"The Ballad of Gordon" is a song by Barenaked Ladies that was commissioned for a public service announcement first aired in 1992 on the American television network FOX for their children's programming block. The song and its accompanying music video are meant to promote racial harmony and acceptance of diversity.

Synopsis[edit | edit source]


"The Ballad of Gordon" video first aired in 1992 on FOX Kids

The song and its video tell the story of Gordon (played by Ed Robertson), a green-skinned, golden-robed, armless space alien from a distant solar system who arrives on Earth only to be met with bigotry, bullying, and threats of violence from Earthlings. Gordon chastises the people of Earth for their hypocrisy, having come to Earth in response to messages humanity has sent out into space that promote peace and understanding. Eventually, Gordon and the Earthlings overcome their differences and decide to share the planet with each other. The song then fades out and the video ends with the words "RACIAL HARMONY" flashing on the screen.

Trivia/Notes[edit | edit source]

  • The line "So if you're thinking about being a spaceman / it don't matter if you're black or white" is a direct parody of the song "Black or White" by Michael Jackson, a song and accompanying video with a similar message that had been a hit in 1991.
  • The MuchMusic special On Gordon Pond features footage of the band recording the song for the PSA; in it, Ed says that the line "they say my head looks like fruit / what is fruit?" was originally written "they say my head looks like a fruit", but the producers insisted the line be changed so that it wouldn't sound like a homophobic slur. A text crawl on the screen also mentions that the song was recorded at Music Grinders studio in Los Angeles on August 18th, 1992.
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