1969 Song of the Day is- “The Boxer” by Simon and Garfunkel. Written by Paul Simon it was the lead single from their final album Bridge Over Troubled Water which came out in 1970- The Boxer was released on April 21, 1969- way ahead of the album. The Boxer went to #7 on the Billboard Hot 100. Although it is not Simon and Garfunkel’s most successful single on the charts- it may be their finest ever song. The Boxer took over 100 hours to record- and it was recorded in three different places- Columbia Records studios in New York City and Nashville and at St. Paul’s Chapel at Columbia University. The legendary drummer Hal Blaine is the drummer coming in with the pounding drums at the end of the ‘lie la lie’ vocals.
In his 1984 Playboy interview, Simon revealed that he wrote this song when critics were writing harsh things about his music – he was the boxer. Said Simon: “I think the song was about me: everybody’s beating me up, and I’m telling you now I’m going to go away if you don’t stop. By that time we had encountered our first criticism. For the first few years, it was just pure praise. It took two or three years for people to realize that we weren’t strange creatures that emerged from England but just two guys from Queens who used to sing rock’n’roll. And maybe we weren’t real folkies at all! Maybe we weren’t even hippies!”