and Art Garfunkel's vocal harmonies. The song was produced by the duo along with Roy Halee and features a distinctive arrangement, including a bass harmonica, a pedal steel guitar, and a prominent drum part that echoes throughout the song.

Lyrics and Meaning

The lyrics of "The Boxer" tell the tale of a young man who leaves his home to seek fortune in the big city but ends up facing hardships and disillusionment. The chorus, with its memorable "lie-la-lie" hook, adds a layer of emotional resonance, symbolizing the universal struggle and the human spirit's resilience.

Musical Composition

Musically, "The Boxer" is notable for its complex structure, including a bridge that features a thunderous drum solo, mimicking the sound of a boxer being knocked down and getting back up. This part of the song was recorded in a large chamber to achieve its echo effect, adding to the song's dramatic impact.

Reception and Legacy

Upon its release, "The Boxer" was a commercial success and has since been covered by numerous artists. It is often cited as one of Simon & Garfunkel's greatest works and has been included in many "greatest songs" lists over the years.

  1. Simon & Garfunkel's Career
  2. Folk Rock Genre
  3. Songwriting Techniques
  4. 1970s Music Scene
  5. Musical Arrangement Techniques

Interactive Tasks

Quiz: Questions on the song

What year was "The Boxer" released? (1970) (!1968) (!1972) (!1969)

Which instrument is NOT featured in "The Boxer"? (!Bass harmonica) (Pedal steel guitar) (!Banjo) (!Acoustic guitar)

What does the "lie-la-lie" chorus in "The Boxer" symbolize? (The struggle and resilience of the human spirit) (!A specific person the song is dedicated to) (!The joy of returning home) (!The excitement of moving to a new city)

Where was the drum solo in "The Boxer" recorded to achieve its echo effect? (In a large chamber) (!In a small studio room) (!Outside in an open field) (!In a bathroom for natural reverb)

How did "The Boxer" perform commercially upon its release? (It was a commercial success) (!It was a commercial failure) (!It was banned from radio stations) (!It initially performed poorly but gained popularity over time)

Quiz: Questions on the Performer

Who are the members of Simon & Garfunkel? (Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel) (!John Lennon and Paul McCartney) (!Mick Jagger and Keith Richards) (!David Crosby and Graham Nash)

Before becoming famous as Simon & Garfunkel, under what name did the duo initially perform? (Tom & Jerry) (!The Peppermint Twisters) (!The Bell Sounds) (!The Harmonicats)

Which Simon & Garfunkel album includes "The Boxer"? (Bridge Over Troubled Water) (!Sounds of Silence) (!Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme) (!Bookends)

How is the relationship between Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel often described? (Complex and sometimes strained) (!Always harmonious and friendly) (!Distant, as they rarely spoke) (!Strictly professional with no personal relationship)

What distinctive feature is Simon & Garfunkel known for? (Close harmonies and poignant lyrics) (!Loud and energetic performances) (!Instrumental virtuosity) (!Dance routines)

Zusätzliche Quizfragen zum Lied

Welches Instrument sorgt im Lied "The Boxer" für einen unverkennbaren Klang im Intro? (Akustische Gitarre) (!Klavier) (!Elektrische Gitarre) (!Schlagzeug)
Welches Aufnahmeverfahren wurde verwendet, um den Echo-Effekt im Schlagzeugsolo von "The Boxer" zu erzeugen? (Aufnahme in einem Aufzugsschacht) (!Digitale Nachbearbeitung) (!Aufnahme in einem leeren Schwimmbad) (!Verwendung eines Echo-Geräts)
Für welchen Preis wurde "The Boxer" nominiert, gewann ihn aber nicht? (Grammy Award für die beste Darbietung eines Duos oder einer Gruppe mit Gesang) (!MTV Music Award für das beste Musikvideo) (!American Music Award für das beliebteste Lied) (!Billboard Music Award für den besten Rocksong)
In welchem Film wurde "The Boxer" NICHT als Soundtrack verwendet? (!"Forrest Gump") (!"Girl, Interrupted" – Durchgeknallt) ("Rocky") (!"The Wonder Boys" – Die WonderBoys)
Wie viele Strophen enthält die Albumversion von "The Boxer"? (Fünf) (!Drei) (!Vier) (!Sechs)

Deutsche Quizfragen zum Interpreten

In welchem Jahr traten Simon & Garfunkel beim legendären Woodstock-Festival auf? (!Sie traten nie bei Woodstock auf) (!1969) (!1970) (!1968)

Welches Simon & Garfunkel-Album wurde als erstes veröffentlicht? (!"Bridge Over Troubled Water") (!"Bookends") ("Wednesday Morning, 3 AM") (!"Sounds of Silence")

Welches Lied von Simon & Garfunkel erreichte als erstes Platz 1 in den US-amerikanischen Charts? ("The Sound of Silence") (!"Mrs. Robinson") (!"Bridge Over Troubled Water") (!"Cecilia")

In welchem Jahr gaben Simon & Garfunkel ihr berühmtes Konzert im Central Park? (1981) (!1975) (!1985) (!1979)

Welches Simon & Garfunkel-Album enthält NICHT den Song "The Boxer"? (!"Bridge Over Troubled Water") ("Sounds of Silence") (!"Bookends") (!"Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme")

Quiz: Questions on the lyrics

What theme is most prevalent in "The Boxer"? (Loneliness and perseverance) (!Romantic love) (!Political protest) (!Joy of life)

Which city is implicitly referenced in "The Boxer"? (New York City) (!London) (!Paris) (!San Francisco)

The line "I am leaving, I am leaving" is followed by what in the song? (But the fighter still remains) (!But the boxer stands alone) (!But my love remains true) (!But the journey continues)

What does the young man in "The Boxer" seek in the big city? (Fortune and success) (!Lost family) (!Educational opportunities) (!A lost love)

How does "The Boxer" conclude? (With a reaffirmation of the "lie-la-lie" chorus) (!With the young man returning home) (!With the young man finding success) (!With a detailed account of the boxer's final fight)

Open Tasks


  1. Research the Folk Rock Movement: Explore the origins and key figures of the folk rock movement of the 1960s and 1970s. How did Simon & Garfunkel contribute to this genre?
  2. Create a Playlist: Compile a playlist of songs that share themes or musical styles with "The Boxer". Explain your choices in a short paragraph.
  3. Cover Art Analysis: Examine the cover art of the "Bridge Over Troubled Water" album. Write a brief analysis of how the artwork reflects the themes of the album.


  1. Lyrics Interpretation: Write an essay interpreting the lyrics of "The Boxer". What do you think the song is really about, and how do the musical elements support the lyrics?
  2. Musical Analysis: Analyze the musical composition of "The Boxer". Focus on its structure, the instruments used, and how they contribute to the song's emotional impact.
  3. Comparative Study: Compare "The Boxer" to another Simon & Garfunkel song of your choice. Discuss similarities and differences in themes, musical style, and cultural impact.


  1. Record Your Own Version: Record your own cover version of "The Boxer". Try to bring something new to the song, whether it's through the arrangement, instrumentation, or vocal style.
  2. Songwriting Challenge: Write a song inspired by "The Boxer". Focus on creating strong imagery and a compelling narrative in your lyrics.
  3. Documentary Proposal: Draft a proposal for a documentary about the making of "The Boxer". Include potential interview subjects, locations, and key events to cover.
  4. Perform a Detailed Analysis: Conduct a detailed analysis of the drum solo in "The Boxer", including its recording technique and its impact on the overall song. Present your findings in a report or presentation.

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Oral Exam

  1. Discuss the Cultural Impact: How did "The Boxer" reflect or influence the cultural or social issues of the late 1960s and early 1970s? Provide examples.
  2. Songwriting Techniques: Analyze the songwriting techniques Paul Simon used in "The Boxer". How do they contribute to the song's storytelling?
  3. Evolution of Folk Rock: Discuss the evolution of folk rock and place "The Boxer" within this context. How did the song contribute to or differ from the genre's development?
  4. Artistic Relationship: Explore the artistic relationship between Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel. How did their collaboration influence their music, especially in songs like "The Boxer"?
  5. Musical Influence: Identify and discuss the influence of "The Boxer" on subsequent musicians and genres. Provide specific examples.

OERs on the Topic


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