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Lyr Req: Songs about boxing or prizefighting

Dave'sWife 31 Mar 05 - 03:12 PM
Dave'sWife 31 Mar 05 - 03:14 PM
GUEST 31 Mar 05 - 03:19 PM
michaelr 31 Mar 05 - 03:22 PM
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Subject: Lyr Req: Songs about Boxing or Prizefighting
From: Dave'sWife
Date: 31 Mar 05 - 03:12 PM

I'm working on an article about sports songs with a friend. I am covering the Boxing/Prize Fighting end of things. I note that one Prize fight in particular seems to have spawned more songs than any other, the fight between Duk Koo Kim and Ray Mancini in which Duk Koo Kim suffered an injury which led to his death a couple of days later. Warren Zevon's song 'Boom Boom Mancini' refers to this fight as does the song 'Duk Koo Kim' by Mark Kozelek (on the CD Ghosts of the Great Highway by his new band Sun Kil Moo reviewed HERE:
popmatters.com)

There are a couple of others I've heard that mention this fight but I don't have the lyrics to those songs at present. Mark Kozelek has another song in which he mentions a number of fighters who died in the ring but I can't recall the name of that song. The Mancini/Duk Koo Kim fight has been referenced a few times in song. Any citations besides the two mentioned would be greatly appreciated.

Can anyone help me find other songs about boxing/Prize fighting? Songs about boxing seem to be more common in America than UK. I searched the Mudcat and came up with these:

Paul Simon's THE BOXER
The Kid's last Fight
Who Killed Davey Moore - bob Dylan (Mentioned in THIS Thread:
Mudcat thread on Who Killed Davey Moore

A NEW SONG CALLED THE COWARDLY ENGLISHMAN
or
A NEW SONG CALL'D COBURN'S CHALLENGE TO HEENAN in this thread:
Mudcat thread on this song

A genuine Prizefighting song:
BOLD ROBINSON
@fight @sports @death
Digitrad version of BOLD ROBINSON

This song has boxing metaphors:
BITTER WORDS (Roger Gall, 1999)
Mudcat thread with BITTER WORDS

A Version of Mean Talkin' Blues in The Digitrad ends with a mention of Mike Tyson for some reason:
Mean talkin' Blues in Digitrad
and mention of which is made in THIS thread:
Eminem Carrier of Folk Torch?

Can my fellow Mudcatters help me out with some references to Boxing or Prize Fighting songs? I am especially interested in songs that refer to real boxers or historical personages and actual fights. Thanks in Advance. I hope by including all those blue clickies I don't annoy you, but rather prove that I have tried to find this stuff on my own.

Thanks


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Songs about Boxing or Prizefighting
From: Dave'sWife
Date: 31 Mar 05 - 03:14 PM

Sorry, one of my attempts to Blickify didn't work.

here we go:

that review of the Sun Kil Moon CD on popmatters


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Subject: Lyr Add: SO YOU WANT TO BE A BOXER
From: GUEST
Date: 31 Mar 05 - 03:19 PM

Do they have to be 'folk/trad'? If not here's one for you

SO YOU WANT TO BE A BOXER
(From the Paramount motion picture "Bugsy Malone")
(From the National Youth Music Theatre stage show "Bugsy Malone")
(Lyrics & Music Paul Williams)

So you wanna be a boxer
In the golden ring
Can you punch like a southbound freight train
Tell me just one thing

Can you move in a word like a hummingbird's wing
If you need to
Can you bob, can you weave
Can you fake, and deceive when you need to?

Well, you might as well quit
If you haven't got it

So you wanna be a boxer
Can you pass the test?
I can tell you've got it in you
I've trained the best

When you work and you sweat
And you bet that you train to a buzz-saw
Then you near lose your mind
When you find that your little boy has a glass jaw

So you might as well quit
If you haven't got it.

Putting him in the ring, Joe
Look at what you found
We can use the fun, Joe
Pushing him around

Well show him the ropes
And destroy his hopes

Put him in the ring, Joe
Give the guy a chance
Let him feel the sting, Joe
We can make him dance

We'll pulp him to bits
Then he'll call it quits for sure, Joe

So you wanna be a boxer
Wanna be the champ
There's a golden boy inside you
Not a punched-out champ

If you listen and you learn
There's an honour you can earn and defend here
When you do see the crown
You're a king not a clown
A contender

But you might as well quit
If you haven't got it

Put him in the ring, Joe
Something new to punch
Let me have a swing, Joe
Then we'll go to lunch

We'll make it quite swift
Then he'll get the drift

Put him in the ring, Joe
Chicken a la carte
Let me have a wing, Joe
Tearing him apart
That chicken will crow

Let me have him Joe


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Songs about Boxing or Prizefighting
From: michaelr
Date: 31 Mar 05 - 03:22 PM

There's a great Jimmy McCarthy song called "The Contender", about an actual Irish fighter wo had it all -- good looks, women and money -- but died penniless and broken. If anyone has the lyrics, please post them!

Cheers,
Michael


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Subject: Lyr Add: RUMBLE IN THE JUNGLE (Wyclef Jean)
From: GUEST
Date: 31 Mar 05 - 03:22 PM

Rumble in the jungle:

[Wyclef]
(Come on)
Root to the fruit
More bass than Bootsy Collins
You verses me
Thats like Ali verses Foreman (a-ha)
God's act, stand back and watch
Devil's time out
Can't be timed with no swatch watch
Who I am, the black Abraham
Zunga zunga zang, yellow man, Vietnam
Add an extra bar as I spar with literature
Taking kingdoms from tsars
Winning more wars than the Moors

[Forte]
Hey, what's the deal?
I seen the Devil spar with Allah
Mathematics was the key to set my whole race free
You might debate we, a refugee
No harm hurt me
Dying, thirsty from the struggle
To my own hustle bubble
On the low, woe is me
To show the Free Bob right
The righteous Asiatic thinker
While Satan rob light
Civilised like the Molly
Burgundy, wildy rocking
Seen the fifth when Ali clocked him
John Forte will keep you locked in

[Q-Tip]
People all around
You got to recognise and witness
The Mister who swift enough to knock you out with Mic fitness
Hands blistered from holding the mics tight
Some say it's fright night
Well throw the R after the F 'Cause I'm gonna take away your breath
The bell rings and now it's just a daily operation
Yo, you saw my lubrication
You can see this occupation (The winner)
Eh, you know we're from Q-Borough
L-Booie and Clef the trainers, Prazwell promote the throw

[Lauryn Hill]
We used to bite bullets with the pig-skin casing
Now we perfect slang like a gang of street masons (uh)
Scribe check make connects
True pyramid architects (yeah)
Replace the last name with the X (X)
The man's got a God complex
But take the text and change the picture
Watch Muhammad play the messenger like Holy Muslim scriptures
Take orders from only God
Only war when it's Jihad
See Ali appears in Zaire to reconnect 400 years
But we the people dark but equal give love to such things
To the man who made the fam' remember when we were kings

Blocks on fire (Block's on fire tonight)
Fiends getting higher (uh-huh)
Robbing blue collar
(Hey yo we rob them blue collars)
Killing for a dollar (Stick 'em up)
Youths get tired (Ali ah yeah)
We're dealing with them liars (Ali ah yeah)
(We're dealing with too many liars)
From Brooklyn to Zaire (uh-huh ah yeah)
We need a ghetto Messiah (ah yeah come on)

Send me an angel in the morning, baby
Send me an angel in the morning, darling
Send me Muhammad in the morning, baby
Send me an angel in the morning, darling

[Ali Shaheed Muhammad]
Once the pen hits the pad it's danger
To this I be no stranger
Step inside the ring and I'll derange you (Come on)
I'm hearing no comments
Everyone looks dispondent
Dejected, rejected similiar to Liston
Catching lists
Beat it, sonny
My man is still the greatest in this
To hell with Frazier yappin' about that negative shit
Now listen, you can try and escape if you want to
But ask yourself, who the hell you gonna run to
Like Sade Abu you got a punch that I can sleep to
Fugees, Tribe, Busta Rhymes forever coming through

[Prazwell]
We sing Amazing Grace over two dollar plate
One roll snake eyes like Jake The Snake
Many lies put up for stakes
Wash our sins at the Great Lakes
You and I cannot see eye to eye
So therefore we cannot relate
I'm here when I make myself crystal clear
You fled to Cape Fear when I laced you in Zaire
Tussle with a lasso in the Royal Rumble
Seperate boys from men in the concrete jungle

[Busta Rhymes]
I remember when Cassius Clay flipped the script
Taking trips to Zimbabwe
Africans started calling the God Ali Bumbaye (so bwoy)
It be the God stricken, God nutrition, lightly stricken (ha)
Blow that make you feel like you was poison bitten
Ha yo I'm 'bout to blister you and your sister
Predicting every ass whipping before my fights my nigga
This be your last warning once you walk past the doorman
Ali and Foreman gonna lock ass until the morning
Marvellous finances provided by Joseph Mobutu
Special guests of honour like the Archbishop Desmond Tutu
We watched the Rumble In The Jungle
To see who be the targeted uncle to be the first to fall and fumble
Nuff blows they gettong thrown, like solid milestones
Internally shaking up niggas, imbalance your chromosones
With the force of a thousnad warriors
When I bust your ass identify me as the lord victorious

Blocks on fire (You're a star)
(Blocks on fire)
Fiends getting higher (You're a star)
Robbing blue collar (You're a star)
(Yeah rob them blue collars)
Killing for a dollar (You're a star)
Youths get tired (You're a star)
(Youths getting tired)
We're dealing with them liars (You're a star)
(We're dealing with too many liars)
From Brooklyn to Zaire (You're a star)
We need a ghetto Messiah


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE CONTENDER / JACK DOYLE (J McCarthy)
From: michaelr
Date: 31 Mar 05 - 03:28 PM

Found `em!

THE CONTENDER (a.k.a. JACK DOYLE) (Jimmy McCarthy)


When I was young and I was in my day
Sure I'd steal what woman's heart there was away
And I'd sing into the morning
Saw a blaze into the morning
Long before I was the man you see today.

I was born beneath the star that promised all
I could live my life between Cork, Cobh and Youghal
But the wheel of fortune took me
From the highest point she shook me
By the bottle, by the bottle I should fall

Chorus
There in the mirror on the wall
I see the dream is fading
From the contender to the fall
The ring, the rose, the matador, raving

When I die I'll die a drunk down on the street
He will count me out to ten in clear defeat
Wrap the Starry Plough around me
Let the pipers air resound me there
There I rest until the Lord of Love I meet

Chorus
There in the mirror on the wall
I see the dream is fading
From the contender to the brawl
The ring, the rose, the matador, raving.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Songs about Boxing or Prizefighting
From: mg
Date: 31 Mar 05 - 03:32 PM

wasn;'t Ivan Scavinisky Scavar about a boxer? mg


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Songs about Boxing or Prizefighting
From: Anglo
Date: 31 Mar 05 - 03:47 PM

"Morrissey & the Russian Sailor" is a well known prize fighting song (trad Irish usually). There's also a song about Heenan & Sayers.

Isn't there one about the Benicia Boy?

And John Connolly (of Fiddler's Green fame) wrote a song about a prize fight. Maybe someone will remember that - I can't bring it to mind at the moment.

Not very useful, am I? But maybe it'll stir someone's memory.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Songs about Boxing or Prizefighting
From: GUEST,The Vulgar Boatman
Date: 31 Mar 05 - 03:48 PM

Take a look for Bendigo, Champion of all England - a description of a fight between William Abednigo Thompson of Nottingham and a fighter named Caunt. It also makes reference to the "Tipton Slasher", another historical character who was a canal boatman turned prize fighter.

KYBBTS


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Subject: Lyr Add: BOOM BOOM MANCINI (Warren Zevon)
From: Dave'sWife
Date: 31 Mar 05 - 04:21 PM

The Keenan and Sayers song is the one I referred to in my post as:
A NEW SONG CALL'D COBURN'S CHALLENGE TO HEENAN

Thanks for all the references and lyrics.. they're great. Lots to go on.

I suppose I should have mentioned:

'Black Superman' - a song about Muhammad Ali that hit the US Top 40 shrotly after The Rumble In The Jungle.

It seems to me that there were MORE songs that just Black Superman and the chant that went round about The Runble In The Jungle. I would like to name the one historical fight that has yielded the most songs but Ray Mancini vs Duk Koo Kim is still in th lead with 5 at present.

They don't have to be Trad/folk but in a way, almost all the songs I've enounctered fall roughly into that category because of the purpose they serve.

It's awfully hard to beat Warron Zevon's 'Boom Boom Mancini' in terms of effect. The song sounds almost as brutal as the fight it describes. Only one verse is about Duk Koo Kim but that's the line everyone recalls.

BOOM BOOM MANCINI
by Warren Zevon

Chorus
Hurry home early
Hurry on home
Boom Boom Mancini's fighting Bobby Chacon
Hurry home early
Hurray on home
Boom Boom Mancinci's fighting Bobby Chacon

From Youngstown, Ohio
Ray 'Boom Boom' Mancini
A Lightweitgh contender
like father like son
He fought for the title
with Frias in Vegas
and he put him away
in round number one

repeat Chorus

When Alexis Arguello
gave Boom Boom a beating
seven weeks later
he was back in the ring
some have the speed
and the right combinations
if you can't take the punches
it don't mean a thing

repeat Chorus

Bridge..

When they asked him who was responsible
for the death of Du Koo Kim (some people spell it Duk Koo Kim)
He said
"Someone shoulda stopped the fight,
and told me it was HIM!"


They made hypocrite judgements
after the fact
but the name of the game
is be hit and hit back

Repeat Chorus

........


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Subject: Lyr Add: BLACK SUPERMAN-MUHAMMAD ALI (J Wakelin)
From: Dave'sWife
Date: 31 Mar 05 - 04:25 PM

Here are the lyrics to Black Superman:

BLACK SUPERMAN-MUHAMMAD ALI
by Johnny Wakelin

This here's the story of Cassius Clay
Who changed his name to Muhammad Ali
He knows how to talk and he knows how to fight
And all the contenders were beat out of sight

Sing, Muhammad, Muhammad Ali
He floats like a butterfly and stings like a bee
Mohammed, the black superman
Who calls to the other guy I'm Ali catch me if you can

Now all you fight fans, you've got to agree
There ain't no flies on Muhammad Ali
He fills the arena wherever he goes
And everyone gets what they paid for

Muhammad, was known to have said
You watch me shuffle and I'll jab off your head
He moves like the black superman
And calls to the other guy I'm Ali catch me if you can

He says I'm the greatest the worlds ever seen
The heavyweight champion who came back again
My face is so pretty you don't see a scar
Which proves I'm the king of the ring by far

Sing, Muhammad, Muhammad Ali
He floats like a butterfly and stings like a bee
Mohammed, the black superman
Who calls to the other guy I'm Ali catch me if you can

Sing, Muhammad, Muhammad Ali
He floats like a butterfly and stings like a bee
Muhammad, the black superman
Who calls to the other guy I'm Ali catch me if you can

I'm Ali catch me if you can


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Songs about Boxing or Prizefighting
From: Brakn
Date: 31 Mar 05 - 04:29 PM

Some info about Coburn.


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Subject: Lyr Add: JOE LOUIS' FURNITURE
From: open mike
Date: 31 Mar 05 - 04:30 PM

i have heard one called Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee. - - - It is about Muhammad Ali--is he the one who was navme Cassius Clay?

here is another that contains those words--be Kate Campbell
http://www.katecampbell.com/
http://www.katecampbell.com/discography.html#
off of her Monuments c.d.

JOE LOUIS' FURNITURE

I've got a coffee table
Made of mahogany
With cigarette burns and water rings
But that don't bother me

I bought it at an auction
Ten years ago
I put my feet up on it
And watch the fights on HBO

Float like a butterfly
Sting like a bee
I am the greatest
Said Muhammad Ali

Oh but I've got Joe Louis' furniture in my den
Twelve years running world heavyweight champion
And in my book well he's the best there's ever been
And you can't take that away from him

He came from Alabama
He didn't come from much
He fought his way up to the top
Then lost his money to the government

So here I sit
In his old chair
Something about this
Don't seem fair

Now I've worked hard
All my life
With nothing to show for it
But a poor man's pride

Kate Campbell and Ira Campbell
© 2000 Large River Music (BMI)



Tom Russell's song Muhammed Ali is from his modern art cd from 2003
http://www.tomrussell.com/modernart.htm

tom also has songs called Black Pearl and Jack Johnson--not sure
what these are about.

Wasn't there a movie recently about a fighter? Hurricane? ( kelly? )
i think there is a bob dylan song...


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Songs about Boxing or Prizefighting
From: open mike
Date: 31 Mar 05 - 04:33 PM

it seems there was a fighter who was not allowed passage onthe Titanic..
which turned out to be a GOOD thing for him....Jack Johnson, perhaps..


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Songs about Boxing or Prizefighting
From: Dave'sWife
Date: 31 Mar 05 - 04:37 PM

Here's a MIGHTY WEIRD reference to Muhammad Ali:
Ali and His Gang vs. Mr. Tooth Decay
"Start with Muhammad Ali spending 40 minutes discussing tooth decay. Add appearances by celebrity guest stars like Frank Sinatra and Richie Havens, a bunch of kids, and some truly wooden dialog straight out of a dental textbook. Throw in a song that doesn't make any sense. And if that isn't enough for you, top it off with narration by Howard Cosell."


I see a reference in SING OUT! here:
http://www.singout.org/473toc.html
to a song: Muhammad Ali by Greg Trooper (© 2003 Songs of Welk / BMI. Admin. by Yak Yak Music. but no lyrics.


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Subject: Lyr Add: MUHAMMAD ALI - THE MEANING OF CHRISTMAS
From: Dave'sWife
Date: 31 Mar 05 - 04:42 PM

OK: Here are the Lyrics to the Greg Cooper Song about Ali

MUHAMMAD ALI - THE MEANING OF CHRISTMAS

Words & Music by Greg Trooper [c] 2003 Songs of Welk/ BMI. Admin. by Yak Yak Music. All Rights Reserved. Used by Permission

   I saw Muhammad Ali
   Talking to me
   From the TV
   Teaching me the meaning of
   Christmas

   Float like a butterfly
   Sting like a bee
   How could this be
   Him teaching me the meaning of
   Christmas

   CHORUS:

   His hands were shaking
   His knees were weak
   But listen when this old warrior
   speaks
   "I am the greatest," he said
   with a grin
   But he was talking about You
   Not about him
   And was teaching me the
   meaning of Christmas

   I remember they called him a clown
   Then Sonny went down
   In no more than six rounds
   And he was teaching us all a new
   day was coming

   I remember this Louisville kid
   Wouldn't do what they said
   He found his own god instead
   And was teaching us all the
   meaning of Christmas

   CHORUS 2:

   Now his hands are shaking
   And his knees are weak
   But listen when this old warrior
   speaks
   "I am the greatest," he says
   with a grin
   But he's talking about You
   Not about him
   And he's teaching me the
   meaning of Christmas

   There are kings in the east
   Kings in the west
   Kings all around
   But not every king knows the
   meaning of Christmas

COPYRIGHT 2003 Sing Out Corporation
COPYRIGHT 2003 Gale Group


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Songs about Boxing or Prizefighting
From: Dave Sutherland
Date: 31 Mar 05 - 04:52 PM

Try checking out the Radio Ballad"The Fight Game" Ewan MacColl, Peggy Seeger and Charles Parker; I believe that it has been released on CD by Topic. Also see if you can get hold of MacColl and Bert Lloyd's "Bold Sportsmen All" as there are various boxing ballads on that one


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Songs about Boxing or Prizefighting
From: DannyC
Date: 31 Mar 05 - 04:54 PM

I think "The Bold Benicia Boy" is, in fact, a song concerning the Sayers/Jack Heenan bout.

I have heard a wonderful recorded version of same rendered by Dónal Maguire.


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Subject: Lyr Add: MUHAMMAD ALI (Faithless)
From: Dave'sWife
Date: 31 Mar 05 - 04:57 PM

Great references everyone! you're giving me a great deal to work with - more than I expected. I'll be going and looking those up right now.

Meantime:

yet another song about Ali:


Muhammad Ali
Faithless
(Outrospective)

If all you keep hearing it so long you will see me as a super star
And you'll have time to waste with your minions and tink
I see your face in front of me,
Still grainy from that old black and white TV
My whole family silenced,
Watching you shape destiny with your 2 hands,
Faster than the eye can see.

Mesmerizing

You know what skinny little me started to struggle,
10 years old suddenly bold
Cause I resolved to live like my hero in the ring,
Be smart never give an inch,
No retreat when I'm wrapped up
Respect from teachers, Red Necks
And creatures who attack in a pack
Like incensed never seen the light not before or
Since a young prince
And I remain convinced of his invincibility
Athletic agility, virility,
Seen your free spirit for every through eternity stings
Like a bee Mr Muhammed Ali

I want to know who you are!
I want to know who you are!
I want to know who you are!

Your achievements defy belief from the belly of the beast Rising like yeast,
My release from low self esteem
Came when I saw you rapping on my TV screen.
Float like a butterfly,
That describes my walk to school after fight night
I felt so cool cause I was at place too,
Love myself born slippy
Outta love for you,
And I knew that someday people would love me too.
None of that heckling about my black skin got through,
I would walk bare foot through hell for you,
It was how I felt back then I would still do for you,
So accept these humble words of praise,
And my gratitude for those glorious days
And your victorious ways,
Instilled in the young minds,
Skill sublime yours to mine!

I want to know who you are!
I want to know who you are!
I want to know who you are!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Songs about Boxing or Prizefighting
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 31 Mar 05 - 04:59 PM

To add to DaveS's list, Rounder has issued an entire CD of songs and sermons about Joe Louis. "The Fight Game", "Bold Sportsmen All" and "Joe Louis: An American Hero" areall available from CAMSCO.


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Subject: Lyr Add: HURRICANE (Bob Dylan)
From: Dave'sWife
Date: 31 Mar 05 - 05:08 PM

How I could have failed to mention 'Hurricane' by Bob Dylan, I'll never know. I blame it on multi-tasking. I'm trying to bake a Cinnamon-chocolate cake at the same time as working on this. I almost ruined the cake but managed to make it look like it never cracked when I flipped onto the plate!

I searched and Hurricane isn't in the Digitrad and I could not immediately see any threads where anyone posted the Lyrics, so hre it is for the sake of completeness:


Hurricane AKA the Story of The Hurricane AKA Hurricane Carter
Bob Dylan

Pistol shots ring out in the barroom night
Enter patty valentine from the upper hall.
She sees the bartender in a pool of blood,
Cries out, my god, they killed them all!
Here comes the story of the hurricane,
The man the authorities came to blame
For somethin' that he never done.
Put in a prison cell, but one time he could-a been
The champion of the world.

Three bodies lyin' there does patty see
And another man named bello, movin' around mysteriously.
I didn't do it, he says, and he throws up his hands
I was only robbin' the register, I hope you understand.
I saw them leavin', he says, and he stops
One of us had better call up the cops.
And so patty calls the cops
And they arrive on the scene with their red lights flashin'
In the hot new jersey night.

Meanwhile, far away in another part of town
Rubin carter and a couple of friends are drivin' around.
Number one contender for the middleweight crown
Had no idea what kinda shit was about to go down
When a cop pulled him over to the side of the road
Just like the time before and the time before that.
In paterson that's just the way things go.
If you're black you might as well not show up on the street
'less you wanna draw the heat.

Alfred bello had a partner and he had a rap for the cops.
Him and arthur dexter bradley were just out prowlin' around
He said, I saw two men runnin' out, they looked like middleweights
They jumped into a white car with out-of-state plates.
And miss patty valentine just nodded her head.
Cop said, wait a minute, boys, this one's not dead
So they took him to the infirmary
And though this man could hardly see
They told him that he could identify the guilty men.

Four in the mornin' and they haul rubin in,
Take him to the hospital and they bring him upstairs.
The wounded man looks up through his one dyin' eye
Says, wha'd you bring him in here for? he ain't the guy!
Yes, here's the story of the hurricane,
The man the authorities came to blame
For somethin' that he never done.
Put in a prison cell, but one time he could-a been
The champion of the world.

Four months later, the ghettos are in flame,
Rubin's in south america, fightin' for his name
While arthur dexter bradley's still in the robbery game
And the cops are puttin' the screws to him, lookin' for somebody to blame.
Remember that murder that happened in a bar?
Remember you said you saw the getaway car?
You think you'd like to play ball with the law?
Think it might-a been that fighter that you saw runnin' that night?
Don't forget that you are white.

Arthur dexter bradley said, I'm really not sure.
Cops said, a poor boy like you could use a break
We got you for the motel job and we're talkin' to your friend bello
Now you don't wanta have to go back to jail, be a nice fellow.
You'll be doin' society a favor.
That sonofabitch is brave and gettin' braver.
We want to put his ass in stir
We want to pin this triple murder on him
He ain't no gentleman jim.

Rubin could take a man out with just one punch
But he never did like to talk about it all that much.
It's my work, he'd say, and I do it for pay
And when it's over I'd just as soon go on my way
Up to some paradise
Where the trout streams flow and the air is nice
And ride a horse along a trail.
But then they took him to the jailhouse
Where they try to turn a man into a mouse.

All of rubin's cards were marked in advance
The trial was a pig-circus, he never had a chance.
The judge made rubin's witnesses drunkards from the slums
To the white folks who watched he was a revolutionary bum
And to the black folks he was just a crazy nigger.
No one doubted that he pulled the trigger.
And though they could not produce the gun,
The d.a. said he was the one who did the deed
And the all-white jury agreed.

Rubin carter was falsely tried.
The crime was murder one, guess who testified?
Bello and bradley and they both baldly lied
And the newspapers, they all went along for the ride.
How can the life of such a man
Be in the palm of some fool's hand?
To see him obviously framed
Couldn't help but make me feel ashamed to live in a land
Where justice is a game.

Now all the criminals in their coats and their ties
Are free to drink martinis and watch the sun rise
While rubin sits like buddha in a ten-foot cell
An innocent man in a living hell.
That's the story of the hurricane,
But it won't be over till they clear his name
And give him back the time he's done.
Put in a prison cell, but one time he could-a been
The champion of the world.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Songs about Boxing or Prizefighting
From: Dave'sWife
Date: 31 Mar 05 - 05:17 PM

A couple of more blicks for my own reference and anyone else's interested in these songs:

Bobby the Boxer - to the Tune of "Pat's Curiosity Shop."


HEENAN AND SAYERS in the Digitrad


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Songs about Boxing or Prizefighting
From: John Routledge
Date: 31 Mar 05 - 05:27 PM

Recall hearing "The Fight Game" which was a "Radio Ballad" from the sixties by Charles Parker and Ewan MaColl.

Songs not the overall quality of Singing the Fishing or The Big Hewer but there must be a couple of worthwhile songs in there .0)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Songs about Boxing or Prizefighting
From: Dave'sWife
Date: 31 Mar 05 - 05:32 PM

Still can't find any Lyrics to BENDIGO, CHAMPION OF ALL ENGLAND but.. I did see that it is on an album called:

MORNING STANDS ON TIPTOE : Dave & Toni Arthur - 1967 reissued on CD by Wooden Hill in 1997 Ref: HILLCD 18
Tracks:
01    A Fair Maid of Islington 02    Morning Stands On Tiptoe 03    Female Rambling Sailor 04    Padstow Drinking Song 05    Guilty Sea Captain 06    Eynsham Poaching Song 07    Green Grass 08    Barley Grain For Me 09    Jolly Plough Boys 10    Blackburn Poachers 11    John Peel 12    Bold Robinson 13    Green Broom 14    Bendigo Champion of England 15    Football Match

Reviewed here:
http://www.goldilox.co.uk/engfolk/toni_arthur.htm


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Songs about Boxing or Prizefighting
From: GUEST,Art Thieme
Date: 31 Mar 05 - 05:44 PM

Yes, all those Radio Ballads were great works of art on their particular subjects.

The song "Morissey And The Russian Sailor" is truly one of the best of the lot.

Also, do try to find a wonderful old LP on Riverside Records called Champions And Sporting Blades by Ewan MacColl and Bert Lloyd. "The Russian Sailor" is on it---as is "Heenan And Sayers" and a wonderful ballad about the monumental fight between Sugar Ray Robinson and Randy Turpin. Also songs of other sports.

And the amazing walking folklore archive, Joe Heaney, did a grand version of "The Russian Sailor".

Art Thieme


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Songs about Boxing or Prizefighting
From: Dave'sWife
Date: 31 Mar 05 - 06:08 PM

Here is a link to the Mudcat thread about:
Morrissey and the Russian Sailor which refers to The Bold Benecia Boy
Mudcat Thread on The Russian Sailor

useful quote from that thread: "In the mid-1800's, John Morrissey (Feb 5, 1831-May 1,1878) was the 3rd nationally recognized American boxing champ, (won the title from Yankee Sullivan 10/12/1858) later a Congressman from NY; he did fight the "Bold Benicia Boy" (qv) in 1858 but there's no record he ever fought any Russian sailor."


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Songs about Boxing or Prizefighting
From: Stewie
Date: 31 Mar 05 - 06:32 PM

David Olney also had a fine song with the title 'The Contender'. It was covered by various artists, including a powerful rendition by Steve Young on his 'To Satisfy You' album for Rounder.

--Stewie.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Songs about Boxing or Prizefighting
From: ddw
Date: 31 Mar 05 - 06:49 PM

Memphis Minnie McCoy was a big Joe Louis fan and wrote at least two songs about him. One was "He's In The Ring (Doing The Same Old Thing)" and the other was an instrumental which, if memory serves, was called the "Joe Louis Strut." Both are available on the 2-CD set "Me and My Chauffeur."

cheers,

david


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Songs about Boxing or Prizefighting
From: Dave'sWife
Date: 31 Mar 05 - 06:58 PM

Stewie:
Is the "The Contender" you are referring to the same one that Michaelr posted as: The Contender (Aka Jack Doyle) (Jimmy McCarthy)
earlier in this thread? I could see where a common title like that might be affixed to more than one set of lyrics.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Songs about Boxing or Prizefighting
From: GUEST,eliza c
Date: 31 Mar 05 - 07:17 PM

There's a song called "Cribb and the Black", about a very famous rematch between two sponsored fighters in the 18th Century,but I'm afraid that's all the info I have. x e


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Songs about Boxing or Prizefighting
From: Dave'sWife
Date: 31 Mar 05 - 07:45 PM

So far I can't find the Lyrics to that, but I shall keep trying. here's what little info I found on the subject. I'll keep trying.

"Tom Cribb"
Tom Cribb, champion bareknuckle boxer, was born July 8, 1781 in Hanham, Gloucestershire, England.

A former coal porter and sailor, Cribb began his boxing career in 1805, and became one of the most popular and respected fighters in the English prize ring. Although never reckoned as a world titleholder, he defeated two outstanding American athletes, both former black slaves: Bill Richmond, in 1805, and Tom Molineaux, in 1810 and again in 1811, the second contest being an especially savage battle. Cribb also scored two victories over Jem Belcher, a former London Prize Ring champion. He retired after the second Molineaux fight.



Thanks so much for the reference! While I am not limiting myself to historical fights and personages, they are the ones that intrigue me the most. So far Joe Louis is winning the tally as boxer with the most songs either about him or that mention him. Ali is in 2nd place. I'm not posting the lyrics to all of these, just the ones I think people may not have seen or that get mentioned here. However, anyone else wanting to post Lyrics about either of the two, please feel free! You may have something that I do not.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Songs about Boxing or Prizefighting
From: Stewie
Date: 31 Mar 05 - 08:05 PM

Dave'sWife, no it is a different song. Olney wrote it back in 1981 when he was fronting a bar band called the X-Rays. It begins:

Go ahead and laugh, go ahead and stare
You don't believe me, but I don't care
You punks are nothing, you don't know a thing
You never saw me in fifty-nine
I was young, I was in my prime
Quick and strong, I felt like a king
Like I ruled the world when I stepped in the ring

And ends:

I could of (sic) been a contender
I could of been a big name
I could of been a contender
Number one in the game
I could have been a contender
Now can you say the same

--Stewie.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Songs about Boxing or Prizefighting
From: GUEST,folkiefrank
Date: 31 Mar 05 - 08:20 PM

Christy Moore does a version of Morrissey on one of his albums, can't think of which one offhand though.....too late1


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE KID'S LAST FIGHT (Frankie Laine)
From: GUEST
Date: 31 Mar 05 - 08:30 PM

THE KID'S LAST FIGHT
Frankie Laine

It was Tiger Wilson versus Kid McCoy
In the summer of ?ninety-three
Now the Kid was everybody's pride and joy
Just as game as a kid could be

And his darlin' Bess was in the second row
She was prayin' with all her might
Sayin, "Kid, we need that little bungalow
Oh, you've just gotta win tonight"

Come on, Kid, come on, Kid
Let's hit him with a left and a right
Go on, Kid, go on, Kid
But how were they to know it was the Kid's last fight
(But how were they to know it was the Kid's last fight)

Now the Kid had fever to the very bone
But nobody would ever guess
He was in there fightin' on his heart alone
Cause he just had to win for Bess

Oh, the Kid was battered, the Kid was floored
But the count never got to ten
Though his brain was reelin' when the people roared
He was up on his feet again



Come on, Kid, come on, Kid
Let's hit him with a left and a right
Go on, Kid, go on, Kid
But how were they to know it was the Kid's last fight
(But how were they to know it was the Kid's last fight)

Said the Tiger, scowlin', don't you know you're through
I can whip you just like a child
I'm gonna take the fight and take your woman too
When he heard that the Kid went wild

Said the Kid, "For that I'll tear you limb from limb"
And he sprang like an angry colt
He said a punch a-flyin at the Tiger's chin
Knocked him out like a thunderbolt

Come on, Kid, come on, Kid
Let's hit him with a left and a right
Go on, Kid, go on, Kid
But how were they to know it was the Kid's last fight
(But how were they to know it was the Kid's last fight)

To the crowd that saw it there was little doubt
That the Kid was a champ that night
But the champ would never have another bout
?Twas the fever that won the fight

Gather round, I'm bettin' even money folks
There's a bell soundin' way up high
And the champ is climbin' through the golden ropes
Of the Big Ring up in the sky

Come on, Kid, come on, Kid
Let's hit him with a left and a right
Go on, Kid, go on, Kid
But how were they to know it was the Kid's last fight


Lyrics provided by Betty E. Fisher, Hanover, MD (berfisher
aol.com

Am I breaking a "Rule" by "dragging" this from the Frankie lane website?


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Subject: Lyr Add: BIG STRONG MAN / MY BROTHER SYLVEST
From: GUEST
Date: 31 Mar 05 - 08:36 PM

Big Strong Man (My Brother Sylveste)
Listen: LoFi | Download | Chords
From: Songs of Ireland
words and music Traditional

Have you heard about the big strong man?
He lived in a caravan.
Have you heard about the Jeffrey Johnson fight?
Oh, Lord what a hell of a fight.
You can take all of the heavyweights you've got.
We've got a lad that can beat the whole lot.
He used to ring bells in the belfry,
Now he's gonna fight Jack Demspey.

That was my brother Sylvest' (What's he got?)
A row of forty medals on his chest (big chest!)
He killed fifty bad men in the west; he knows no rest.
Think of a man, hells' fire, don't push, just shove,
Plenty of room for you and me.
He's got an arm like a leg (a ladies' leg!)
And a punch that would sink a battleship (big ship!)
It takes all of the Army and the Navy to put the wind up Sylvest'.

Now, he thought he'd take a trip to Italy.
He thought that he'd go by sea.
He dove off the harbor in New York,
And swam like a great big shark.
He saw the Lusitania in distress.
He put the Lusitania on his chest.
He drank all of the water in the sea,
And he walked all the way to Italy.

He thought he take a trip to old Japan.
They turned out a big brass band.
You can take all of the instruments you've got,
We got a lad that can play the whole lot.
And the old church bells will ring (Hells bells!)
The old church choir will sing (Hells fire!)
They all turned out to say farewell to my big brother Sylvest'.

Breaking the same rule again??


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Songs about Boxing or Prizefighting
From: Stewie
Date: 31 Mar 05 - 08:39 PM

Lead Belly's song about the Titanic and Jack Johnson was posted by gargoyle IN THIS THREAD.

Tom Russell's 'Jack Johnson', mentioned above, is about the same incident with a nod to Lead Belly:

Yonder comes Jack Johnson
Well I stole a line from Lead Belly - I don't think he'd mind
'Cause Lead Belly and Jack they were cut from the same vine

It is on The Tom Russell Band 'Hurricane Season' Philo CD PH 1141.

The gospel group headed by J.C. Ginyard, The Dixiaires, recorded a piece called 'Joe Louis is a fightin' man' in 1947. Arhoolie reissued it on its Folklyric label on an album titled 'Golden Age of Gospel Singing' [Folklyric 9046].

--Stewie.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Songs about Boxing or Prizefighting
From: Dave'sWife
Date: 31 Mar 05 - 09:13 PM

Well,THESE are some songs about Boxers.. of the Woof Woof Kind. LOL Not exactly what I was looking for, but I tripped over it and thought it was amusing.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Songs about Boxing or Prizefighting
From: Severn
Date: 31 Mar 05 - 09:36 PM

Somewhere there's a compilation CD of songs about Joe Louis, who inspired a lot of songs back then, (being the hero he was to Black America)from 78's along the lines of the Memphis Minnie piece (which, by the way, is also found on Harry Smith's Anthology Of American Folk Music, Vol.4 (Revenent RVN211)


Severn


When all is done you can compile a killer Box Set of this stuff.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Songs about Boxing or Prizefighting
From: GUEST,Allen
Date: 01 Apr 05 - 03:40 AM

The Boxer by Simon and Garfunkel.
Song for Sonny Liston by Mark Knopfler.
I think there was an old song about Pearly Grainger (?)


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Subject: Lyr Add: DAVEY MOORE (Bob Dylan)
From: Barry Finn
Date: 01 Apr 05 - 05:26 AM

DAVEY MOORE (by Bob Dylan)

Who killed Davey Moore, why & what's the reason for?
Not I said the man whose fists laid him in (into?) a cloud of mist
Who just arrived from Cuba's shore where boxing ain't allowed no more
I hit 'em, I hit 'em yes it's true but that's what I was paid to do
Don't say murder, don't say kill, it was destiny, it was God's will

Ch: Who killed Davey Moore, why & what's the reason for?

Or something close to that. I barely remember that much of it but it goes on to name others that are involved in the fight game, promoters, ref's, etc.
Great song, I don't know why it never appealed more to the folk?

Good Luck

Barry


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Subject: Lyr Add: WHO KILLED DAVEY MOORE (Bob Dylan)
From: Barry Finn
Date: 01 Apr 05 - 05:53 AM

Sorry, I found this in an old thread, I should've looked 1st then posted

Who killed Davey Moore
Why an' what's the reason for?

"Not I," says the referee,
"Don't point your finger at me.
I could've stopped it in the eighth
An' maybe kept him from his fate,
But the crowd would've booed, I'm sure,
At not gettin' their money's worth.
It's too bad he had to go,
But there was a pressure on me too, you know.
It wasn't me that made him fall.
No, you can't blame me at all."

Who killed Davey Moore,
Why an' what's the reason for?

"Not us," says the angry crowd,
Whose screams filled the arena loud.
"It's too bad he died that night
But we just like to see a fight.
We didn't mean for him t' meet his death,
We just meant to see some sweat,
There ain't nothing wrong in that.
It wasn't us that made him fall.
No, you can't blame us at all."
Who killed Davey Moore,
Why an' what's the reason for?

"Not me," says his manager,
Puffing on a big cigar.
"It's hard to say, it's hard to tell,
I always thought that he was well.
It's too bad for his wife an' kids he's dead,
But if he was sick, he should've said.
It wasn't me that made him fall.
No, you can't blame me at all."

Who killed Davey Moore,
Why an' what's the reason for?

"Not me," says the gambling man,
With his ticket stub still in his hand.
"It wasn't me that knocked him down,
My hands never touched him none.
I didn't commit no ugly sin,
Anyway, I put money on him to win.
It wasn't me that made him fall.
No, you can't blame me at all."

Who killed Davey Moore,
Why an' what's the reason for?

"Not me," says the boxing writer,
Pounding print on his old typewriter,
Sayin', "Boxing ain't to blame,
There's just as much danger in a football game."
Sayin', "Fist fighting is here to stay,
It's just the old American way.
It wasn't me that made him fall.
No, you can't blame me at all."

Who killed Davey Moore,
Why an' what's the reason for?

Not me, says the man whose fists
Laid him low in a cloud of mist,
Who came here from Cuba's shore
Where boxing ain't allowed no more.
"I hit him, yes, it's true,
But that's what I am paid to do.
Don't say murder, don't say kill
It was destiny, it was God's will.

Who killed Davey Moore,
Why an' what's the reason for?

Barry


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Songs about Boxing or Prizefighting
From: Flash Company
Date: 01 Apr 05 - 09:05 AM

Ewan McColl sang one that no one has mentioned about the Randolph Turpin/Sugar Ray Robinson fight:-

Come all you sporting gentlemen who like an honest fight,
You citizens who love the silver ring,
All you who fancy leather, lift your voices up together,
For of middle-weights young Turpin is the king.

They said that he was overmatched to fight with Sugar Ray,
And the champion he would cut young Turpin down,
But you should have seen our Randy chewing up that sugar-candy
On the night he won the right to wear the crown.

The rest of it has fallen into the black hole where my memory used to be, but someone else might remember it from that.

FC


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Songs about Boxing or Prizefighting
From: GUEST,Bob Coltman
Date: 01 Apr 05 - 01:17 PM

Hopefully on that compilation of reissued Joe Louis songs is the September 4, 1935 Decca cut of "Joe Louis Blues" by Carl Martin.

(Martin was also a member of the Tennessee Chocolate Drops in the 30s, who re-formed as Martin, Bogan and Armstrong in the 60s).

It was backed, interestingly, with "Let's Have a New Deal." You can always talk/sing politics if you can't sing/talk sports, or vice versa.    Bob


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Songs about Boxing or Prizefighting
From: GUEST,Larry K
Date: 01 Apr 05 - 02:59 PM

I would consider "Eye of the Tiger" from the Rocky movies to be a song about boxing.

Tom Russell also has a song about Mohammed Ali.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Songs about Boxing or Prizefighting
From: GUEST,Art Thieme
Date: 01 Apr 05 - 08:07 PM

FC,

That's the song I was alluding to in my previous post up above. My music is still all packed up---at least the tape I made of the Champions And Sporting Blades 12-inch LP by MacColl & Lloyd isn't readily at hand or I'd post it. It IS a very good song though. You are correct. I recall seeing Sugar Ray Robinson fight on TV sponsored by Gillette razors and blades. (That's different kinds of blades than the "Champions and Sporting" kind! ;-)

Art Thieme


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Subject: Lyr Add: DREAM STREET (John Gorka)
From: Margaret V
Date: 01 Apr 05 - 11:08 PM

On his album "Land of the Bottom Line," John Gorka has a song called "Dream Street" about boxers and the long-term effects of a career in boxing.

DREAM STREET
Words and music by John Gorka
1990

I saw the Champ running down by the river
With his trainer and his stretch limousine
I don't recall the year but it was late in his career
When he was featured in those glove magazines

They never leave the ring before it's too late
They never seem to quit in their prime
I guess you take it as a given that a champion is driven
So he can always win one more time

Chorus:
So there's a new reservation on Dream Street
With a room with no view of before
It takes years for some to check in
But Dream Street will beckon
Till they're mumbling their names at the door

Some do it out of pride, some do it for the dough
Some do cause it's the only thing they're ever gonna know
"Promoters take the money, the fighters take the pain"*
They find a new sucker and they do it again

From the time before he won the title
Till the referee stopped his last fight
Oh I swear there was greatness there
Till those younger guys put out the light

So now he's in his ever after
With money to last all of his days
Oh but the price makes you shiver, fate's an Indian giver
She giveth and she taketh away

(Chorus)

Dream Street is calling, Larry
Dream Street is calling, Joe
Dream Street is calling, Muhammed
Dream Street is calling, Yo
Dream Street is calling...

*quote from Larry Holmes


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Songs about Boxing or Prizefighting
From: Dave Sutherland
Date: 02 Apr 05 - 05:07 AM

If you can still turn up a double album set of London Street Songs by Ewan MacColl, Peggy Seeger and The Critics Group you will find the Sugar Ray/Turpin ballad on there as well. Sung, I think, by John Faulkner.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Songs about Boxing or Prizefighting
From: GUEST,tony B
Date: 02 Apr 05 - 05:16 AM

The song about Tom Cribb is called 'Wymondham Fight' by Bill Meek & you'll also find it recorded by Roy Bailey


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Subject: Lyr Add: WYMONDHAM FIGHT (Bill Meek)
From: GUEST,Tony B
Date: 02 Apr 05 - 05:20 AM

Oh and here are the words

WYMONDHAM FIGHT        by Bill Meek
Come ye gentlemen of fancy come you sportsman too
The prince decrees that young Tom Crib shall fight with Molineaux
Five hundred pounds the stake shall be, the winner to take all
and champion of all the world the victor shall be called.

Chorus
To Rutlandshire to Rutlandshire all roads in England lead
for Crib is fighting Molineaux and that is sport indeed.

Out upon the fields of Wymondham in the chilly dawn
there stand two nobler fighting men that ever yet were born
and young Tom Crib ties to his post a sash of bluebird's eye-
and the red and gold of Molineaux hangs bright against the sky.

Upon the boards they meet at last the white against the brown
Cheers arise and hats are thrown, for Molineaux is down
But soon the score is even, for with but five minutes gone
Crib's blood doth flow and Molineaux the second round has won.

No quarter asked and none they give, blow after cruel blow
Four more rounds are tallied 'tis to Molineaux they go
like deaths deep drum the thunder rolls the sunlight fades away
So fades the hopes of all England on Wymondham's field today.

Young Tom Crib is sorely battered one eye sees no more
Sadly stand the silent crowd defeat for him is sure
And down his face from savage wounds the blood flows crimson dark
as for the fateful seventh round he stumbles to the mark.

Now Tom Molineaux leaps forward victory he sees
but by a wild and desperate blow is brought unto his knees
His jaw is smashed his fight is o'er his dream of glory done
And from the brink of harsh defeat Tom Crib the crown has won.

Last chorus
From Rutlandshire from Rutlandshire all roads in England lead
For Crib has bettered Molineaux and that was sport indeed.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Songs about Boxing or Prizefighting
From: GUEST,eliza c
Date: 02 Apr 05 - 08:09 AM

hi again,    I'd not heard the Wymondham one,that's a corker."Cribb and the Black" is also about the Molineaux fight,but it is different. It had stuck in my mind because of the respect and affection the crowd had for Molineaux,I'd not come accross that before. The book the song came from,which I wish I had,said that Cribb had lost the first fight with Molineaux though, and humiliated had asked for a rematch. It said that Cribb embarked on a strenuous training regime which ultimately won him the fight,while Molineaux had drunk pints of porter before the fight as he was sure he would win again. It was an interesting story,so sorry I can't remember the name of the book! Good luck, x eliza


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Songs about Boxing or Prizefighting
From: Susanne (skw)
Date: 02 Apr 05 - 05:34 PM

There are a couple of songs on Scottish boxer Benny Lynch: Benny Lynch by Matt McGinn and Fighter by Brian McNeill.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Songs about Boxing or Prizefighting
From: GUEST
Date: 02 Apr 05 - 05:39 PM

In addition to his fore mentioned songs about Muhammad Ali and Jack Johson, Tom Russell also has another great boxing song called "The Eyes of Roberto Duran."


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Songs about Boxing or Prizefighting
From: Snuffy
Date: 02 Apr 05 - 05:48 PM

In Carmen Jones the hero is a fighter rather than a toreador. One of the songs starts: "Stand up and fight, until you hear the bell". There may be others in the opera that refer to boxing.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Songs about Boxing or Prizefighting
From: Flash Company
Date: 03 Apr 05 - 07:56 AM

Art Thieme- That's the recording I remember, Also had the 'Govan Pool Room' song on it which I sang occasionally, (One club organiser memorably described it as a lot of balls)

Snuffy:
Stnd up and fight until you hear the bell,
Stand toe to toe,
Trade blow for blow,
Keep punching 'til you make those punches tell,
Show the crowd what you know,
Until you hear the bell,
The final bell,
Stand up and fight like hell! (Toreador Song)

There was a recording with Harry Belafonte and Dorothy Dandridge, but I can't remember much of the rest of the score.
FC


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Songs about Boxing or Prizefighting
From: GUEST,Dave'sWife at Work
Date: 08 Apr 05 - 06:46 PM

>Appluads all of Mudcat for their efforts<

Wow!

>Gives everyone a standing ovation for their help!<

I was away at a family funeral for a bit. I'm so overwhelmed with good material that I have requested permission to do a seperate article on Boxing/Prize-fighting songs apart from the general sports overview I was wortking on with my colleague. I hope they give it a go ahead. Even so, I have so much material to work with, I believe I'll write something up anyway and find a home for it later. In all my searches, I haven't found a comprehensive essay that encompasses both Trad Folk tunes and songs that date from after 1960. The latter day songs are every bit as powerful as the earlier ones and in some cases they document tremendous events in the sport.

What got me going on the subject was Warren Zevon's song 'Boom Boom Mancini' since it graphically describes a major turning point in the sport. After Du Koo Kim's death, a study was convened that found most fatal and/or severe injuies occured in Rounds 12, 13, 14 and 15. As a result, matches were cut back to 12 Rounds. In addition, Mancini carried that cloud over his head for decades. He didn't exorcise it until he went to South Korea in to participate in the fiming of THE CHAMPION which chronicled the life of Kim. He was welcomed with open arms and any blame that might have followed him seemed to evaporate at that point. It's good film too, starring Yu Oh Seung.

Boxing holds such a large part of the American imagination. Growing up in an Irish household in NYC, I recall watching fights with my Uncles and getting very caught up in the subculture even though I was a girl.   I know hispanic women who have told me they experienced the same thing. I came of age during Boxing's last big heyday and remember both the Du Koo Kim/Mancini fight AND the Mancini/Chacon fight referenced in the song. I continued to follow Boxing avidly up until Mike Tsyon went completely bat-shit and chomped off Holyfield's ear.

I'd like to thank various people for the following:

Thanks to :

*Guest for 'Big Strong Man' which references Jack Dempsey..there must be other songs about him and I'll go look.

*Guest Allen for 'Song for Sonny Liston' - another great fighter.

*Flash Company for the references to The Turpin/Sugar Ray Robinson fight - these historical references to actual fights and fighters has been very helpful!

*Margaret V for referencing 'Dream Street' by John Gorka

*Tony B for the info on The Wymondham Fight about Tom Cribb - that was one I was looking for.

*Guest for 'The Eyes of Roberto Duran' by Tom Russell. That one I really need to go and find. That was a big part of my own memories of Prize-fighting. NO MAS!

I'm off to go find a few more songs.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Songs about Boxing or Prizefighting
From: michaelr
Date: 08 Apr 05 - 07:06 PM

Hi, Dave's Wife --

I was going to hold my tongue, but the enthusiastic tone of your last post compels me to say this:

IMO, boxing is a barbaric activity. It is brutal to the utmost and appealing to the basest instincts of a public desensitized to human suffering. It does not deserve to be called a sport as there is nothing "sporting" about it.

I mean, come on -- the deaths and debilitating injuries should speak for themselves, no? Cassius Clay was a smart and nimble young man whose boxing "career" turned him into a mumbling, incoherent wreck of a man. And don't even get me started on that hideous sociopath Tyson.

The only thing worse to me than seeing the boxers smashing each other's heads in is seeing the ringside spectators delirious with bloodlust, cheering for every bone-crunching, brain-sloshing impact.

And the life of Jack Doyle (see the song I posted) bears out the sad and ignominous fate of the prizefighter.

Boxing is the worst of today's examples of Roman-style "bread and circuses", worse than WWW and even football (American). I strongly believe it should be banned forever.


Cheers,
Michael


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Songs about Boxing or Prizefighting
From: GUEST,Dave'sWife at Work
Date: 08 Apr 05 - 08:13 PM

Michaelr - I am presently inclined to agree with you completely! That I was raised to accept the Sport as an appropriate test of Manhood notwithstanding. Any childish ideas I might have still had about the Sport having once been more genteel have surely been dispelled by my current research. Tyson's ear-bite seen round the world did shock many people such as myself into our senses. Boxing hasn't really recovered from that.

I don't know if you are a UK Mudcatter or an American, but to many Americans, especially "ethnic" Americans, Boxing remains and important part of their culture. I could bend your ear about how excited the NYC Irish Community was about Gerry Cooney's prospects as well as how I witnessed the Latino adulation of Oscar De La Hoya but it's all been said before more eloquently if not on Mudcat then at least in mainstream Sports literature.

Still, hearing a song like 'Boom Boom Mancini' immediately transports me back to the late 70's and early 80's when certain neighborhoods in NYC really did shut down to watch a particular fight. Zevon's Lyric.. "Hurry home early, Hurry on Home, Boom Mancini's fighting Bobby Cahcon" captures that feeling EXACTLY! This of couse was when Boxing was still a Network TV phenomenon and before Pay TV marginalized its appeal away from the "Lower Classes" and towards folks who could afford to pay $49.95 to see ONE fight. (or one set of cards as the case may be)

I think that for a time Pro Wrestling took over the place that Boxing used to occupy in "minority" lives. I should be clear that I considered my upbringing in working-class Irish NYC to be a "minority" upbringing as well so I'm not speaking from outside of a 'class.' People can argue all day over whether or not the Irish are still a 'minority' considering how many million Americans there are with a drop of Irish blood or a vestigal Irish name. That's not what I am trying to say. When I grew up, to be Catholic and to be Irish-working-class was still to be considered 'other". That's all. In fact, it still pretty much is in the neighborhoods where branches of my family still live. But, that's a whole nuther can of worms...

As I was saying..... Pro wrestling seemed to have taken over that slot but that has faded as well. In California Mexican Wrestling is still very popular but more as a fringe sport than a mainstream for of entertainment. I believe all it will take is the rise of another very talented boxer to bring back boxing's traditional audiences.

The songs we have mentioned do explore the brutality of the sport but just as many celebrate the participants as 'brave young men', 'champions' 'bold contenders' and such. Without getting overly historical, I would suggest that we view boxers with the same admirations and disgust as Roman-era audiences viewed gladiators with the big difference being that Boxers are usually nowadays, quite well paid!

The songs about Ali are interesting from a sociopolitical perspective. They celebrate his minorioty status, his Draft resistance, his superior physical prowess, all as fine examples to his 'race'. I plan to talk about the evolution of songs about individual boxers from merely commemorating a thrilling bout for the ages to statements about the ascendency of minority fighters.

Any thoughts you have on the subject Michaelr, I'd be eager to hear!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Songs about Boxing or Prizefighting
From: open mike
Date: 08 Apr 05 - 08:21 PM

wht michaelr said.
perhaps this collection of songs
can have an educational element
to show the violent nature of
this "sport" I think you mean
WWF. michael, although the WWW
has it's share of (pardon my
ethnic slur to any of the
wandering tribes of Vandals,
Goths, Huns, Etc.) Barbarian
(barbaric) element.

I also wonder about the racist
part of this--pitting fighters
from one minority against another
minority --

I once worked with disabled students
and saw a couple of them who were
influenced in a very destructive way
by watching these fighting characters--
the costumed ones that are mostly actors.
these students worshipped the "fighters"
and mimiced their actions...and there
were some injuries and dangerous situations
which occurred due to their actions.


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE EYES OF ROBERTO DURAN (Tom Russell)
From: GUEST,Dave'sWife at Work
Date: 08 Apr 05 - 08:27 PM

Here are some references to Roberto Duran in song:


Missy Elliot's 'One Minute Man' mentiones Roberto Duran in a give and take bwteen Missy and JayZ:
[Jay-Z]
Fifty grand I get this on one take (Hova)
Look, I'm not tryin to give you love and affection (uh-huh)
I'm tryin to give you sixty seconds of perfection (uh-huh)
I'm tryin to give you cabfare and directions
Get your +Independent+ ass out of here - QUESTION?
I'm not your man, not Ralph Tresvant
Not Ronnie Romance.. no ma
I'm tryin to hit you then put you in the middle of the round
like I'm Roberto Duran.. no mas


Click HERE for the Full Lyric


And..


Here are the Lyrics and chords to 'The Eyes of Roberto Duran' it's an interesting reference since one has to know who Roberto Duran is to get the meaning the lyrics imply.


THE EYES OF ROBERTO DURAN
=========================
by: Tom Russell
written by: Tom Russell - Frontera Music

D G A D G A

Verse 1:

D                        G       A
Has anybody here seen Roberto Duran?
D                      G         A
I met him once yeah I shook his hand
   Em                   G          A
I looked in his eyes and now I understand
    Em                        A                  D G A D
The love and the anger in the eyes of Roberto Duran


Verse 2:

D                           G       A      
Has anybody here seen that Mexican girl?
    D                              G          A
She lives up on Third street in her own little world
Em                           G                   A
A saint in the window with the rosary beads in her hand
          Em                      A                   D G A D
With the smile of an angel and the eyes of Roberto Duran


Chorus:

Bm                  A
Panama City, it's three in the morning
         G                A         Bm
They're talkin' 'bout the hands of stone
G                      D
New York City, Lord the sun's coming up
   C                              A
My lady's throwing everything she owns


Verse 3:

D                         G       A
Has anybody here seen the woman I love
       D                         G             A      
She'll fight down and dirty when push comes to shove
       Em                     G                      A
She'll win every round if the fight goes according to plan
         Em                        A                  D G A D
With the smile of an angel and the eyes of Roberto Duran


Solo (play through one verse)
Repeat Chorus:
Repeat Verse 1:
D G A D G A D G A D
From the album: The Long Way Around 1997 Hightone Records
Transcribed by Greg Yuriy


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Songs about Boxing or Prizefighting
From: GUEST,Dave'sWife at work
Date: 08 Apr 05 - 08:58 PM

The reference to the Black on White Prize fights reminded me of something...

When I was looking up Lyrical references to Jack Dempsey.. I found DOZENS of references to Dempsey by Black Rappers. Here are a couple for you just as an example:

Craig Mack - Real raw
A line referring to "The thriller in Mailla fight":
"MC's I'm a thriller, from here to Manilla"
and.. a line referring to Dack Dempsey
"I'm death to an MC, below like Jack Dempsey
A shark feedin frenzy, on those that tempt me"

Full Lyric HERE

Artist: Das EFX
Song: 'Real Hip Hop Lyrics'
"I throw a screwball and strike out the MC
and if he temps me
I knock em out like Jack Dempsey
I burn some sensi and chase em wit the Guiness
The illest..hit me wit the hook because I'm finished"

Another Rap Jack Demspey reference in Notirgious B.I.G's Mister C:
"Jack Dempsey will start shaking
All it's taking, is some marijuana and I'm making"
Go HERE for full Lyric

The one reference to Demspey most Folkies know is:
MY BROTHER SYLVESTE ( about the Jeffrey/Dempsey Fight) in The Digitrad:

Here's the one Open Thread about that song:

Lyr Add: BIG STRONG MAN / SYLVEST


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Songs about Boxing or Prizefighting
From: Dave'sWife
Date: 09 Apr 05 - 01:26 AM

I recently came across this parody of Paul Simon's The Boxer on this site:

www.freerepublic.com thread with this song parody

For people that are adverse to Blickified links.. I'm gonna post the lyrics cuz they're funny - not as funny as if a Mudcatter had done it, but beggars can't be choosers! It does make reference to Roberto Duran's famous "NO MAS" statement in the second bout with Sugar Ray Leonard so it does belong in this thread.



DFU SONG: The Boxer (Condi chews up and spits out Barbara Boxer)
(To The Tune of The Boxer)
DFU SONGS | 1-2005 | Lyrics, Doug from Upland


Her name's Barbara Boxer...she's a whiny little witch
Yes, I didn't use a "b" there
It is really only Hillary I call a *****

I do declare
After seeing her on C-SPAN
I could pull out all her hair...frizzy hair
Gray, lifeless hair

She was jumping all over Condi Rice
One of freedom's greatest lights
Condi taught her a great lesson
You don't bring a knife when it is time for your gunfight
Your gunfight
Condi shot her like a tin can...and then she turned off her light
It was fun to see her turn off Boxer's light

See her whine...Barbara Boxer likes to whine
See her whine...it's so funny on TV when we watch her whine

So the pest kept on attacking...she's a woman with no clue
It was so annoying
Boxer saw those steely eyes that told her "I'll get you"
I will get you
You'll regret all this showboating by the time this hearing's through
By the time this hearing's through

(musical break)

See her whine...Barbara Boxer likes to whine
See her whine...it's so funny on TV when we watch her whine

Out of her Condi made mincemeat
It was something to behold...to behold
It's a great one for the archives...it is solid gold
Boxer's now...not so bold

DemocRATS rushed to her side and gave to her some smelling salts
And George Bush, of course, is at fault
'Cause Condi had picked her up and threw her on the mat
And broke her like a very fragile vase (väz)
Like Roberto or a Frenchie she cried out "Oh, please no mas...please no mas"

See her whine...Barbara Boxer likes to whine
See her whine...it's so funny on TV when we watch her whine

See her whine...Barbara Boxer likes to whine
See her whine...it's so funny on TV when we watch her whine

SNIPPED.......The writer repeats this phrase a bunch more times cuz he is obviously enamoured of his own talents at parodying folk songs......

Not a bad little effort if I do say so myself. Worthy of being included on The Mudcat!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Songs about Boxing or Prizefighting
From: michaelr
Date: 09 Apr 05 - 12:52 PM

Yes, I meant WWF, not WWW... LOL!

Barbara Boxer is my state's senator, and I happen to have a lot more respect for her than for Rice, so I won't be singing that song... but I'll admit it's clever.

I think you are right that pro wrestling has replaced boxing as the main gladiator-style entertainment. The big difference, of course, is that it's fake. The violence is no more real than in a movie, and therefore cannot be compared to that which occurs in a boxing match.

Cheers,
Michael


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Songs about Boxing or Prizefighting
From: Dave'sWife
Date: 09 Apr 05 - 10:32 PM

Michaelr states:
>>The violence is no more real than in a movie, and therefore cannot be compared to that which occurs in a boxing match.<<

I suppose! Didn't Hitman Hart's brother die in a wrestling stunt gone terribly wrong?


I've participated in some local Semi-Pro Wrestling matches as a "Manager" and I've gotta say.... not for the faint of heart! Even staged violence goes horribly awry.

Just ask this guy named Bubba who I once clocked with my High Heel shoe in a match. I thought I put his eye out! We had rehearsed it several times and it still made a sick sound when I let him have it. He had me jump on his back and whilst spinning me around, I was supposed to 'mock' smack him upside the head with it. Well, I got scared being twirled around by a 250 lb behemoth and I bashed his brains out. Ah my wild youth. That was maybe 9 years ago.

What I object to about wrestling the most is the planned blood-letting. I learned an awful lot about the myriad ways wrestlers conceal small blades so at the planned moment they can either cut themselves or their opponent. It's all agreed upon in advance. Once, a guy I was dating permitted himself to be cut on cue and the other guy accidentally nicked an artery. Yikes. That pretty much ended my involvement with the wrestler AND wrestling. It's not just that accidents like that can happen - any deliberate blood play is such a stupid idea.

The more I research the boxing songs and the more I think about my own life, the more appalled I am by my own involvement in 'gladiator sports.'

Back to the subject of this Thread:

The thing that I am finding now is that Rap has co-opted the names of famous boxers and their stories to represent various values in their music. Mentioning Roberto Duran means one thing, usually bad, mentioning Jack Dempsey is good, invoking Ali, even better! I have tripped across a couple hundred Rap references to historical boxers. I only listed a few typical examples in this thread.

I should also mention I found the name of a song but not the Lyric by a Singer named Paul Thorn who actually FOUGHT Roberto Duran in 1987 before becoming a singer/songwriter. it's called 'I'd rather be a Hammer than a Nail" in an abvious reference to Paul SImon's 'El Condor Paso' I'd love to have those lyrics. They guy lasted 7 rounds against Duran which means he's not some guy with whom you'd wanna start a Bar Fight!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Songs about Boxing or Prizefighting
From: GUEST
Date: 10 Apr 05 - 06:37 PM

Has anyone read George MacDonald Fraser's Black Ajax? it's a really good tale of a black prizefighter in Regency Britain.


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE BALLAD OF LES DARCY
From: GUEST,Barrie Roberts
Date: 10 Apr 05 - 07:12 PM

Then there's 'THE BALLAD OF LES DARCY'. LD was an Aussie, who allegedly removed himself to the USA to avoid the call-up for WWI. He died after a fight in Memphis and legend says that the Us autopsy said natural causes but the Australian one said poison.

In Maitand Cemetery
Lies poor Les Darcy,
Australia's bonny boy,
His mother's pride and joy.
Oh the Yanks called him a skiter,
But he proved himself a fighter,
So they killed him, yes they killed him,
Down in Memphis, Tennessee.

THe critics by the score,
Said they had never saw
A boy like Les before
Upon the stadium floor.
All I think of each night
Is to see Les Darcy fight,
How he beats'em, simply eats 'em
Every Saturday night.

Repeat first verse.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Songs about Boxing or Prizefighting
From: Dave'sWife
Date: 13 Apr 05 - 02:52 PM

Wow. That's one I hadn't seen before. Many thanks to you Barrie Roberts!

I have a great deal to work with now, probably more than I can actually use, but I would still love to see any other songs any Mudcatters choose to dig up and put in this thread. I am still especially interested in the songs which refer to actual historical persons and/or fights. They do not have to be Trad. The modern songs are every bit as exemplary of the types of boxing/Prize-Fighting songs I am discussing.

We've come a long way from The Russian Sailor, The Contender and Boom Boom Mancini! I am, as usual, in debt to the wonderful mudcatters who gave me aid.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Songs about Boxing or Prizefighting
From: GUEST,DannyC
Date: 13 Apr 05 - 10:30 PM

For those in the US - my cousin Jimmy is apparantly featured in this scheduled Broadcast (see below).   In his prime, along with a string of bouts in and around Philly, Jimmy had amateur bouts in Belfast, Newry and Dundalk, Ireland. Now he's into coaching and referee work. There's been so much boxing discussion here, I thought I'd post his note:

<< ESPN2 has a new sports documentary called "Timeless". They spent 3 days here filming and interviewing for our annual Brigade Boxing
Championships. The story is on this Saturday at 11:30 am on ESPN2 and
gets replayed Sunday at 5:00 am on regular ESPN... Seamus might be on as well. It could be on at different times out west.

BTW, we won the NCBA Championships this year the first weekend in
April.

http://espn.go.com/eoe/timeless/index.html >>


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Songs about Boxing or Prizefighting
From: GUEST,The Thing
Date: 13 Apr 05 - 11:28 PM

I seem to remember a single around 1962 called "I am the greatest" by Cassius Clay - am I dreaming, or did it happen?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Songs about Boxing or Prizefighting
From: open mike
Date: 20 Apr 05 - 10:40 PM

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=4603489
i just saw this reference to an NPR story about a fatal fight
or rather a fighter who was carried out of the ring on a stretcher
and died 10 days after the fight. Perhaps they will have some music
in the sound track. Ring of Fire was bradcast last sat. April 16.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Songs about Boxing or Prizefighting
From: GUEST,kendall
Date: 21 Apr 05 - 06:48 AM

Ed Trickett recorded one on Folk Legacy called "People Like you".

"Old fighter you sure took it on the chin,
Thought you never had the strength to stand
Never giving up or giving in,
You know I just want to shake your hand
And say that people like you help people like me go on"


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Songs about Boxing or Prizefighting
From: Dave'sWife
Date: 21 Apr 05 - 04:27 PM

>>Ring of Fire: The Emile Griffith Story is a new documentary dealing with the death of Benny "Kid" Paret at the hands of Griffith during their middleweight boxing championship in 1962.

Griffith's bout with then-champion Paret, a 24-year-old Cuban exile, was broadcast on national television. Paret suffered a final pummeling by Griffith that led to his being carried out of Madison Square Garden on a stretcher. He died 10 days later.<<

Now if I could find a SONG about THAT fatal bout, that would be very interesting indeed. References to Ring fatalities can sometimes be found in songs, but not always as the subject of the song.

For example, in the song that got me started down this road, 'Boom Boom Mancini,' the song isn't actually about the Du Koo Kim/Mancini fight. It's about the Mancini/Chacon fight. Du Koo Kim's death is mentioned in the bridge as a way of heightening the sense of risk and danger that accompanies any fight, but especially the fight being sung about. In the lyrics, the fight has yet to take place and it's all about the ancitipation of seeing Ray Mancini fight again after that last, fatal bout with Kim.

Hurry home early
Hurry on home
Boom Boom Mancini's fighting Bobby Chacon



I turned in my first draft and I was sent back to rework the article a bit. My editor wants a little more to be said about whether these songs have any meaning to people who either saw the fights referenced or perhaps may only know of the fights referenced as a result of hearing stories and/or the songs about them.

I am trying to make Boom Boom Mancini the song I start and end with because I actually saw that fight myself and the song has always struck me as powerful. I consider it a fine example of Folk even if 'Folk' doesn't exactly spring to the mind when one hears Warren Zevon's name. I always felt he was primarily a folk artist in terms of his topics and that it was the rest of the world insisting he was a rock star. Just look at 'Roland The Headless Thompson Gunner' and you may agree with me.

Did anybody here SEE either the Chacon/Mancini fight or the Kim/Mancini fight? How about any of the others that have been mentioned? Surely a number of Mudcatters have seen the referenced Ali fights and/or the Sugar Ray Leonard/Roberto Duran fights I and II! Maybe some of you are old enough or have been reincarnated enough times to have even seen some of the ones the Trad songs refer to!

I'd be interested in hearing if anyone had.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Songs about boxing or prizefighting
From: Dave'sWife
Date: 24 Apr 05 - 10:12 PM

I realize I neglected to include the references or lyrics to the many songs about Sonny Liston. He ranks way up in the top 5 of most frequently mentioned fighters when it comes to song lyrics.

Perhaps the most famous of which is:

The Ballad of Sonny Liston
By Phil Ochs

Now I don't know how Sonny Liston died
Maybe he killed himself, maybe he even tried
Or maybe the boys weren't satisfied
I don't know, I'm sorry I just don't know

Sonny, Sonny Sonny, why'd you have to take a dive
If you don't then you won't stay alive...



Mark Knopfler's 'Song For Sonny Liston' is really a great example of the kind of song I was looking for. It talks about his life, his fighs and his tragic end in heroin addiction.
Song For Sonny Liston - Full Lyric HERE



Guided By Voices has a song called 'The Sonny Liston Fan club - that doesn't even mention him by name.
Lyrics to Sonny Liston Fan Club HERE

Sun Kil Moon's CD - Ghosts of the Great Highway - has a song, 'Glen Tipton' which mentions Cassius Clay and Sonny Liston.
Full Lyric HERE


Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds have a song, "Babe, I'm On Fire" which also mentions Liston:

The mild little Christian says it
The wild Sonny Liston says it
The pimp and the gimp
And the guy with the limp says
Babe, I'm on fire
Babe, I'm on fire

Full Lyric to 'baby I'm On Fire' HERE


Billy Joel mentions Liston beating Patterson in his song "We didn't Start The Fire'
For a discussion of that song and the history it mentions, go HERE:

There are also about a dozen rap or Pop references to liston that mention him in a line or two. Too many to list.

The Knopfler song is very interesting, perhaps the best of the bunch.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Songs about boxing or prizefighting
From: goodbar
Date: 25 Apr 05 - 12:19 AM

the pubcrawlers - 'the irish combine'


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Songs about boxing or prizefighting
From: Malc R
Date: 25 Apr 05 - 02:19 PM

I have a 3 CD compilation album "The Folk Box" one track is The Boxing Match sung by Black Country Three It is listed as Trad. arr by Jon & Michael Raven

Pulse label
1995 Kas Records
PBX CD 513/3
Track 16


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Songs about boxing or prizefighting
From: Malc R
Date: 25 Apr 05 - 02:37 PM

The Titanic Song by Huddie Leadbetter refers to Jack Johnson

is this the same as the post above?

Mal


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Songs about boxing or prizefighting
From: Malc R
Date: 25 Apr 05 - 02:44 PM

Ignor the post above, Just the ramblings of a cerebrally challenged old moggy, should have checked DT first, it is the same song.

Mal :o|


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Songs about boxing or prizefighting
From: Dave'sWife
Date: 25 Apr 05 - 10:44 PM

Big Mal.. please, don't hang back!   It's no matter if you missed a reference to a ssong. This thread has been so hlepful to me - almost too helpful. I keep coming up with more and more to say.

What I am really in need of at present are some reactions to the songs that mention real fighters or fights from people who either saw the metnioned bouts or upon whom the bouts made a big imression.

Do any of you feel the songs got it 'wrong' or or that the fighters referenced are ill-served by the songs about them?

Do the songs accurately reflect community opinion of the bouts and fighters?

Or, do they perpetuate myths and misunderstandings?


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Subject: Lyr Add: MORRISSEY AND THE BENICIA BOY
From: Frank Maher
Date: 26 Apr 05 - 09:04 AM

MORRISSEY AND THE BENICIA BOY

Ye undaunted sons of Ireland, I pray attend a while,
To those few lines that I have penned down, they will cause you for to smile,
Concerning a great battle fought on Columbia's shore
By the Benicia Boy and Morrissey, that came from Templemore.

The Benicia Boy a challenge sent our hero out of hand,
And said, no man from Ireland before him there could stand,
Our hero smiled and then replied: "I'll meet you on the plain,
And for Paddy's land I mean to stand the laurels to maintain."

Five and twenty hundred dollars the prize it was to be,
Long Island be appointed in North America;
Both small and great from every State in multitude had ran,
The American's thought their champion would kill our Irishman.

When the two gallant champions stripped and stepped into the ring,
Some time they parried each other's blows with many a nimble spring;
The Benicia Boy drew first blood and that knocked our hero down,
And in the second round they both came to the ground.

The third and fourth the Yank was floored by Morrissey, it appears,
The fifth brave Morrissey went down amidst the Yankee cheers;
The boldly offered ten to one bright dollars on the ground,
While the Irish independently they took the bets all 'round.

Up to the tenth by Morrissey the Yankee he down he went,
The know-nothings all shook their heads, feeling sorely discontent;
They shouted to the Benicia Boy, Exert your skill they cried,
For our country's credit our cash on you we have relied.

"Twas then our spoke brave Morrissey, his voice being loud and high,
For Paddy's land I mean to stand, to conquer or to die;
Na-bock-lish then all brags you made, I mean to let you know
That an Irish cock is still true game wherever he does go.

The eleventh round decided all, the Yank was forced to yield,
With courage bold undaunted our hero stood the field;
The Benicia Boy they bore away, he was scarcely fit to stand,
While Morrissey he cleared the ropes and cheered for Paddy's land.

The Americans may no longer boast , nor Paddy's sons degrade,
For now they must surrender to our gallant Irish blade;
With honor now he wears the belt, and the Yankees may deplore
The day they challenged Morrissey, that came from Templemore.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Songs about boxing or prizefighting
From: Dave'sWife
Date: 10 May 05 - 02:42 PM

I'm sitting here listening to the new Springsteen CD, DEVILS AND DUST and what do I hear but a song about a bare-knuckles boxer called "The Hitter"! I was prepared to hate this CD actually, but it won me over on the first run-through. It's remarkbaly different from NEBRAKSA and GHOST OF TOM JOAD. It makes nice use of some unsual arrangements for him.

'The Hitter' is a painfully brutal story of a bare-knuckles fighter who is passing through his hometown and talking to his mother through her door and explaining what he's been up to in the years since he left town. I'll get around to posting the lyrics some day soon.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Songs about boxing or prizefighting
From: GUEST,simonb
Date: 10 May 05 - 05:29 PM

Try Molineux by John Connelly
Havn,t got the lyrics, if you can find them, it is a historical song, relating to the then (19th century all England prize fighting champion,Tom Cribb,who was almost beaten by Molleneux,an ex slave, an absolute scandal at the time, Let me know how you get on


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Subject: Lyr Add: JOHN O'REILLEY
From: Terry Allan Hall
Date: 10 May 05 - 06:50 PM

I'm not sure if this is an "authentic" Irish tune or a "manufactured" (to sound like an) Irish tune, but it's definitely a song about boxing:

JOHN O'REILLEY

My name is John O'Reilly,and my father worked the fields
in the hills of ol'Kilarney,where I helped him turn the wheels
My arms grew hard as iron for a boy of 17
and I used my fists for gamblin' in those old Kilarney streets

Well,the ship left for America,I got my pack aboard
Said farewell to my dear Ireland,said a prayer to my dear Lord
I fought those sorry guineas in the kitchens they call Hell
I fought'em for their dollar and those guineas paid me well!

CHORUS:
Fare the well,fair Dover,
fare thee well your seasons turn-
for my pockets will be jinglin' on the day of my return,
the day of my return...

Well,I fought in New York City,and I fought the Jersey shore
My gut stayed full o' whiskey and my bed stayed full o' whores
My right they called a cannonball,my left they called the same
and I left 'em all there lyin' half in blood and half in shame.

I met a man on '32 and he stuck out his hand/
He offered me a thousand if I'd fall before his man
I said it could be done,but only for another two
He smiled at me and nodded as I tucked it in my shoe.

I let the bell ring twice before I'd let him have my nose
and I let him work my left until my eye was swollen closed,
then I let lose a peltin' they still talk about today
That guinea didn't know that I had bet the other way.

They colored ev'ry port from here clear to the coast
lookin for the double-crosser that had turned into a ghost
But I was on a train.my freind,and rode the other way
I'll sail from California back to Dublin one fine day!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Songs about boxing or prizefighting
From: GUEST,Allen
Date: 11 May 05 - 07:20 AM

There is a more than decent novel about Tom Molineaux.
It's called "Black Ajax", George macDonald Fraser is the author and it's done through 'interviews' with those who knew him.
Pretty powerful stuff.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Songs about boxing or prizefighting
From: GUEST,Maurice Curtin
Date: 30 Jan 06 - 02:30 PM

The song is on HMV Long Play CLP 1327, A Jug of Punch, Broadside ballads Old & new sung by British folk singers recorded by Steve Benbow, (Guitar), Perry Friedman, (Banjo), & Vic Pitt (Bass. I'm still trying to work out how Samus Ennis, who plays tin whistle on the record, could be regarded a "British". The old colonial instinct dies hard!!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Songs about boxing or prizefighting
From: GUEST,Joe
Date: 24 Mar 07 - 11:22 AM

Does anyone have the song "sweat and tears"? It was a song played at the closing of Hbo world championship boxing in the early to mid 1980's. It was performed by a female. I have no idea who she is. I believe the lyrics went something like this. "With your sweat and tears,winning and losing you put in the years. with your sweat and tears". If anyone can locate this song for me please let me know.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Songs about boxing or prizefighting
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 27 Mar 07 - 11:04 PM

Bodleian Library Broadside Ballads has 113 songs about prizefighting (eliminating duplicates, maybe half that many).

I think this link will give you a list of them; if not, go to the first link and put "prizefighting" in the search box and select "3 Subjects" as your index.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Songs about boxing or prizefighting
From: Peace
Date: 27 Mar 07 - 11:10 PM

"Who Killed Davey Moore?" by Bob Dylan


Who killed Davey Moore,
Why an' what's the reason for?

"Not I," says the referee,
"Don't point your finger at me.
I could've stopped it in the eighth
An' maybe kept him from his fate,
But the crowd would've booed, I'm sure,
At not gettin' their money's worth.
It's too bad he had to go,
But there was a pressure on me too, you know.
It wasn't me that made him fall.
No, you can't blame me at all."

Who killed Davey Moore,
Why an' what's the reason for?

"Not us," says the angry crowd,
Whose screams filled the arena loud.
"It's too bad he died that night
But we just like to see a fight.
We didn't mean for him t' meet his death,
We just meant to see some sweat,
There ain't nothing wrong in that.
It wasn't us that made him fall.
No, you can't blame us at all."

Who killed Davey Moore,
Why an' what's the reason for?

"Not me," says his manager,
Puffing on a big cigar.
"It's hard to say, it's hard to tell,
I always thought that he was well.
It's too bad for his wife an' kids he's dead,
But if he was sick, he should've said.
It wasn't me that made him fall.
No, you can't blame me at all."

Who killed Davey Moore,
Why an' what's the reason for?


"Not me," says the gambling man,
With his ticket stub still in his hand.
"It wasn't me that knocked him down,
My hands never touched him none.
I didn't commit no ugly sin,
Anyway, I put money on him to win.
It wasn't me that made him fall.
No, you can't blame me at all."

Who killed Davey Moore,
Why an' what's the reason for?

"Not me," says the boxing writer,
Pounding print on his old typewriter,
Sayin', "Boxing ain't to blame,
There's just as much danger in a football game."
Sayin', "Fist fighting is here to stay,
It's just the old American way.
It wasn't me that made him fall.
No, you can't blame me at all."

Who killed Davey Moore,
Why an' what's the reason for?

"Not me," says the man whose fists
Laid him low in a cloud of mist,
Who came here from Cuba's door
Where boxing ain't allowed no more.
"I hit him, yes, it's true,
But that's what I am paid to do.
Don't say 'murder,' don't say 'kill.'
It was destiny, it was God's will."

Who killed Davey Moore,
Why an' what's the reason for?


Pete Seeger did an awesome version of it.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Songs about boxing or prizefighting
From: GUEST,soundcatcher
Date: 28 Mar 07 - 10:23 PM


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Subject: Lyr Add: ANOTHER STAR ASCENDING (Ralph McTell)
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 29 Mar 07 - 05:45 PM

By the brilliant Ralph McTell:-

ANOTHER STAR ASCENDING (The Boxer)
If I'd been born a street away, another star ascending
I'd have been a fighter, a boxer in the ring
And I salute the boxer if he lose or if he win
Not the cigar-ash, splashed fat men
Who sit around the ring.

I want water in the bottle not brandy in the glass
Bruised and battered maybe but a fighter to the last
So I salute the boxer if he lose or if he win
Not the cigar-ash splashed fat men
Who sit around the ring.

And I have watched the fighters since I was just a kid
From their struggle through the ghettos to their championship bids
And it ain't just for the money that a guy gets cut and bruised
Or to please the ringside fat men
And to keep them all amused.

No boxer started out rich and I hate when they complain
They're calling it blood money they talk of damage to the brain
But the poor do not want charity they only want their pride
Better go down fighting than accept the back seat ride.

I'm gonna miss Muhammed when he takes his final bow
May he go out with his fist high and ignore the screaming crowd,
Ignore the compliments of fat men who behind their cigars hid
And keep the sense of pride he gave to every ghetto kid.


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Subject: Lyr/Chords Add: LES D'ARCY
From: GUEST,Soundcatcher
Date: 30 Mar 07 - 06:05 AM

Oops ! Don't know what happened there
I saw the reference to Les Darcy Earlier and thought you might like these lyrics.
Don't know if the chords will transfer accurately
Regards John

                        Les D'Arcy.
.
        C                        F        C                F        C        F                G
Roll up ! roll up ! and see the show, you local blokes let's see you go
        C                        F                C                        F                 Dm                G
A quid for a goer, two bob for a dud, it's a princely pay for sweat and blood.
                C                F        C                        F                C                F                G
Young Les was keen to have a go, "now watch him Les ! he'll hit you low"
        C                        F        C                F                                                G
The tent-show boy never saw it coming, Maitland's pride was off and running
.
                C                F                                        C        
He was running down to Sydney town, he was running down to try,
C                        F        C                        F                        G
Running down to make a name and listen to them cry.
.
¥        C        G                F                C        G        Am
¥        All I can wish for tonight is to see les D'Arcy fight.
¥        C        G                                F                        C        
¥        How they cheered him, they clapped him & they cheered him
¥        F        G                F
¥        Every Saturday night
.
        C                        F        C                F        C        F                G
So he hung around the stadium door, they let him in to sweep the floor,
        C                        F        C        F                         Dm                G
He saw them spar, the best they'd got, he knew that he could beat the lot
        C                        F        C                F        C                F                G
Three rounds to start and then a main, he never swept that floor again,
        C                        F        C        F                                G
For he beat them all inside the bell, soon he heard the people yell.
.
        C                                F        C                F                C        F        G
They rolled up in regiments for every fight, they made Les Darcy King for a night
        C                        F        C                F                                         Dm        G
But then he refused to kill in our name, the press they called him a national shame.
        C                        F        C                F        C        F                G
He stowed away for the land of the free, he died alone across the sea
        C                        F        C        F                                                G
In a flag-drap'd coffin they sent 'im 'ome, he sat on our guilt like a champion's throne
.
        C                        F                C
He was going down to Tennessee, he was going down to die,
                                        F        C                F                                        G
If we'd known that we would break your heart, you would have heard Australia cry.
.
                                Final Chorus.
C                G                F        C        G        Am
All I can wish for tonight, is to see Les D'Arcy fight,
C                G                        F                        C        
How they cheered him, they clapped him and they cheered him
F        G                F
Every Saturday night
        G                F                G        F        C
Every Saturday night, every Saturday night.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Songs about boxing or prizefighting
From: alanabit
Date: 30 Mar 07 - 07:14 PM

I recall seeing Simon and Hilary (also known as "Spreadthick"), doing a song about a Saucy bold robber and, I think, a jolly young sailor, although I can't be sure that I have described the combatants as the song did. It was a bit of a punch up, in which I think the sailor walloped the robber. I can't be sure though, as it has been a long time since I heard it. Maybe some Mudcatter knows it.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Songs about boxing or prizefighting
From: GUEST,Joe
Date: 02 Apr 07 - 04:30 PM

Anybody have any idea where i can find the song "sweat and tears"?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Songs about boxing or prizefighting
From: Dave'sWife
Date: 03 Apr 07 - 06:14 AM

Guest Joe, could it be this one:

A Time For Heroes

We search for an answer
And when it appears
We can challenge the world
With our sweat and our tears

Through winning and losing
Oh, the brave never bend
And the hero keeps fighting
Standing tall in the end

And time can heal anything, it can mend any fall
It's the moment of truth that's facing us all
And it's time for the hero to stand tall

It's a time for heroes
Time to answer the call
It's a time for heroes
In us all

We carry the flame
For all to see
And the fire and the passion of what we can be

And sometimes we must fight
Oh, but we'll never, never bend
And the hero keeps fighting
Standing tall in the end

And love can change anything, it's inside of us all
To reach out a hand now, oh, whenever we fall
It's time for the hero to stand tall

It's a time for heroes
Time to answer the call
It's a time for heroes to stand tall (oh, oh, oh)

It's a time for heroes (oh, oh, oh, oh)
When our back's to the wall
It's a time for heroes in us all

It's a time for heroes (it's a time for heroes)
Deep inside of our soul (deep inside of our soul)
It's a time for heroes (it's a time for heroes)

It's a time for heroes
Time to answer the call
It's a time for heroes to stand tall (wo, oh, oh)

It's a time for heroes (oh, oh, oh, oh)
When our back's to the wall
It's a time for heroes

It's a time for heroes (it's a time for heroes)
It's a time for heroes (it's a time for heroes)
It's a time for heroes (it's a time for heroes)

A Time For Heroes
Meat Loaf, 1987. Brian plays Guitar. Original Version 5:03
Written by M. Scott Sotebeer, Jon Lyons and Rik Emmett.
Released in the USA only, backed with an instrumental version by Tangerine Dream.
This was the official theme music of the 1987 International Summer Special Olympic Games.
Also available on the Germany only CD 'Back Into Hell - The Very Best Of Meat Loaf, volume 2'


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Songs about boxing or prizefighting
From: Dave'sWife
Date: 03 Apr 07 - 06:49 AM

Guest Joe, I have an idea - HBO's Boxing website has a Community you can join and post comments and questions and such. they also have an "Ask an Expertt" section. You might try asking over there. Follow this link:
HBO's Boxing Community Starting Page

Let us know what you find out! it will bug us too.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Songs about boxing or prizefighting
From: SouthernCelt
Date: 03 Apr 07 - 08:09 AM

Although the fighter is fictitious, "Tiger Tom Dixon" sung by Slaid Cleaves (and penned by Cleaves and one of his cohorts, can't remember his name)is a good catchy song about an unsanctioned, barroom fighter with a drinking problem.
SC


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Songs about boxing or prizefighting
From: GUEST,JOE
Date: 10 Apr 07 - 05:45 PM

Hello. I tried HBO. No luck there. The song A time for heroes Is not the song i am looking for. Thank you for trying. I am starting to believe that the song i am looking for "sweat and tears" was made just for HBO. If anyone has any old fight videos from the early to mid 1980's It should be on the very end of the tape.

                     Thanks again,
                         Joe


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Songs about boxing or prizefighting
From: GUEST
Date: 15 Jun 12 - 05:53 PM

a 80's rap song that referenced godzilla and the thriller in manilla anybody know?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Songs about boxing or prizefighting
From: RTim
Date: 15 Jun 12 - 06:49 PM

There is always - Young Taylor, Huzza - collected in Hampshire from George Blake
and sung by me on my CD -= George Blake's Legacy.

Tim Radford
http://www.forest-tracks.co.uk/folk_music_wavs/01%20Young%20Taylor,%20Huzza.mp3


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Songs about boxing or prizefighting
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 16 Jun 12 - 10:05 AM

by Neil dalton of the Real Music and Spondon Club
The Champ O' The Midlands

I was down at the fair,
My Dad holding my hand,
And the night it was pounding,
From the Miner's Brass Band.

There was hoop-la and darts,
And a ha'penny shove,
Some swings and a dodgems,
And a Tunnel Of Love.

But the show that I wanted,
The best show that night,
Was the tent in the middle,
The bare knuckle fight.

I pestered my father,
With all my might,
'Cause the show that I wanted,
Was the bare knuckle fight.

Well, he looked at me sadly,
And then shook his head,
And he told me a story,
And here's what he said.

"It was some years ago,
That I came to this fair,
And the prize fighting tent,
Was just over there.

And a big money prize,
Was offered to all,
Who would step in the ring,
And make the champ fall.

Well, a weasily man,
In a blood spattered vest,
Invited all-comers,
To take on the best.

Yes, he challenged all-comers,
To take on the might,
Of The Champ O' the Midlands,
In a bare knuckle fight.

His sarcastic voice,
Said, 'I don't see a queue!'
So a miner stood up,
And said, 'Will I do?'

Well, the fight wasn't pretty,
The fight wasn't fair,
The crowd yelled for blood,
There was hate in the air.

And a Derbyshire miner,
Who knew how to fight,
Braved the Champ O' the Midlands,
In a bare knuckle fight.

Yes, a Derbyshire miner,
Who knew how to fight,
'Cause the Champ O' the Midlands,
Was bested that night.

One terrible blow,
Then the bell had to sing,
For the Champ O' the Midlands,
Lay dead in the ring.

Yes, the Champ O' the Midlands,
Was dead in the sand.
From one 'lucky' punch.
From one bloody hand.

And the crowd shocked to silence,
And a miner in tears,
And I've never forgotten,
Though it's been seven years.

Now I've told you this story, Son
So you'll understand,
'Cause the miner who fought,
Is now holding your hand.

And I'm not proud at all,
Of what I have done,
'Cause the Champ O' the Midlands,
Was somebody's son."

Well, my father he waited,
And I looked at his hand,
And all I could hear,
Was the Colliery Band.

Yes, the miners' brass band
Were still playing that night,
But I no longer wanted,
The bare knuckle fight.


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Subject: Lyr Add: HE'S IN THE RING DOIN' THE SAME OLD THING
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 04 Nov 16 - 06:33 PM

HE'S IN THE RING (DOIN' THE SAME OLD THING)
As recorded by Memphis Minnie, 1935.

If any o' y'all people's goin' out tonight, let's go an' see Joe Louis fight.
If you ain't got no money, try to go tomorrow night,
'Cause in the ring now, boys, he doin' his same ol' thing.

Boy, you know Joe Louis has a mean left, and he turns a mean right,
And if he hits you with either one, sends a job from a dynamite.
In that ring, now, he's doin' his same ol' thing.

I want tell all o' you prizefighters, don't play Joe Louis for no fool.
After he hit you with that left duke, sends a kick from a Texas mule.
In that ring, boys, doin' his same ol' thing.

'Cause Joe Louis is a two-fist fighter, and he stands six feet tall.
He said he would fight 'em all, if they comes, the harder they fall.
In that ring, aw, he doin' his same ol' thing.

(Tell y'all what I done.)

All I had, ten hundred dollars, I laid upon my shelf.
I bet ev'rybody pass my house, in two rounds Joe would knock him out.
In that ring, aw, he's doin' his same ol' thing.

I wouldn't even pay my house rent; I wouldn't buy me nothin' to eat.
Joe Louis … come and take a chance with me, I'm … put you on your feet.
In that ring now, he's still fightin', doin' his same ol' thing.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Songs about boxing or prizefighting
From: Joe_F
Date: 04 Nov 16 - 09:03 PM

The Battle is Done With
by Ewan MacColl
from The Fight Game

The battle is done with, the fighters departed,
Leaving the litter and spoils of the crowd --
The empty beer bottles, the torn silver paper,
The spent cigarette smoke that hangs like a shroud.

The champions have gone and the black squad takes over,
The ring is dismantled, the ropes lose the strain,
The cleaners are sponging the blood off the canvas,
The blood of the heroes is swilled down the drain.

The bars are deserted, the dressing rooms empty,
Stale with the smell of a thousand defeats.
The pain and the glory are already fading.
What's left is the thrill when you count the receipts.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Songs about boxing or prizefighting
From: Gda Music
Date: 05 Nov 16 - 03:55 PM

"A few names to conjure with"
Two great boxing personalities dubbed from the many recordings made
by Lord Kitchener whilst he was living in England during the late 1950s.

MELODISC 1480   

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MPo-ok9O9XI&feature=youtu.be

Side 1 Dick Tiger.
Side 2 Hogan "Kid" Bassey.

GJ


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Songs about boxing or prizefighting
From: GUEST,henryp
Date: 06 Nov 16 - 05:13 PM

The Rigs of the Times - edited by Roy Palmer and Jon Raven - contains songs and accounts of popular sports and pastimes in the nineteenth century.

It includes a song about prize-fighting - Sayer's and Heenan's great fight - which was considered the last great prize fight.

It took place on 17 April, 1860, for the championship of the world. Spectators took a train to a mystery destination, which turned out to be Farnborough. The fight was declared a draw.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Songs about boxing or prizefighting
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 07 Nov 16 - 07:54 AM

Susanne, back in 2005, mentioned briefly (and provided lyrics) for "Benny Lynch" by Matt McGinn. Here now is a YouTube of it, with Matt singing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pr-H4oBhe7g
Benny is now also commemorated, along with other Glasgow characters of note, in a large mural on the outer wall of The Clutha Bar, since it was restored after the terrible helicopter crash there in November 2013.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Songs about boxing or prizefighting
From: GUEST,Some bloke
Date: 07 Nov 16 - 08:08 AM

I notice Battle is done with by MacColl & Seeger for the BBC radio ballad The Fight Game is printed above. I love that song. I used to sing another song from the same stable "When you're a fighter you're different." Excellent if dated song.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Songs about boxing or prizefighting
From: Georgiansilver
Date: 07 Nov 16 - 12:09 PM

This one came to mind so I researched it and found this.



It was in merry England, the home of Johnnie Bull,
Where Britons fill their glasses, they fill them brimming full,
And of the toast they drank it was to Britain's brave,
And it is long may our champion bring victories o'er the wave.

Then up jumps Uncle Sammy, and he looks across the main,
Saying, "Is that your English bully I hear bellowing again?
Oh, has he not forgotten the giant o'er the pond,
Who used to juggle cannon balls when his day's work was done?

"Remember, Uncle Johnnie, the giant stronger grows,
He is always on his muscle and ready for his foes;
When but a boy at Yorktown I caused youfor to sigh,
So when e'er youboast of fighting, Johnnie Bull, mind your eye."

It was in merry England, all in the blooming spring,
When this burly English champion he stripped off in the ring,
He striopped to fight young Heenan, our gallant son of Troy,
And to try his English muscle on our bold Benicia Boy.

There were two brilliant flags, my boy, a-floating o'er the ring,
The British were a lion all ready for a spring,
The Yankee was an eagle, and an awful bird she was,
For she carried a bunch of thunderbolds well fastened in her claws.

The coppers they were tossed, me boys, the fighting did begin,
It was two to one on Sayers, the bets came rolling in;
They fought like loyal heroes, until one received a blow,
An the red crimson torrent from our Yankee's nose did flow.

"First blood, first blood, my Tommy boy," the English cried with joy,
The English cheer their hero whille thebold Benicia boy,
The tiger rose within him, like lightning flare his eye,
Saying, "Mark away, old England, but Tommy, mind your eye."

The last grand round of all, my boys, this world has ne'er seen beat,
When the son of Uncle Sammy raised the Champion from his feet,
His followers did smile while he held him in the air,
An from his grasp he flung him, which caused the English men to stare.

Come, all you sporting Americans, wherever youhave strayed,
Look on this glorious eagle and never be afraid.
May our Union last forever an our flag the world defy,
So wherenver you boast of fighting, Johnny Bull, mind your eye.



Traditional songs about sports are relatively rare. This is probably partly because last year's sporting events are old news and partly because most of today's popular sports are relatively recent inventions. So most of the sports songs we do have are about horse racing, or hunting, or (in Ireland) hurling — or about boxing. The fight described in this ballad was amazingly popular in song; there were at least eight printed broadsides about it! The fight took place on April 17, 1860, between John C. Heenan (called "the Benicia Boy" because he grew up in Benicia, California, though he was born in New York) and British champion Tom Sayers (1826-1865). The contest was fought in Farnborough, Hampshire, England. It is said to have been the last official bare-knuckle fight. It was also quite a battle, according to Rickaby: After 37 rounds, the watchers attacked the ring (perhaps to affect the outcome). The police ended up being called, and the boxers fought five more rounds. After more than two hours in the ring, they finally gave up; the match is considered a draw.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Songs about boxing or prizefighting
From: GUEST,Jo old folksinger
Date: 07 Nov 16 - 06:09 PM

I don't know if you are still looking for the lyrics but I heard it sung quite a bit in the 60s and 70s when I was in a folk group. It was sung to advertise the fight between Tom Cribb and Tom Molinineaux at Thistleton Gap, here in Rutland. It was a return fight and took place on 28th September 1811. Grubb knocked out Molineaux in the eleventh round. I know the first verse:
To Rutlandshire, to Rutlandshire,
All roads in England lead,
For Cribb is fighting Molineaux,
And there is sport indeed.

As it was illegle the match was publicised by singing this song in pubs etc.
Molineaux was a former African American slave.


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