Chuvalo (single)

by Tim Harrison



While on a tour, I was sitting in my room waiting for the night's show to come, flipping channels on the TV. On ESPN they were showing the first fight between George Chuvalo and Muhammad Ali. I was mesmerized by Chuvalo's concentration and jotted down a few ideas for a tune. Later I did the research on Chuvalo's life and it was an incredible story. So I wrote the song and recorded it. Peter Verity was kind enough to add some mandolin and harp. I played it one night on an open stage and was invited by another musician, Frank Wilks, to attend a George Chuvalo drug awareness fund-raiser he was playing. They asked me to play the tune, which I did, along with Peter and Sebastian Agnello accompanying me. When we reached the line "he never went down" the audience went crazy. George had never been put down by Ali, or anyone else. George came up afterwards and said, "You know it takes a man with heart to write a song like that." I said, "It's a man with heart that gets songs written about him." That was it. He is a remarkable human being.


©Tim Harrison and Second Avenue Songs 2006

Before the Second World War came around
A child was born on the tough side of town
Born to defend in the neighbourhood
George Chuvalo, he was born to be good

He boxed in the street and he never got beat
And at the gym in the church he'd always come first
He boxed with the shadows and he boxed with the sun
Left, left, right, 'til the day was done


And he went fifteen rounds with Muhammad Ali
Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee
Fifteen rounds for the heavyweight crown
Fifteen rounds, he never went down

Then Jones was gone, Ramos never made a sound
Knocked Quarry out cold in the seventh round
Hit the big time as Canadian champ
Boxing with the best was George's training camp

Then he warred with Frasier and with Foreman too
Ninety-seven fights before he was through
Retired as champ in seventy-nine
Still tough as nails, but he'd done his time


But then the fight turned to invisible foes
Demons who fought with invisible blows
Demons who took three sons and a wife
Demons who knew how to take a man's life

So now he fights back at the enemy
Drugs that could knock down anybody
He refuses the dark and he heads for the light
'Cause George says "Son, when you're a fighter you fight"


released March 28, 2016
Tim Harrison, vocals, guitar, bass, keyboards; Peter Verity, mandolin, harp.


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Tim Harrison Nanaimo, British Columbia

Tim Harrison has worked as an artist, songwriter, and as a creator of arts events.. Along with founding the Owen Sound Summerfolk Festival,Tim has been Artistic Director of the Mariposa, Northwind, and Eaglewood Folk Festivals, and the Big Fish Music Fest.
Tim has released eight highly acclaimed recordings of original material and has toured extensively throughout the U.S. and Canada.
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