I came across this song just a couple days ago. It’s as if I picked the title of this blog with the song in mind.
Here is Bruce Springsteen, Jackson Browne, and Bonnie Raitt performing the song “Across the Borderline”. Unfortunately the video is not good, but the audio is, so probably best to listen and not watch.
Here is the first two verses
Theres a place where Ive been told
Every street is paved with gold
And its just across the borderline
And when its time to take your turn
Heres one lesson that you must learn
You could lose more than youll ever hope to find
When you reach the broken promised land
And every dream slips through your hands
Then youll know that its too late to change your mind
cause youve paid the price to come so far
Just to wind up where you are
And youre still just across the borderline
The line “You could lose more than you ever hope to find” makes me think of one of the tragedies of Israel’s actions, the settlements. As more and more land is being grabbed by the settlers, the state itself is losing its morality and creating an unhealthy mind-set in the Israeli population. Much more is being lost through the policies of settlement building, and treatment of the Palestinians, than is gained in land or security.
The term, “broken promised land” is obviously powerful, and it reminds me of something. Around two years ago, I went out on my first “peace activity”, which was helping some Palestinians to harvest their olives. Along on the trip was Udi Adiv (Wikipedia entry). He is an Israeli who was imprisoned for 12 years for spying for Syria. What seems to have happened is that he was foolish, and trying to establish a dialogue, not be a spy.
Anyway, he was generally quiet, but he came up to me, and the first thing he said was, “What are you doing in this Unholy Land”. Needless to say, I was stunned, and came out with the reply, “I’m doing an ulpan at [kibbutz] Hazorea”. (An ulpan by the way, is an intensive Hebrew course). Well, we didn’t talk much after that, but his provocative question was burned into my mind, and I don’t think I’ll forget it.
Any comments or interpretations on the lyrics to the song would be appreciated.