Rhymes, Rants & Accolades from North Central BC

ELVIS AND BING

 

1978 03 02  Sense and Nonsense

We seem to be going through a social era of reminiscence. It is almost as if everything happened yesterday, or possibly the day the before. To-day, we are merely “chewing the cud”, so to speak. The fabulous fifties and the psychedelic sixties seem to have faded into the “sentimental seventies”!

The death of Elvis Presley in 1977, brought back bittersweet memories of the nineteen fifties, for many of us. Even the “anti-Elvis” section of the population have felt a loss – Elvis symbolized “all that was wrong with the, present generation.” His arrogant “Let it all hang out” style of entertaining, turned some people off, while it turned millions of others on.

A friend and I decided to write a song as a tribute to Elvis Presley. I wrote the lyrics, and she planned on inventing a tune for them. I have tried to write it in the style that “rocked my babies to sleep” almost 20 years ago:

Chorus: Rockin’ his way from Memphis,
Rollin’ through Tennessee
Back in fifty-four Elvis opened the door,
And made musical history.
Heartbreak Hotel, Hound Dog as well,
He sang them on the Sullivan show.
Rollin’ and a Rockin’, jiving and aboppin’
Over twenty years ago.

Return to Sender and Love Me Tender,
The hit parade was never the same,
Rollin’ and a Rockin’, jiving and aboppin’
He rocketed to musical fame.

Blue Suede Shoes and G.I. Blues,
Elvis could not go wrong
Rollin’ and a rockin’, jiving and aboppin’
Elvis lives on in his songs.

I was bounced on my mother’s knee to a gentler rhythm than my daughters were. The death of Bing Crosby, also in 1977, brought back other, earlier, memories for me:

The Bells of St. Mary are tolling,
In the hearts of millions of souls,
A voice that enriches the memory,
Echoes their sonorous rolls.

A crooner, with voice like an angel.
Reminiscent of earlier times,
Two generations of lovers,
Remember his music sublime.

When depression had crippled the nation.
And despair was an everyday word.
His songs often lightened the burden,
His voice was the voice that they heard.

Through the war, with its pain and it’s sorrow,
There were some who continued to sing,
‘Mid guns and the sounds of destruction
Was the baritone voice of Bing.

In movies, he sang through my childhood,
When movies were simpler modes,
With Hope and Lamour he cavorted,
Down exotic and faraway roads.

The Bells of St. Mary are tolling,
Echoing sounds that are gone,
An era of music has ended,
The memories lingering on.

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