Border Song

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"Border Song"
Single by Elton John
from the album Elton John
B-side "Bad Side of the Moon"
Released 24 April 1970
Format Vinyl record (7")
Recorded January 1970; Trident Studios
(London, England)
Length 3:22
Label Congress (US)
DJM Records (UK)
Songwriter(s) Elton John, Bernie Taupin
Producer(s) Gus Dudgeon
Elton John singles chronology
"It's Me That You Need"
"Border Song"
"Rock n' Roll Madonna"
"It's Me That You Need"
"Border Song"
"Rock n' Roll Madonna"
Elton John track listing
"Sixty Years On"
"Border Song"
"The Greatest Discovery"

"Border Song" is a song originally performed by British musician Elton John. Lyrics are credited to Bernie Taupin (although John himself wrote the words to the final verse). The music was composed by John.

"Border Song" initially appeared on the 1970 album Elton John, and was released in the spring of 1970 as the LP's first single. A flop in the UK, it was released in North America a few months later. It met with more success there, especially in Canada, where it peaked at #34.[1] The appearance of "Border Song" on the Canadian charts was Elton John's first chart appearance in any country.

"Border Song" was also John's first song to chart in the United States, peaking at #92 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #69 in the Cash Box Top 100[2] in October 1970. A cover by soul icon Aretha Franklin (listed with "Holy Moses" following the title in parentheses, to make it more identifiable as being a repeated phrase in the song) fared better reaching #37 in the Billboard Hot 100 and #23 in the Cash Box Top 100 in December 1970.[3] It was included as the closing track of Aretha's 1972 Young, Gifted and Black album as well.

In the Netherlands it peaked at #29 in the Dutch Top 40[4] in January 1971.

Music and lyrics[edit]

The song's melody is similar to that of a spiritual. A choir sings during an instrumental break led by John's piano.

John has said that the song is about the alienation Taupin felt in and about London at the time ("Brand of people who ain't my kind"), and his desire to visit home as often as he could. Some believe the song is speaking against bigotry. The last verse, written by John himself, seems to support this idea: "Holy Moses, let us live in peace/let us strive to find a way to make all 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."

Format and track list[edit]

  • 1970 US/Canadian 7" single
  1. "Border Song" 3:22
  2. "Bad Side of the Moon" 3:15


Cover versions[edit]

Bad Side of the Moon[edit]

Border Song's B-Side, Bad Side of the Moon, was subsequently covered by April Wine, whose version is on their album On Record and was released as their second single from that album, and by Toe Fat, whose version appears on their self-titled debut album and also released as a single.


  1. ^ "Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". Retrieved 2016-10-02. 
  2. ^ [1]
  3. ^ [2]
  4. ^ [3]
  5. ^ ""Border Song" Aretha Franklin and Elton John duet LIVE". YouTube. 1996-11-15. Retrieved 2016-10-02. 

External links[edit]