Walking in Memphis – One of the truly great songs

One morning last week I was doing the usual, having breakfast watching music videos before walking to work and on came one of my all time favourite songs Walking in Memphis by Marc Cohen.

Its easy to say that I love everything about this song because I do. It’s a song that I listen to every word of, no matter how often I play it, which is a lot! It’s the words, the piano that intros, wafts throughout and ends it as well as the gospel feel. I could go on. The whole song is sensational.

Read the words for yourself.

Put on my blue suede shoes and
I boarded the plane
Touched down in the land of the Delta Blues
In the middle of the pouring rain

W C Handy
Won’t you look down over me
Yeah, I got a first class ticket
But I’m as blue as a boy can be

Then I’m walking in Memphis
I was walking with my feet ten feet off of Beale
Walking in Memphis
But do I really feel the way I feel?

I saw the ghost of Elvis on Union Avenue
Followed him up to the gates of Graceland
Then I watched him walk right through

Now, security did not see him
They just hovered round his tomb
But there’s a pretty little thing
Waiting for the King
And she’s down in the jungle room

When I was walking in Memphis
I was walking with my feet ten feet off of Beale
Walking in Memphis
But do I really feel the way I feel?

Now, they’ve got catfish on the table
They’ve got gospel in the air
And Reverend Green, be glad to see you
When you haven’t got a prayer
But boy you got a prayer in Memphis

Now, Muriel plays piano
Every Friday at the Hollywood
And they brought me down to see her
And they asked me if I would
Do a little number
And I sang with all my might
She said, “Tell me are you a Christian, child?”
And I said, “Ma’am, I am tonight!”

Walking in Memphis
I was walking with my feet ten feet off of Beale
Walking in Memphis
But do I really feel the way I feel?

Walking in Memphis
I was walking with my feet ten feet off of Beale
Walking in Memphis
But do I really feel the way I feel?

Put on my blue suede shoes and I
Boarded the plane
Touched down in the land of the Delta Blues
In the middle of the pouring rain

Touched down in the land of the Delta Blues
In the middle of the pouring rain

I am captivated by the songs imagery.

The power of

Tell me are you a Christian, child?”
And I said, “Ma’am, I am tonight!”

speaks loudest to me. Can’t you just imagine the scene and the moment.? I certainly can.

Just as I can of the,

pretty little thing
Waiting for the King

I am not a huge Elvis fan, but I find myself wanting to go to Memphis and Graceland only because of this song

In just a few minutes this wonderful song paints a glorious picture.

Marc Cohn says,

It’s 100 percent autobiographical. …I knew I was writing something that deeply defined so many facets of me — my conflicting feelings about religion, about my own state, my humor about it, my acceptance about everybody in terms of what they believe. … It’s not a religious thing for me, it’s just deeply moving.

Source – Wikipedia

I get that completely. His mixed emotions come through forcibly throughout but none better than the rhetorical

But do I really feel the way I feel?

It’s a true classic. Enjoy!

Here is where I’d planned to insert the YouTube video, but that didn’t seem right. I don’t own the copyright and it’s such a great song, please listen to it legally on iTunes, Spotify or one of the other streaming services, unless like me you want to have a physical copy!

Footnote: to my University lecturer, I know I shouldn’t have used Wikipedia as my source, but this post is not being marked!

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4 Responses to Walking in Memphis – One of the truly great songs

  1. David Perry says:

    Great post, I really appreciate certain songs and I equally enjoy hearing others talk about the songs that touch them.

  2. Greg Urbano says:

    that is a great song!

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