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WE WILL DO THE VERSION WITHOUT THE EXTRA VERSE ON BUG NIGHT - bring your pie plates to help Mark with his timing on the cymbal crashes
Produced by the duo and Roy Halee, it was released as the lead single from the album on March 21, 1969. The song, the only one in the duo's repertoire co-signed by Art Garfunkel and Paul Simon, is a folk rock ballad that variously takes the form of a first-person lament as well as a third-person sketch of a boxer. "The Boxer" was the follow-up to one of the duo's most successful singles, "Mrs. Robinson". It peaked at No. 7 on the Billboard Hot 100. It performed well internationally, charting within the Top 10 in nine countries, peaking highest in the Netherlands, Austria, South Africa, and Canada. Rolling Stone ranked the song No. 106 on their list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.
"The Boxer" was originally written with a verse that is not present in the Bridge over Troubled Water version. This verse was performed by Simon & Garfunkel on tour in November 1969 (this version of the song is included on the Live 1969 album), and sometimes by Simon in solo after the duo's breakup (on his Live Rhymin' album and on Late Night with David Letterman in 1987). The duo also added the verse on Saturday Night Live in 1975 and when they reunited for The Concert in Central Park in 1981.