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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
GUEST 31 Mar 05 - 03:22 PM
michaelr 31 Mar 05 - 03:28 PM
mg 31 Mar 05 - 03:32 PM
Anglo 31 Mar 05 - 03:47 PM
GUEST,The Vulgar Boatman 31 Mar 05 - 03:48 PM
Dave'sWife 31 Mar 05 - 04:21 PM
Dave'sWife 31 Mar 05 - 04:25 PM
Brakn 31 Mar 05 - 04:29 PM
open mike 31 Mar 05 - 04:30 PM
open mike 31 Mar 05 - 04:33 PM
Dave'sWife 31 Mar 05 - 04:37 PM
Dave'sWife 31 Mar 05 - 04:42 PM
Dave Sutherland 31 Mar 05 - 04:52 PM
DannyC 31 Mar 05 - 04:54 PM
Dave'sWife 31 Mar 05 - 04:57 PM
dick greenhaus 31 Mar 05 - 04:59 PM
Dave'sWife 31 Mar 05 - 05:08 PM
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John Routledge 31 Mar 05 - 05:27 PM
Dave'sWife 31 Mar 05 - 05:32 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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Mudcat time: 28 September 12:06 AM EDT

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