South of the Border
Chris Isaak Lyrics


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South of the border, down Mexico way
That's where I fell in love where stars above, came out to play.
And now as I wonder, my thoughts ever stray
South of the border, down Mexico way.

She was a picture, in old spanish ways
Just for a tender while I kissed the smile, upon her face.
For it was fiesta, and love had its day
South of the border, down Mexico way.

Ay, Ay, Ay, Ay (Ay, Ay, Ay, Ay)
Ay, Ay, Ay, Ay (Ay, Ay, Ay, Ay)

Then she sighed as she whispered manana, never dreaming that we were parting
And I lied as I whispered manana, for our tomorrow never came.

South of the border, I rode back one day.
There in a veil of white by candlelight, she kneeled to pray.
The mission bells told me, that I shouldn't stay
South of the border, down Mexico way.

Ay, Ay, Ay, Ay (Ay, Ay, Ay, Ay)
Ay, Ay, Ay, Ay (Ay, Ay, Ay, Ay)




Ay, Ay, Ay, Ay (Ay, Ay, Ay, Ay)
Good bye good bye.

Overall Meaning

Chris Isaak's song "South of the Border" is a heart-wrenching story of a love that couldn't survive the test of time. The lyrics describe the singer's memories of falling in love in Mexico, with stars watching over them as they kissed under the Old Spanish ways. The fiesta was going on and love was in the air, but then they parted ways with the expectation of meeting again soon. The song's chorus features the repeated phrase "Ay, Ay, Ay, Ay," which adds to the Latin American feel of the song.


As the song progresses, however, the singer's memories of Mexico become more melancholic. The song reveals that the singer came back to Mexico and saw his love kneeling to pray in a veil of white, with the mission bells ringing in the background. The singer realized that he couldn't stay, and that their love was over. The song ends with the repeated phrase "Ay, Ay, Ay, Ay" followed by "Goodbye, goodbye," leaving the listener with a sense of finality.


The song's lyrics are simple yet powerful, and Isaak's vocals provide the perfect mixture of sadness and longing. The use of the Spanish words and phrases throughout the song adds to its authenticity and creates a sense of place. Overall, "South of the Border" is a nostalgic and bittersweet tribute to a lost love.


Line by Line Meaning

South of the border, down Mexico way
I fell in love in Mexico, where the stars were shining bright.


That's where I fell in love where stars above, came out to play.
I fell in love under the bright Mexican sky.


And now as I wonder, my thoughts ever stray
Now I often think back to my time in Mexico.


She was a picture, in old spanish ways
She was beautiful and had a classic Spanish look.


Just for a tender while I kissed the smile, upon her face.
I kissed her sweet face for just a short time.


For it was fiesta, and love had its day
We fell in love during a celebratory time and enjoyed each other's company.


Then she sighed as she whispered manana, never dreaming that we were parting
She said 'see you tomorrow' without realizing that we were actually saying goodbye.


And I lied as I whispered manana, for our tomorrow never came.
I also said 'see you tomorrow' even though we both knew it wouldn't happen.


South of the border, I rode back one day.
I returned to Mexico at another time.


There in a veil of white by candlelight, she kneeled to pray.
I saw her praying in a white veil, illuminated by candles.


The mission bells told me, that I shouldn't stay
I heard the bells of a nearby mission, and it felt like a sign that I needed to leave.


Good bye good bye.
We said our final goodbyes.




Lyrics © BMG Rights Management, Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC
Written by: JIMMY KENNEDY, MICHAEL CARR

Lyrics Licensed & Provided by LyricFind
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Comments from YouTube:

Mayra Paulina Víctor

Fantastic version for the ears of a Mexican woman who also enjoys American music... What a delight to hear this harmonious mix... Encantada 🇲🇽❤🇺🇸

Lenita Espindola

Que música linda ♥

Cliff Wheeler

This has to be one of the finest interpretations of this beautiful old standard. Chris's voice suits the song so well and that acoustic guitar solo is sublime. What surprises many people is that the song was written by a man from Northern Ireland called Jimmy Kennedy.

Ava Grace

Oh, that voice......I just love it.......keep playing Chris Isaak.......thank you for sharing.

Butch Armstrong

Beautifully done.

jimarilyn

Absolutely the best ever version of this song. I have heard lots of versions and this surpasses them all. It has a magical quality to it. Truly beautiful.

Corey Ferguson

Absolutely. Fantastic and so true to the original intent of the piece.

88 245

The best!

David Currey

Also agree. The guitar work is sublime. I like Isaak's version even better than Patsy Cline's.

henrysgigs1

agreed!!! Without a shadow of a doubt

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