“Elvis Left the Building”

Today is the anniversary of the death of the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll.
On the afternoon of Tuesday, 16 August 1977, Elvis Presley was found unconscious on the floor of his bathroom in his Graceland mansion in Memphis, Tennessee, by his girlfriend, Ginger Alden.
By the end of his career, Elvis was merely a shadow of his former self. He was overweight (159 kilograms) and he suffered from many diseases, each magnified by drug abuse: glaucoma, high blood pressure, and liver damage.

He was rushed to the hospital, where several attempts to revive him failed, and he was pronounced dead. He was only 42 years old.
The cause of his death was covered up by his family; but it presumably was from an overdose of prescription drugs, which caused his heart to stop.

On the evening of that day, Presley was scheduled to fly out of Memphis to start another tour.

Here is one of his first records, produced at Sun Studios and released on 20 August 1955, which featured Presley on vocals and rhythm guitar.

“Mystery Train” was written and originally recorded by blues musician Junior Parker in 1953, always for Sam Phillips’ Sun Records, and became a blues standard, which later was covered by Elvis Presley, and various other artists.

The song was inspired by earlier songs, in particular an old folk song recorded by the Carter Family in 1930, a time when travelling by train, or by riverboats, was quite an adventure. That’s why the title is “Mystery Train”, even though these words do not appear in the lyrics. Besides the impression of mystery, there is this idea of movement, and the emotions involved in love lost and, if she comes back, regained.

Mystery Train

Train I ride, sixteen coaches long
Train I ride, sixteen coaches long
Well, that long black train got my baby and gone

Train, train, comin’ ’round the bend
Train, train, comin’ ’round the bend
Well, it took my baby, but it never will again
No, not again

Train, train, comin’ down, down the line
Train, train, comin’ down, down the line
Well, it’s bringin’ my baby ’cause she’s mine, all mine
She’s mine, all mine

Train, train, comin’ ’round, ’round the bend
‘Round, ’round the bend
Train, train, comin’ ’round, ’round the bend
‘Round, ’round the bend
Well, it took my baby, but it never will again
Never will again

Il treno su cui viaggio è lungo sedici vagoni
Il treno su cui viaggio è lungo sedici vagoni
Quel lungo treno nero ha preso la mia bimba e se n’è andato

Il treno sta curvando
Il treno sta curvando
Ha preso la mia piccola, ma non lo farà mai più
(no, mai più)

Il treno sta percorrendo il binario
Il treno sta percorrendo il binario
Sta portando la mia bimba, perché lei è mia, tutta, tutta mia
(Lei è mia, tutta, tutta mia)

Il treno sta curvando
Il treno sta curvando
Ebbene ha preso la mia piccola, ma non lo farà mai più
(no, mai più)

40 thoughts on ““Elvis Left the Building”

  1. Reblogged this on False percezioni and commented:
    A seguire un bel ricordo di Luisa Zambrotta del mitico Elvis, scomparso il 16 agosto 1977. Ero bambino, sentii la tragica notizia in spiaggia. Ricordo che ne rimanemmo tutti sconvolti.
    Da anni Elvis non era più lo stesso dei primi, rivoluzionari anni, ma era pur sempre un’icona. L’eco della sua morte fu superata forse solo dalla scomparsa, pochi anni dopo, di John Lennon.
    Ma questa è un’altra, non meno drammatica, storia…

    Liked by 3 people

  2. It’s amazing how many Elvis impersonators can look individually different but still look like Elvis. Some TV shows feature a bunch of Elvis impersonators and when you see them standing next to each other–they all look different yet still like some form of Elvis.

    Liked by 3 people

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