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Ben Folds Five: Boxing Meaning

Boxing Lyrics

Howard, the strangest thing
Has happened lately
When I take a good swing
And all my dreams
They pivot and slip
I drop my fists and they're back
Laughing Howard
My intention's become not to lose what I've won
Ambition has given way to...

  1. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Jan 18th 2007 report

    The first interpretation nails it, this song was one of Ben's firsts he really thought it was gonna make his career take off, as most know it never got big. I like it.

  2. helpmemommie
    click a star to vote
    Feb 7th 2006 report

    This song sounds as if Muhamed Ali (AKA Cacious Clay) is interviewing Howard Cosell. Cosell literally made his Career off of interviewing and covering the career of Ali. In the end Cosell had become one of the most famous sports broadcasters of all time and Ali was left with Pugilistic Parkinsons disease due to his long career fighting. This is evidenced by chorus:

    "Boxing's been good to me Howard"
    "now I'm told you're growing old"
    "and the whole time you knew, In a couple of years I'd be through"
    "Has boxing been good to you"

    The identity of Ali is hinted at by the line "They seem to think I'm made of clay..." This has the double meaning as a metaphore for how Ali was feeling (beat up, pulled in every direction at once, weakened, and molded into what people thought he should be) as well as being a reference to Ali's real name: Casious Clay.

    This song has much deeper meanings that one might see at first and is quite sad when you start to see the background behind it.


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