Paul Simon(with additional lyrics by: Fred Wedlock; Jasper Carrot; Noel Murphy; Peter Afendoulis)
speaker to listen
This Parody of Paul Simon's 'The Boxer' has been around British Folk Clubs ever since I can remember and when I did the clubs full-time, I used to invariably open with my version (Just about everybody who has sung it adds their own bits to it - mine is based on the Fred Wedlock version)- it's a fun song and goes down well with British audiences and with a bit of geographical editing I have sung it to American audiences who enjoyed it equally (unless they were Paul Simon fans!)
For the benefit of our Transatlantic hosts, I've enclosed a small glossary of (perhaps)unfamiliar terms:
I'm lead-fingered (insert name)and my music's seldom sold, 'Cos I massacre good music with a yard of Nippon plywood and a capo. I do requests - choosing only those that have 3 chords, I disregard the rest With Bert Weedon's (*1) help one day I'll be the best
Asking free beer and expenses I come looking for a gig, but I get no offers Just a come on from a groupie down in (Insert place) I do declare - I was feeling rather randy, so I had her then and there: Li-li-li-li-li-li-li Li-li-li
I (used to) sing the Folk Trad-it-i-on with my finger in my ear (*2) 'cos most of what I sing, I just can't bear to hear - it's a load of cobblers Bar for bar, to the rhythym of an off-key british one-string thatched guitar: Li-li-li-li-li-li-li Li-li-li
In 'Sir Patrick Spens'(*3) I clean forgot the 97th verse, so I sang the 22nd - twice as loud and in reverse and no-one noticed I laughed for hours, till the tears ran down my trouser legs, I though I'd wet my drawers (and when I looked I had!): Li-li-li-li
Well I stand on stage a hero and a martyr to my trade and I carry the reminders of every gig I've ever played like last Tuesday, at the Irish Club in (insert place)(*4) when I fled in mortal fear With the imprint of a Guiness bottle wrapped around my ear:Li-li-li-li
Now I've got my thing together, man - I'm really freaking out; Smoking 'Old Holborn'(*4) resin, mainlining on draft stout and having hangups; I get depressed, like the time I ruined my sex life when I fell and broke my wrist And my other songs are just as bad as this!
(*1): Bert Weedon: Sort of a British Mel Bay - Well known guitar player who produced a tutor called 'Play in a day' - the aspiring 60's would be players bible.
(*2) Acapella Folk Groups often put their fingers in their ears so the can concentrate on their particular harmony line without being distracted by the people they're sing with. Many 'Traditional' unaccompanied solo singers also do this - usually regarded as affectation ' cos they're sing alone!
(*3)'Sir Patrick Spens': One of many traditional - very long - story songs (see, Harry Chapin didn't invent the genre!)
(*4): In this version I've used 'Jarrow' - North-East (UK) town that has a large Irish immigrant history (bit like Boston)
(*5): 'Old Holborn' was a very strong british hand-rolling cigarette tobacco - (this verse alludes to the theory that not all musicians rely on their music alone for the feelgood factor - ridiculous notion I know!)