"Border Song" is a gospel ballad 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 No. 34. 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 number 92 on the Hot 100. A cover by soul icon Aretha Franklin (listed with "Holy Moses" following the title in parentheses, from Young, Gifted and Black) fared better the following year reaching the top 40.
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."
- 1970 US/Canadian 7" single
- "Border Song" 3:22
- "Bad Side of the Moon" 3:15
- Madeline Bell – backing vocals
- Tony Burrows – backing vocals
- Roger Cook – backing vocals
- Brian Dee – organ
- Leslie Duncan – backing vocals
- Kate Garner – backing vocals
- Colin Green – guitar
- Tony Hazzard – backing vocals
- Clive Hicks – guitar
- Elton John – piano, vocals
- Barry Morgan – drums
- Dave Richmond – bass
- Choir led by Barbara Moore
- Arranged and conducted by Paul Buckmaster
The 1991 tribute album Two Rooms: Celebrating the Songs of Elton John & Bernie Taupin leads with a cover of "Border Song" by Eric Clapton.
Elton John and Aretha Franklin performed the song together on Franklin's 1993 Duets special