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Appreciating the melancholic songs of Elvis

It was Fathers’ Day in Malaysia/Singapore yesterday. I only realised on Saturday night after I hung up the phone, and my hubs was pondering what the occasion for my parents call was. Then it dawned on him, and then me.

Fathers’ Day in Australia is not celebrated until September. Usually this means I send my dad two Fathers’ Day greetings a year. But unfortunately this year, I was a little distracted.

Anyway, better late than never. Here is a special blog post dedicated to a special man… something I’ve been already thinking about and saving up to blog about anyway, and not something I’ve scrambled together at the last minute.

So lately I’ve been listening to a lot of Elvis Presley.

…Jailhouse Rock

…Hound Dog

…Heartbreak Hotel

A great way to chirk me up at work if the task is pretty dull.

Listening to Elvis brings up childhood memories of my brothers and I dancing madly around the house to Elvis Presley’s ‘Jailhouse Rock’ or ‘Hound Dog’ blaring loudly on the stereo, clutching badminton rackets to emulate the guitar while we sang.

It also makes me think of my dad. Not that Elvis was my dad’s absolute favourite singer. He has so many favourites now I think he will find it hard to pick one. But it’s one of the earliest singers I remember him indicating as a favourite. He would tell us about how popular Elvis ‘The King of Rock’ was back in his days, how all the kids back then tried to style their hair ala Elvis, and about the sad, sad life that Elvis led. In fact my uncle even named himself ‘Elvis’ which might indicate how much a big fan he (and probably my dad) was in their younger days.

My brothers and I usually preferred the faster ‘rockier’ songs of Elvis that we could dance to. When the cassette tape shifted to the ‘slow’ selections, sometimes we would fast forward it or do something else until another fast number started playing.

It was my dad who taught me how to appreciate the more melancholy songs and to listen to the story being told through the lyrics. He would turn up the volume, and start bobbing his head gently to the tune. I would sit down quietly trying my best to hear and understand the words. Then when the song reached a really significant phrase, my dad would repeat the words out loud. Sometimes he would briefly explain what the story of the song was about.

Here is one of those ‘melancholic Elvis songs’ I remember the most…

Happy Fathers' Day to all dads, granddads and dads-to-be!

On a related but somewhat different train of thought: I am thinking next time with my kid, I'd like them to groove to Elvis. You know how with kids they will have an obsessions with a particular song? So at all times between meals and naptime, The Wiggles or High Five or even a Hillsong track will be on repeat mode continously, punctuated only by an "Again!" in between plays. It can be pretty cute and amusing to watch how the kid behaves when their favourite song is played. Well don't you think how cute it is if a kid can groove and rock to "Jailhouse Rock" and "Hound Dog"... I think it will be so amusing and pretty cool too!


  1. You are spot on again. Indeed listening to Elvis' In the gheto brings back a lot of good memories as well as the sad part of Elvis'life .


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