by Stephen Whitney

This content is part of a series.

Futility Seen (2 of 40)
Series: Ecclesiastes
Stephen Whitney
Ecclesiastes 1:5-11

The singer and songwriter Paul Simon grew up in Queens, New York. His father was a college professor and dance bandleader.
His musical career began while he was in High School when he and his best friend Art Garfunkel began singing together and even occasionally performing at school dances.

Simon is known for his success which began in 1965 as part of the duo called Simon and Garfunkel. Simon wrote most of their songs, including three that became number one: The Sounds of Silence, Mrs. Robinson, and Bridge Over Troubled Water.

In 1968 Paul wrote The Boxer which reached number 7 on the charts. The song's lyrics take the form of a first-person lament,
as the singer describes his struggles to overcome loneliness and poverty in New York City.

I am just a poor boy, though my story's seldom told.
I have squandered my resistance,
For a pocketful of mumbles, such are promises. All lies and jest. Still a man hears what he wants to hear and disregards the rest.

When I left my home and my family I was no more than a boy,
In the company of strangers, In the quiet of a railroad station, runnin' scared. Laying low, seeking out the poorer quarters, where the ragged people go.
Lookin' for the places, only they would know to go.

And the years are rollin' by me. They are rockin' evenly.
I am older than I once was and younger than I'll be.
That's not unusual. It isn't strange,
After changes upon changes, we are more or less the same.
After changes, we are more or less the same.

Life can seem like a cycle in which nothing changes over time.
You do the same thing day after day after day so it can seem
empty, futile and meaningless, like chasing the wind.

The cycles of nature continue year after year without any change. Their constant uniform motion reveals that nothing really changes.
Day after day the sun comes up and sets, th ...

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