by Tony Attwood from an idea by Aaron Galbraith
This is the third Warren Zevon song in Bob Dylan’s list of his favourite songs. We’ve already covered ‘Desperado Under the Eaves’, and ‘Lawyers, Guns, and Money’, and as ever there is a list of all the articles in this series, with links, at the end of the piece.
We’ve always known about Bob’s interest in boxing – if you would like more on this it is worth reading Jochen’s article I shall be free no 10; Bob Dylan’s love of boxing. And of course, through this series, of late I have been coming to grasp his love of the music of Warren Zevon too.
So I guess this choice is fairly natural – although it makes life difficult for me because I know nothing of boxing. I am therefore going to take what I can from Wiki by way of background to the events referred to in this song. Please do correct any mistakes you find.
Ray Mancini was born 1961, and held the WBA lightweight title from 1982 to 1984. Since then he has worked as a boxing commentator and was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 2015.
The most well-known event in his career I think was the fight against Duk Koo Kim in 1982 four days after which Kim died. “Kim’s mother died by suicide three months after the fight, and the bout’s referee, Richard Green, killed himself in July 1983,” according to Wiki.
In January 1984, Mancini defeated Bobby Chacon when referee Richard Steele stopped the fight in the third round – another incident referred to in the song.
The song has the power and “push” if I can use that word, of the earlier two Warren Zevon songs that we have considered, although of course each has delivered that “push” in a different way, in a reflection of the lyrics. But it really does reveal the power that he was able to get into his songs.
Hurry home early hurry on home Boom Boom Mancini's fighting Bobby Chacon Hurry home early hurry on home Boom Boom Mancini's fighting Bobby Chacon From Youngstown, Ohio, Ray "Boom Boom" Mancini A lightweight contender, like father like son He fought for the title with Frias in Vegas And he put him away in round number one Hurry home early hurry on home Boom Boom Mancini's fighting Bobby Chacon Hurry home early hurry on home Boom Boom Mancini's fighting Bobby Chacon 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 Hurry home early hurry on home Boom Boom Mancini's fighting Bobby Chacon Hurry home early hurry on home Boom Boom Mancini's fighting Bobby Chacon When they asked him who was responsible For the death of Duk Koo Kim He said, "Someone should have 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 Hurry home early hurry on home Boom Boom Mancini's fighting Bobby Chacon Hurry home early hurry on home Boom Boom Mancini's fighting Bobby Chacon
I suspect Bob’s liking of this song comes both from his admiration of Warren Zevon’s work and his love of boxing – plus of course the fact that the song doesn’t shy away from the key issue of what boxing is, and the part played in the Duk Koo Kim fight not just by Mancini but also the referee and the media.
Perhaps we might also note that Zevon is the only artist on Dylan’s list of favourite songs to have four of his compositions listed. This was the third of those four, and I rather think it might be worth, at the end of the series also looking at another Zevon song: “Mutineer,” which Bob played during his tour of the USA in the autumn of 2002. But I will leave that, as I say, for the end of the series.
- Bob Dylan’s favourite songs: Death of an Unpopular Poet
- Bob Dylan’s favourite songs 2: Shadows
- Dylan’s favourite songs 3: ‘Desperado Under the Eaves’
- Dylan’s favourite songs 4: Randy Newman: Sail Away
- Dylan’s favourite songs 5: Sam Stone
- Dylan’s favourite songs 6: He Went to Paris’
- Bob Dylan’s favourite songs 7: Sundown (Gordon Lightfoot)
- Bob Dylan’s favourite songs 8: “Burn down the cornfield”
- Bob Dylan’s favourite songs 9: Donald and Lydia
- Bob Dylan’s favourite songs No 10: “If you could read my mind”. Don’t dig too far.