I saw the movie Rocket Man over the weekend and was reminded of the song “Border Town” (“Holy Moses“) which I loved as a kid. I enjoyed the movie, and thought the way they personally told his life story was unique and kinda perfect. I liked the choices they made to bring the pain and redemption in Elton John’s life to the screen.
One of his earliest songs was “Holy Moses, and I find that the words are still relevant today:
“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”
I’ve heard lots of different thoughts about the meaning of the song, but like true art, I think the only important thing really is what you personally feel from it. This song combines soul and gospel and rock and as a little girl, I loved it. I was also someone that felt the words for songs deeply. Words are my love language, and I use them in poetry and art and value them in life. As a kid growing up in Milwaukee in the 70s, I felt the words of this song then.
I still do, in only the way you can when you’ve reached half a century and have seen history repeat itself, learned more about your own life, and seen how special yet fragile we all are as people.
Last year, I had peace as my word of the year. I felt that focusing on this word did change my relationships. In some, I was able to just focus on the love we had and let all the rest go. In others, I surrendered to the fact that this person did not want to have a healthy relationship, did not really care, and therefore I was able to walk away with peace.
This song still has such relevance, decades after it was written.
Have you seen Rocketman? What were your thoughts?