“I am just a poor boy
Though my story seldom told
I squandered my resistance
For a pocket full of mumbles such are promises
Then I’m laying down my winter clothes
And wishing I was gone going home
Where the New York City winters
Are bleeding me, bleeding me going home
In the clearing stands a boxer and a fighter by his trade
And he carries the reminder of every glove that laid him down
And cut him till he cried out in his anger and his shame
I am leaving I am leaving but the fighter sill remains”
This is a gem of a bonus track on Mumford & Son’s new album, Babel. A throwback tribute to Simon and Garfunkel’s haunting ballad of a man just trying to find his way, but not giving up. Somehow, some way, the fighter still remains.
This song goes out to all of you who know what it feels like to be cut down, to be set aside, to not get chosen, to find yourself on the ground. It’s a lonely and dark place, the cold tiles of the floor bring no comfort. They pale in comparison to the longings of warmth and companionship around the fire of joy and celebration. But when you are knocked to the mat, those memories seem distant and joy is a difficult value to summons. But yet, the fighter still remains.
Many of you have lived chapters of life. You may have a chapter that about brought you to extinction. A chapter that about snuffed the light out of you but for some dying embers to keep you awake, both in soul and life. And yet you remain, you are here. You have not gone down to the depths, you have yet risen to the surface of new hopes and perhaps a craving for a resurrection of sorts. There is something of life yet breathing within and the figher still remains.
So today, what is the fighter in you saying? What is that inner voice fighting for? What do you long to see yet changed? What anthem is within you that you want to offer as proclamation to a new generation? What hope will not be dismayed? What injustice wreaks havoc on your heart and won’t let you go? What darkness must you stand up to? What lie must you confront? Why do you keep getting up? These are the haunting questions of our heart and soul, it is part of being human.
The fighter in you still remains, come out swinging today.