It’s official. I’m jaded. Sadly, disappointedly, brokenly, jaded. Or maybe my rose colored lenses have darkened once too many. Or maybe it’s just the seemingly endless heat of summer melting my zest for flowery prose. Or maybe my romantic self is being swallowed by my realistic self. Next week or next month or next year I’m sure my jadedness will fade.

In recent time I’ve gone through several periods of growth and opportunity, some I’ve taken on willingly, others circumstantially thrust upon me. No matter, I am a better person, I promise. While I have a few possessions that mean the world to me, minimalist ways have become more attractive. I’ve realized things bog you down. When possessions own you rather than you owning them, it’s a sad situation, but it happens – often.

If you are so caught up in tight clutches, one of two endings will eventuate – the weight will cause you to sink or the grasp will prevent you from swimming to shore. Either way, assets and articles wrongly valued become anchors, drowning a person.

People can cause a similar event, ahem. Their wrong grasp of you will have the same effect. In the last portion of his life, I think Presley felt that – too many constantly wanting too much from him weighed him down heavily. He didn’t know how to loosen the grip.

Where toxicity was once ignored or hidden, clarity of true intent eventually shows it’s ugly self. That realization alone changes one’s perspective. “The truth is like the sun – you can shut it out for a time, but it ain’t going away.” How very true indeed.

When you are so hellbent on gazing at the lovely orange sunset in the west, you miss the beauty of the golden sunrise in the east. The west offers an ending while the east presents a new beginning, a new dawn full of promise. You can stand in the same position in the same place and a slight turn can make all the difference.

This beautiful song I’ve chosen to write about is a perfect example. I adore this song and even more so, the perfect emotion our man puts into it. Like so many of his offerings, you feel he is singing only for you. That’s part of his Elvis-ness, as my dear friend calls it – something only he possessed as a God given talent.

I’ve always seen this song as an emotional love song. In fact, Elvis sang it to Sheila Ryan in Vegas at one time. He said “stand up here Sheila and let me sing to you baby.” Can you imagine the melting of the heart with those words? I melt and he wasn’t even speaking to me.

If you read the lyrics Don McLean penned at face value, there’s an inherent endearment of gratitude at the lovely difference someone can make in a life, trading loneliness for companionship – a joy found in a one to one relationship, a meshing and blending of two kindred souls wrapped up as a single entity. I’ve always looked at it this way, until now.

I read the same lyrics and I’m now looking east instead of west. Rather than one to one, I view it as a reciprocal message to be decoded by his fans that have supported and loved him, those whom Elvis never once put aside or forgot.

We, as ones who felt connected to him, took his hand just was surely as he took ours. We, as devoted fans, are in wonder of the disappearance of loneliness at hearing his soothing and remarkable voice and feeling the Presley attachment from within. He in turn, felt alive on the stage playing to us. He not only stated it, he demonstrated it, even in ill health and tough physical circumstances. “How lonely life has been, but life began again, the day you took my hand.”

“But I don’t let the evening get me down, now that you’re around me.” How often has his being around us, musically, and in films and such, lifted our spirits? He lifts mine 42 years after his death, on a daily basis.

It’s interesting McLean wrote this song. Back in the day, we all knew the words to his American Pie which he wrote and sang. One of the lines is “Do you believe in rock and roll? Can music save your mortal soul?” …. “And can you teach me how to dance real slow?”

While no reasonable person goes so far as to take it literally, figuratively Elvis has saved many souls – he “set my spirits free” – and we unbeknownst to us, did the same for him. “I’m happy that you do.” The happiness factor is a broad and wide two way street where the voice, sound, and feel of Elvis Presley encompasses both lanes, ours and his, eastbound and westbound.

Dancing “real slow” is a such general romantic thought, but slow dancing with Elvis is a softening rhythm of interrelated forward and back steps, in equal time and perfectly synced. His spirit soothes ours. Our spirit charged his.

And WE love HIM so – and we always will.


And I Love You So (lyrics)

And I love you so

The people ask me how

How I’ve lived ’til now

I tell them I don’t know

I guess they understand

How lonely life has been

But life began again

The day you took my hand

And yes I know how lonely life can be

The shadows follow me

And the night won’t set me free

But I don’t let the evening get me down

Now that you’re around me

And you love me, too

Your thoughts are just for me

You set my spirits free

I’m happy that you do

The book of life is brief

Once the page is read

All but love is dead

This is my belief

And yes I know how lonely life can be

Shadows follow me

And the night won’t set me free

But I don’t let the evening get me down

Now that you’re around me

Songwriter: Don Mclean