On The Border

Album: Year Of The Cat (1976)
Charted: 42
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  • The fishing boats go out across the evening water
    Smuggling guns and arms across the Spanish border
    The wind whips up the waves so loud
    The ghost moon sails among the clouds
    Turns the rifles into silver on the border

    On my wall the colours of the maps are running
    From Africa the winds they talk of changes coming
    The torches flare up in the night
    The hand that sets the farms alight
    Has spread the word to those who're waiting on the border

    In the village where I grew up
    Nothing seems the same
    Still you never see the change from day to day
    And no-one notices the customs slip away

    Late last night the rain was knocking at my window
    I moved across the darkened room and in the lampglow
    I thought I saw down in the street
    The spirit of the century
    Telling us that we're all standing on the border

    In the islands where I grew up
    Nothing seems the same
    It's just the patterns that remain
    An empty shell
    But there's a strangeness in the air you feel too well

    The fishing boats go out across the evening water
    Smuggling guns and arms across the Spanish border
    The wind whips up the waves so loud
    The ghost moon sails among the clouds
    Turns the rifles into silver on the border

    On the border
    On the border
    On the border Writer/s: ALISTAIR IAN STEWART
    Publisher: Universal Music Publishing Group
    Lyrics licensed and provided by LyricFind

Comments: 4

  • Former Spanish Grande from SpainWell, in modern Spanish history there was only one instance when "from Africa the winds they talk of changes coming" and, alas, it was when Franco's troops made it to Spain. "The hand that sets the farms alight has spread the word to those who're waiting on the border" is exactly what happened in 1936, the Franco supporters started it, just some weeks later Queipo de LLano and his troops conquered most of southern Spain.
  • David from San DiegoI was surprised, no kind of shocked to learn that Peter White played the spanish guitar solo on this song. I've been listening to this song since its inception in the 70s, and always credited Al Stewart in my mind. Great song, nevertheless. Cinematic, with lyrics to match...
  • Janet In Eastlake from Eastlake, OhioI love this ... even when speaking of something as awful as having one's farm burnt to the ground, his lyrics have a deft touch.

    I love the part of that goes:

    "Late last night the rain was knocking at my window
    I moved across the darkened room and in the lampglow
    I thought I saw down in the street
    The spirit of the century
    Telling us that we're all standing on the border."

    He paints such a vivid picture with those words ...
  • Mary from WisconsinWhat a haunting tune with beautiful, mysterious lyrics! At first I thought it was about Spain in the 30s, but the Basque Separatist movement makes more sense. Looking back, it seems that Al Stewart, Gerry Rafferty, Steely Dan and a few others began taking music in a more interesting direction in the mid-to-late 80s...
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