♫ Nikita ♫

This one was mentioned in a conversation a day or two ago, and it’s been stuck in my head ever since.

Released in 1985, in this Cold War ballad, a Westerner falls in love with an East German citizen he cannot meet because he is not allowed to cross the Berlin Wall. This was a very revolutionary song during the Cold War; Eastern Europeans who lived in the communist block would listen to Western radio stations like Free Europe and pick up on the sentiments.

What I did not know is that George Michael sang backing vocals on this track, as well as several other Elton songs including one of my very favourites, Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me.

Elton John, Bernie Taupin and Big Pig Music were accused of plagiarism by South African photographer and songwriter Guy Hobbs. Hobbs wrote a song in 1982 entitled Natasha, about a Russian waitress on a cruise ship, who was never allowed to leave it. The song was copyrighted in 1983, and sent to Big Pig Music (John’s publisher) for a possible publishing deal, but Hobbs never heard back from the publisher. In 2001, Hobbs came across the lyric book to “Nikita” and noticed similarities with his song. Despite repeated attempts by Hobbs to contact John over the issue, he never heard from him and so commenced legal action in 2012.  On 31 October 2012, a US federal judge granted John and Taupin’s motion to dismiss, finding that the song did not infringe Hobbs’ copyright because the only similar elements were generic images and themes that are not protected under copyright law.

Nikita
Elton John

Hey Nikita is it cold
In your little corner of the world
You could roll around the globe
And never find a warmer soul to know

Oh I saw you by the wall
Ten of your tin soldiers in a row
With eyes that looked like ice on fire
The human heart a captive in the snow

Oh Nikita you will never know, anything about my home
I’ll never know how good it feels to hold you
Nikita I need you so
Oh Nikita is the other side of any given line in time
Counting ten tin soldiers in a row
Oh no, Nikita you’ll never know

Do you ever dream of me
Do you ever see the letters that I write
When you look up through the wire
Nikita do you count the stars at night

And if there comes a time
Guns and gates no longer hold you in
And if you’re free to make a choice
Just look towards the west and find a friend

Oh Nikita you will never know, anything about my home
I’ll never know how good it feels to hold you
Nikita I need you so
Oh Nikita is the other side of any given line in time
Counting ten tin soldiers in a row
Oh no, Nikita you’ll never know

Oh Nikita you will never know, anything about my home
I’ll never know how good it feels to hold you
Nikita I need you so
Oh Nikita is the other side of any given line in time
Counting ten tin soldiers in a row
Oh no, Nikita you’ll never know

Nikita counting ten tin soldiers in a row
Nikita counting ten tin soldiers in a row
Nikita counting ten tin soldiers in a row
Nikita

Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: Bernard J.P. Taupin / Bernie Taupin / Elton John
Nikita lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Universal Music Publishing Group

25 thoughts on “♫ Nikita ♫

  1. Pingback: ♫ Nikita ♫ | The Inglorius Padre Steve's World

  2. I was stationed in West Germany in 1985 and went to West and East Berlin in November of 1986. I remember those faces, and at the time I couldn’t imagine that just 2 years later the Wall would come down. I remember crying tears of joy. Of course, Elton is one of my all time favorites. Thanks as always for the “rest of the story.”

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for sharing that, Padre! I have a friend who was stationed in Berlin when the wall came down and he, too, said he cried tears of joy. I’m glad you enjoyed both the song and the ‘rest of the story’!

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  3. Sorry, Jill, but you just blew any respect I had for Elton and Bernie, and the judge in the suit. Even if it was unconscious influence (I have no idea how close the songs were in sound or rhythm) but the South African songster should have at least been contacted, and it is that lack of conta t that tells me Elton knew he stole something. And it’s not like Elton couldn’t afford to be generous. I’ll stil. listen to his music, but on a personal level, I will never respect him again.
    Elton John has become persona non grata to me, until he fixes this plagiarism.

    Liked by 1 person

      • Reading between the lines, and having a decent understanding of human nature told me as much as I needed to know. Innocent people do not avoid confrontation. Guilty people do. I don’t care if was unconscious use of another person’s work and it wasn’t like the other guy didn’t take his time to try to get a reply. He waited a more than reasonable length of time before acting. I’m sure he would have accepted an apology, or at least acknowledgement that anything is possible. I am meaningless to Elton John, He’s not going to moan the loss of one fan. And he isnt worth us fighting over this, LuL.

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        • I would have to read up on the lawsuit, but who is to say that they even heard it? Where did it und up on the South Africa charts, or European charts when it was released? I also think that there are times when innocent people stay quiet because if you decide to fight it you still lose, even if you win. I will have to look up the artist, the song and the lawsuit, but you made character judgments about Elton and Bernie without knowing the whole story. But that is not a commentary on you, we all do it, but usually with rumors about politicians or celebrities personal lives. It’s like the Eagles’ song “Dirty Laundry.”

          Liked by 1 person

  4. I’ve never heard this one before, but in France during the Cold War there was a song that was quite popular, about a Frenchman in Moscow who falls in love with his translator. Can’t recall who sang it.

    Liked by 2 people

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