Song Lyrics


by Joni Mitchell

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Everybody looks so ill at ease
So distrustful so displeased
Running down the table
I see a borderline
Like a barbed wire fence
Strung tight strung tense
Prickling with pretense
A borderline

Why are you smirking at your friend?
Is this to be the night when
All well-wishing ends?
All credibility revoked?
Thin skin thick jokes!
Can we blame it on the smoke,
This borderline?

Every bristling shaft of pride
Church or nation
Team or tribe
Every notion we subscribe to
Is just a borderline
Good or bad we think we know
As if thinking makes things so!
All convictions grow along a borderline

Smug in your jaded expertise
You scathe the wonder world
And you praise barbarity
In this illusionary place
This scared hard-edged rat race
All liberty is laced with

Every income every age
Every fashion-plated rage
Every measure every gauge
Creates a borderline
Every stone thrown through glass
Every mean-streets-kick ass
Every swan caught on the grass
Will draw a borderline

You snipe so steady
You snub so snide
So ripe and ready
To diminish and deride!
You're so quick to condescend
My opinionated friend
All you deface all you defend
Is just a borderline
Just a borderline
Another borderline
Just a borderline

© 1994; Crazy Crow Music

Transcriptions of Borderline

Borderline has been recorded by 7 other artists


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ajay on

Listening to your live rendition of this song at the Troubadours of Folk Festival at UCLA in June 1993, this song hit me as if I walked into a glass wall. This is an old song, yet so reflective of how people are currently behaving. The conversations have become confrontational and divisive. it's pathetic that nothing evolved in human behavior over the decades.
Thank you for your profound body of musical work. It has inspired me.

danno on

this is one of those 'drink some wine and sing along to as loud as you can' songs.
(it speaks of our politics today so clearly)
You snipe so steady
You snub so snide
So ripe and ready
To diminish and deride!
it is so easy to pass judgement and not really look at something without words, to not name.