Old world wisdom, new world insight – poems, poetry, philosophy, dreams, commentary, ideas

Saddest Songs of Rock and Roll – #37

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by Lawrence J. J, Leonard

What do we want? What do we want out of life? It is easy to ask for material things. It is hopeful to ask for lofty goals such as peace and an end to hunger. In our personal lives each of was wants to be appreciated, especially by those closest to us.  It is hard to be apart from a loved one who really “gets” us. And even harder if we are in military service and that person is far away. What if that person is suddenly no longer with us?

In 1953 the United States had just brokered a peace to end the Korean Conflict and establish a permanent military presence there, then send many servicewomen and servicemen home. Just four years later the Congress revved up its political nerve and industrial production to fight communism in Vietnam. During this time, Elvis Aaron Presley (1935-1977) AKA Elvis, was conscripted in the US Army. He served honorably as a regular soldier from training in  Fort Hood, Texas, until his final deployment in the 3rd Armored Division in Friedberg, Germany.

His managers carefully released previous recordings during his two-year service tour. All went as planned until his mother Gladys died from hepatitis before his discharge. Elvis spent his first holiday season without his closest ally and best friend. It took him a few years to grieve. He re-released his version of a song that represented a difficult memory. Sometimes we just need to wrap our heads around the issue.

Number 37
Elvis had previously recorded “Blue Christmas” as a single in 1957 because it was  part of a scheduled “Elvis’ Christmas Album” release in that same year. The song was a re-styling of previous versions because of Elvis’ go-to group The Jordanaires: Gordon Stoker (First Tenor), Neal Matthews (Second Tenor), Hoyt Hawkins (Baritone), Hugh Jarrett (Bass), along with Millie Kirkham (Soprano). All sang in a blues key. Musically this meant that the tonal quality of the harmony evoked a real sad feel.

But, it was the re-release of the song in 1964 that propelled it to #1 on The Billboard Hot 100 chart. This Bill Hayes and Jay W. Johnson composition had been on the radio since 1948. It seems that it took a true lonely heart and some creative musicality to give the song it’s rise into American music history. Sometimes our situations can help others in their times of need.

Holidays can be tough when our loved ones are not with us. We need to keep reminding ourselves to continue striving because only then can we be a source of comfort to those around us.

Lyrics:  written by Billy Hayes and Jay W. Johnson

I’ll have a Blue Christmas without you
I’ll be so blue thinking about you
Decorations of red on a green Christmastree
Won’t be the same dear, if you’re not here with me

And the when those blue snowflakes start fallin’
That’s when those blue memories start callin’
You’ll be doin’ all right, with your Christmas of white
But I’ll have a blue, blue, blue, blue Christmas

You’ll be doin’ all right, with your Christmas of white
But I’ll have a blue, blue, blue, blue Christmas

If you are feeling depressed, do something about it. Please find help before making any rash decisions.  Click this resource, the National Institute of Mental Health.

Copyright © 1960-2017 Lawrence J. J. Leonard All rights reserved.

Author: SpindoctorUSA

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