month of 70’s GPM: border song (elton john)
this one’s for you, barack obama.
it’s hard for me to remember a time when elton john wasn’t a chart-topper in the US. but this work, border song, a single from the 1970 album elton john, did only marginally well anywhere. in fact, my girl ree-ree (aka aretha franklin) covered it the following year and did a bit better with it.
but i simply love this song.
whether you hear it as a song about alienation or about racial harmony, this song simply reaches in and finds something. i have spent countless hours sitting at the piano, playing this song. not as well as elton, of course, but definitely with some intensity. it’s almost like a do-it-yourelf exorcism for me, of sorts.
see, my kids get freaked out sometimes because it is definitely possible for a song to bring me to tears. and there is one song that brings me to tears each and every single time i hear it. this one. it’s like my own personal prayer to the world:
holy moses, let us live in peace.
let us strive to find a way to make our hatred cease.
there’s a man over there. what’s his colour, i don’t care.
he’s my brother. let us live in peace.
i never thought i would live to see a day when our country would be in such jeopardy the world over. i never thought i’d see a day when the united states would undertake policies that would make me ashamed. i never thought i’d see a day when so many people would be in such horrible straits.
but then again, i never thought i’d live to see a day when an african-american would be elected president of the united states.
so there is hope left.
let us live in peace.