Song Stories

“The Boxer”

Simon & Garfunkel | 1969

Paul Simon has said that “The Boxer,” Simon and Garfunkel’s 1969 lament about an impoverished and defeated kid from New York, was somewhat influenced by the Bible, which Simon was reading at the time. “That’s where ‘workman’s wages’ came from,” he said. Simon also claims that the song itself may be a metaphor for how he sometimes used to feel in the face of criticism: like he was being beat up. An extra verse not present on the original recording sometimes makes its way into live renditions. Also of note: Simon sang “The Boxer” on the first Saturday Night Live after 9/11, in honor of New York.

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Song Stories

“Stillness Is the Move”

Dirty Projectors | 2009

A Wim Wenders film and a rapper inspired the Dirty Projectors duo David Longstreth and Amber Coffmanto write "sort of a love song." "We rented the movie Wings of Desire from Dave's brother's recommendation, and he had me go through it and just write down some things that I found interesting, and they made it into the song," Coffman said. As for the hip-hop connection, Longstreth explained, "The beat is based on T-Pain. We commissioned a radio mix of the song by the guy who mixes all of Timbaland's records, but the mix we made sounded way better, so we didn't use it."

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