Love & Life- lessons from Elvis | Sunday Observer

Love & Life- lessons from Elvis

Is love an overpowering emotion or a blissful state of mind? How much does it take to sustain a romance? Does true love lead to a lasting vibrant marriage? Who is the perfect partner? I am certain every youth has asked these questions. Some have found love, some are relentlessly searching for love and others strangely prefer to be single and ready to mingle.

So how would a rock and roll superstar from the 1960s and 70s become involved in this journey of love in 2018? He is certainly not a “happening” star for today’s youth, as numerous bands and solo artiste rock the music charts. Perhaps many youth have heard of Elvis at some stage of music related conversation. Yet if we take time to explore his songs, the depth of the lyrics has many a lesson which is timeless and fits any generation. Apart from the pulsating beats and his magnificent dance moves Elvis did make powerful statements of love, perhaps this is what made him the “king” of rock and roll. I have been blessed to visit Memphis, Tennessee and Graceland his amazing mansion.

Elvis Aaron Presley was a regular American, who shot to fame with his singing and scintillating stage performances. One of his greatest hits is “Can’t help falling in love with you”. The song was released in 1962. It is a powerful ballad that has such an alluring melody. He talks about the power of physical and emotional attraction. We are all attracted to beautiful people- here the word beauty does not resonate with pretty (or even sexy) but more on countenance. This is something that reflects from “within’ a person’s soul, which sets a certain aura on their facial expression. Whilst first impressions count there is so much “inside” a person, that you must take time to understand. This is why Elvis states in the song “Can I stay, would it be a sin, for I can’t help falling in love with you”- by wanting to “stay” the song brilliantly implies that getting to know the ‘real’ person takes time and is not an impulse decision, unlike someone you suddenly meet on Facebook who sends you a like.

Elvis first met his wife Priscilla, when he was stationed as a Sergeant in the US Army Tank Battalion at West Germany. Priscilla met him at a private party, and the king was immediately drawn to her schoolgirl like charms. She was impressed by him, yet her parents were skeptical that such a top celebrity would love their daughter. During their relationship Elvis sustained a golden rule: he told Priscilla that they would have sex only after marriage. Though often considered a rich playboy, Elvis respected his girlfriend. Today many young people have taken celibacy as a joke and succumb to peer pressure and indulge in sex before marriage. When you become pregnant outside wedlock it aint that cool. For a woman who is not a virgin before her wedding night, she will have to live with that stigma after her marriage, as it will give her husband a card to accuse her as a slut. Worse if you have a daughter you can never really discipline her, as she will confront you of your youthful folly. As Shakespeare said regarding hasty romance and sex “These violent delights have violent ends”.

Presley got married to Priscilla in 1967, hosting a grand breakfast buffet. They took a break of 3 weeks on a ranch. Elvis soon got busy acting in films and recoding hits. He realized that Priscilla was bored and advised her to take karate lessons as he had from Mike Stone. This suggestion with good intent was going to disturb their romance as Priscilla soon began a relationship with her karate instructor. This is another lesson in your life: never let a partner be bored or feel left behind, they will cling to the next person who offers them their time and affection.

Thus the kings next hit song was “Suspicious Minds’ – originally written by Mark James in 1969. Mark was married but had a crush for his first love who lived in Houston, so he felt trapped as the song says ….”We are caught in a trap I can’t walk out, I love you too much baby”. Soon Elvis made this one of his top hits, as he too felt that his love was now fading and he was in a trap. It’s important to remain transparent in a relationship. Trust is fragile. Today folks cheat on their partner by chatting to others using Facebook, Skype and Instagram accounts using fake names. Elvis had another hit before this in 1956 titled ‘Heartbreak Hotel”- written by Tommy Durden and Boren Axton from the story of a man’s suicide.

Elvis had also experienced the death of his mother Gladys and was feeling alone. It is not certain if he too was reeling from a broken romance (before he met Priscilla). Suicide due to love failure is on the rise in sunny paradise. Presley also had a hit called “Are you lonesome tonight?(1960).Young people need to be more mature (using a smart phone does not make you an adult). Many young folks are mentally living in “heartbreak hotel” addicted to smoking, drinking and other substance abuse and need the love of their friends, families and spiritual guidance. In his song “Devil in Disguise” -1963 (not meant for Priscilla) he talks about how the looks of a woman can be like an angel until you find the qualities of the devil within. Another lesson that cool and cute looks are temporary and the real “human package” is inside a person’s mind.

The king of rock and roll was sadly dethroned in marriage as Priscilla filed for divorce in 1972. He later made another hit single ‘Always on my mind” where he reminisces about his love and his guilt for neglecting her. Regrets can’t restore. We must love in the present. Every day is a gift. A relationship doesn’t end after marriage- your spouse needs love on a fulltime basis. Elvis Presley died aged 42 in 1977, yet within his great hits are greater lessons. Live, love and learn.