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

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The Saddest Songs of Rock and Roll – #16

by Lawrence J. J. Leonard

We love through sheer determination. Not all of us can rise to the occasion of a Liam Neeson character who can track down a loved one unto the ends of the earth. However, among those of us with some form of courage, we find that we can walk through fire to find and help the person whom we love. If they leave us and don’t want to be found, it does not matter how hard we look. They just can’t be located.

Elvis Aaron Presley (Jan 8, 1935 – Aug 16, 1977)

That must have been what country singer  Eddie Rabbitt and songwriter Dick Heard were thinking when they wrote a particular song that was meant for Elvis Presley to sing. Elvis received the track early in 1969. It was initially recorded at the American Sound Studio in Memphis, Tennessee.  Almost one year later, the song was released as an A-side single on the RCA Records label.

When Elvis went on tour in 1970, he introduced it as a new song. It quickly became a signature work that was part of the ballads which made him a great singer, and King of Rock and Roll. For Eddie Rabbit, the theme is based on an anxious lover. The person takes on a search to find the one he loves. The song’s imagery is heavy and it effectively paints a picture that no matter where the man goes, there is no one who can help in this particular case. Not even a preacher.

Having strong feelings for someone can make us obsessive or single-minded or blinded. If we feel that strongly, we might chase the dream and try to make our way to our loved one’s front door. How bad can that be?

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Saddest Songs of Rock and Roll – #43

by Lawrence J. J, Leonard

We know people who are born into a family of artists or writers. Others are born into military and service families with generations of protectors of the everyday person.  What seems to be more common than not is being in a family that struggles to make ends meet. We know people who “have” and people who “have not.”

It seems generational poverty is a difficult place to escape. Even Elvis Aaron Presley, one of the most significant cultural icons of the 20th Century, had very humble beginnings in Tupelo, Mississippi.  Our “King of Rock and Roll” was born to a father who was not a consistent provider as the family depended on neighbors for assistance.

For Elvis song writing was shaped early on in his lean years. Elvis was inspired by Mississispi Slim (Carvel Lee Ausborn) and his musical stylings. Slim was a hillbilly/ country music singer who hosted a radio show in Tupelo. Elvis got to know Slim who gave Elvis his first big break.

Stardom often fades. From 1956 through 1965, Elvis music career seemed to peak. But in 1968 Elvis was introduced to this song by Mac Davis which called attention to a young man with no hope, no money, and no way to un-break his mother’s heart.

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