Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Elvis Deciphered

I’ve been an Elvis fan all my life. Even in high school and college when it wasn’t considered “cool” to be an Elvis fan, I was an Elvis fan. His bluesier stuff are my faves, but I really dug it when he got funky in the sixties, with songs “ A Little Less Conversation,” “Burning Love,” and “Viva las Vegas.”

A great voice, and awesome songs, sure, but there was something else. Oh sure, everybody knows the “Pelvis” gyrations and the subtle sexuality played a huge role in his success, but closer inspection of some of his songs reveals some hidden subtext, much too controversial to be blatant, but it’s there, BETWEEN the lines. See what I mean...

Its Now Or Never” This one is pretty obvious. It could have been titled, “Put out or get out!” I mean check out some of these lyrics:

“...Tomorrow will be too late,

it's now or never

My love won't wait.”

Stuck On you” A cute little bubblegum pop song, right? Cute little bubblegum pop song about a STALKER!!! Check it out!

“Hide in the kitchen, hide in the hall,

Ain't gonna do you no good at all.

'Cause once I catch ya and the kissin' starts

A team o' wild horses couldn't tear us apart”

Catch that on tape, ladies, and you got probable cause! Or at least a restraining order!

Way Down” A great little piece of funk in that guit-riff. But why is it SO damned appealing? Oh, of course! Its a song about Oral Sex! C’mon:

“I need you so, Baby, let's go

Way down - where it feels so good

Way down - where I hoped it would

Way down - where I never could

Way down, down, way, way on down”

Teddy Bear” One of the cutest little S&M songs ever!

“...Put a chain around my neck

and lead me anywhere...” and

“I don't wanna be a tiger

'Cause tigers play too rough.”

All Shook Up” 40 years before the advent of Grunge, Elvis opens up and sings a detox song...

“My tongue gets tied when I try to speak

My insides shake like a leaf on a tree

There's only one cure for this body of mine

That's to have “that girl” that I love so fine!”

There are many more hidden meanings in the man’s work. An ambitious guy with plenty of time and a conspiracy-oriented mentality could even write a doctorate on this topic!

Such as:

Burnin’ Love - Venereal Disease

Kissin’ Cousins - Incest

How the Web Was Woven - MySpace/Facebook affairs, (Again prophetic!)

Edge of Reality - Drug Trip

Witchcraft - Satan Worship

I’ll Never Let You Go - Hostage Situation/Love Slave

Mystery Train - Drugs

Milkcow Blues Boogie - Demonic Possession

You’re A Heartbreaker - Premeditated Homicide

I Got Stung - And again, Drugs

And the list goes on! What does it mean? What would that same ambitious dude with a shitload of free time and a conspiracy-oriented mentality read into this?

He might ask himself “How could a dirt-poor country cracker go from redneck truck driver to King of Rock and Roll/Movie Star/Legend?” “Why was he so compelled to sing of these topics?” “Why was he taken so young?” “Did he make a pact with the Devil for his fame and immortal legend?”

Elvis Presley: King of Rock & Roll, or Prince of Darkness?

Holy shit! I’m glad I am not a very ambitious guy. I don’t like this. (Plus, coming up with this crap takes a lot of work!)

Elvis STILL rocks, by the way.


  1. Nice post. Lately I've been digging Elvis too. My faves are Suspicious Minds, and A Little Less Conversation. It's great music!

    I must admit, I never really noticed any of the hidden meanings before. I think my favorite part is the line "Way down - where I never could". He should have some ribs removed.

  2. Rib removal! That is genius!

    I wonder if my HMO would cover that.

  3. I agree with Jennifer, Suspicious Minds is a monster of a track.

    I've tried to explain to my music class before that Elvis was known for being one of the first popular 'white' singers to sing in a 'black' vocal style and they just can't grasp it. Amazing how what used to be transgressive eventually becomes the norm.

  4. Suspicious Minds is an AWESOME song! Further proof of how Elvis became such a legend.

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