The Concert in Central Park

On 19 September 1981, a Saturday like today, Simon & Garfunkel held a benefit concert on the Great Lawn in Central Park, New York City. The duo performed in front of more than 500,000 people and their show consisted of 21 songs: the 17th was “The Boxer”. After that, they thanked the audience and left the stage, but returned to deliver an encore of three songs.


During the concert “The Boxer” contained an additional stanza, which was not included in the album version (“The Concert in Central Park”).


The Boxer
 
I am just a poor boy
though my story's seldom told
I have squandered my resistance
for a pocket full of mumbles such are promises
All lies and jests,
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
Running scared, laying low,
seeking out the poorer quarters
where the ragged people go
looking for the places only they would know
 
Lie-la-lie...
 
Asking only workman's wages
I come looking 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
 
Lie-la-lie...
 
Now the years are rolling by me
they are rockin' evenly
I am older than I once was
and younger than I'll be and 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
Lie la lie ...
 
Then I'm laying out my winter clothes
and wishing I was gone
going home
where the New York City winters aren't    bleeding me,
leading me,
going 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 till he cried out
in his anger and his shame
"I am leaving, I am leaving"
but the fighter still remains
still remains
 
Lie-la-lie...

 Il Pugile
 
Sono solo un ragazzo povero
sebbene la mia storia venga raccontata raramente
Ho sprecato la mia resistenza
per manciata di chiacchiere come sono le promesse
tutte bugie e scherzi,
tuttavia un uomo sente quel che vuol sentire
e ignora tutto il resto
 
Quando ho lasciato la mia casa e la mia famiglia
non ero che un ragazzino
in compagnia di estranei
nella quiete di una stazione
correndo spaventato,
tenendomi basso, alla ricerca dei quartieri più poveri
dove vanno gli straccioni
in cerca di posti che solo loro possono conoscere
 
Lie-la-lie...
 
Chiedendo solo paghe da operaio
sono arrivato cercando un lavoro
ma non ho ricevuto nessuna offerta,
solo un "Vieni qua" dalle puttane sulla Settima Avenue
Lo ammetto, ci sono stati momenti in cui ero così solo
che ho trovato un po’ di conforto con loro
 
Lie-la-lie...
 
Ora gli anni mi passano davanti
oscillando uniformemente
Sono più vecchio di un tempo
e più giovane di quello che sarò e questo non è strano.
No non è strano
dopo cambiamenti su cambiamenti
siamo più o meno gli stessi,
dopo i cambiamenti siamo più o meno gli stessi
 
Così sto preparando i vestiti invernali
e vorrei essere spartito
andando a casa
dove gli inverni di New York non mi feriscono,
e mi esortano
ad andare a casa
 
Nello spiazzo c'è un pugile
e un lottatore di mestiere  
e porta con sé i ricordi
di ogni guantone che l'ha mandato al tappeto
o ferito fino a farlo gridare
nella sua rabbia e nella vergogna
"Me ne vado, me ne vado"
Ma il lottatore rimane sempre
 
Lie-la-lie...

(L.Z.) 

To be continued…

35 thoughts on “The Concert in Central Park

  1. I have seen the concert and have it even on video type and on DVD, it is a great of re-meeting the “two” again, But WOW… you have put a video of my lovely Italiano song; Bella ciao ciao ciao, which I have been convinced that it has become a revolutionary resistance song of all time (as the Italians do most) and I wish to know the lyric of this wonderful song. Grazie mia cara Amica 🙏🙏🙏💖😊😘😘😘

    Like

    1. Are you sure I have put a video of “Bella Ciao”.it’s NOT what I wanted to insert. and it is the video of the concert that appears to me instead.
      What might have happened? I have to tell you that the computer is giving me a lot of problems today

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Are you sure I have put a video of “Bella Ciao”.it’s NOT what I wanted to insert. and it is the video of the concert that appears to me instead.
      What might have happened? I have to tell you that the computer is giving me a lot of problems today

      Liked by 1 person

  2. After I originally left a comment I appear to have clicked the
    -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and from now on whenever a comment is added I receive four emails with the
    same comment. Perhaps there is a means you can remove me from that service?
    Many thanks!

    Like

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