Matthew Giffin. 'There's a Little Bit of Elvis in us All'

Song Notebook #2 - 'There's a Little Bit of Elvis In Us All'

July 5, 1986. A sweltering summer day in NYC. The previous day saw President Reagan greeting a vast armada of warships as they navigated into New York harbour, followed by a fireworks display that could dwarf the military firepower of most countries on earth.  

Outside my window, the celebrations raged on. Strings of firecrackers went off, setting off car alarms and barking dogs. Six floors below, on the corner of 172nd Street and Ft. Washington Avenue, someone blew up a phone booth with an M-80. That's a quarter sick of dynamite, in case you were wondering.

I was in my Washington Heights studio, idly strumming my guitar, reflecting upon all of these vivid expressions of independence and freedom, when suddenly I felt a mysterious, powerful presence looming nearby. Then, as if arising from the universe itself, a commanding and somewhat familiar voice arose, instructing me in no uncertain terms to take down the words he was about to impart. 

Feverishly I wrote, at once humbled and mortified in the presence of this powerful and, as yet, unidentified vestige. Then, as abruptly as it began, the celestial visitation ended. I felt a slight breeze and, from the corner of my eye, I caught a glimpse of a massive figure, adorned in what looked like a white cape covered in gleaming rhinestones. After some effort he managed to squeeze through the window and take flight, heading over the tops of the buildings towards New Jersey.

Shocked and awestruck, I slowly regained my composure and read what had been imparted to me. I picked up my guitar and, as the explosive chorus of freedom resounded all around me, I began to sing. And as the final notes rang out, I noticed, there in the corner by the window... A solitary rhinestone, sparkling brilliantly in the summer sun, refracting the light in glorious shades of red, white and blue.

 

There's a Little Bit of Elvis In Us All

I believe in hunting dogs, fishing and four wheel drives

I believe in two car garages and faithful husbands and wives

Yes, and I believe in the power of love can topple any wall.

And I, oh I...yes, I...oh I believe

There’s a little bit of ELVIS in us all.

 

I believe God's chosen land was made for you and me

‘Cross the amber waves of grain, from sea to shining sea

Yes, and I believe it’s the will of God for America to stand tall.

Yes, and I, oh I...yes, I...oh I believe

There’s a little bit of ELVIS in us all...

 

There’s a little bit of THE KING

In every living thing

All you’ve got to do is open your eyes.

Every time we rejoice

We’re singing with his voice

Does it really come as a surprise?

 

I believe the good, good life is like a simple country song

Good old fashioned family values

Like knowin’ right from wrong

And I appreciate the wisdom to be found in John and Paul,

But I, oh I...yes, I...oh I believe

There’s a little bit of ELVIS in us all...

 

Recorded at home in Leslieville, Toronto ON in 2010.

 

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