Bernie Taupin's original lyrics to the early Elton John hit, "The Border Song," with annotations by Elton John

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Lot 46
Bernie Taupin's original lyrics to the early Elton John hit, "The Border Song," with annotations by Elton John

US$ 30,000 - 50,000
£ 23,000 - 38,000
Bernie Taupin's original lyrics to the early Elton John hit, "The Border Song," with annotations by Elton John
Typed Manuscript Signed ("BJ Taupin"), 1 p, 8vo, n.p., n.d., being the lyrics to "The Border Song," with additional 6 lines of manuscript in blue ink by ELTON JOHN at lower margin, framed. With a 45 of "Border Song."
Provenance: Collection of Maxine Taupin.

Though Elton John has for years said that he writes the music only and Bernie Taupin writes the lyrics, and that each does his work separately from the other, "The Border Song" is a rare example of the two collaborating on lyrics, as this manuscript attests. Bernie wrote four stanzas of this soulful ballad. Elton crosses the last one out, however, and replaces it with the message of hope and peace for which the song is celebrated.

The border song

Holy Moses! I have been removed
I've seen the spectre, he's been here to
a distant cousin from the down the line
a brand of people who arnt my kind.

Now the wind has changed direction
so I will have to leave
wont you excuse my frankness
but its not my cup of tea.

I am going back to the border
where my affairs are'nt abused
I cant take anymore bad water
I've been poisened from my head down to my shoes.

My God, I'm sick of this motel
please give me the key to this coal hole
theres a man down here in a mousetrap
praying that he doesn't see your black cat.


The final stanza is entirely in Elton John's hand:

Holy Moses, let us live in peace
Let us try and strive to find a way
To make all trouble hatred cease
There's a man over there what's his color I don't care
He's my brother let us live in peace.


In 1970 "The Border Song" was Elton John's first US single release, making a mild splash on the charts. Two years later, Aretha Franklin recorded her better-known version, with the subtitle ("Holy Moses") to make it more identifiable to listeners.
Contacts
Bernie Taupin's original lyrics to the early Elton John hit, "The Border Song," with annotations by Elton John
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