Thursday, June 19, 2008

`At Age 42'

He started young by driving a truck
He played his guitar, he had much luck
They made him a king, for singing some tunes
But still he died, at age 42.

They lifted him from deep poverty
They sold his records and received much money
They made him a super-celebrity
But he didn’t live to be 43.
They merchandised his voice and the way he shook
They cut his hair when he entered the Service
They gave him gold records and a big mansion
But at age 42 he still was dead.

They called him the “King of Rock’n’Roll”
But when the Beatles scored, they said he was too old
They cursed him when they thought his weight too high
But rapidly pushed his records when he died.
They took away his rural honesty
They corrupted him with cash and hypocrisy
They never asked if maybe he was lonely
And he didn’t live to be 43.

The media vultures gather ‘round his grave
And all now seek to cash in on his pain
And none dare say the words which should be plain:
“He wasted his life in a quest for perpetual fame.”
They changed him from a worker to a rich man
And made him so scared that he needed bodyguards
They twisted up both his mind and his body
And confused his soul completely with girl screams.

To listen to this folk song, you can go to following music site link:

The At Age 42 biographical protest folk song was written shortly after Elvis Presley’s death in 1977. Ironically, one of the earliest times I ever performed before a live audience was when--as a Cub Scout during the 1950s--I played the role of “Elvis Schmelvis” in a satirical skit about U.S. mass media culture that was written by my Cub Scout Den Mother.

To listen to some other biographical protest folk songs, you can check out the “Columbia Songs for a Democratic Society” music site at the following link:

Next: The Anti-War Movements, Now and Then: A 1991 Interview With U.S. Political Prisoner David Gilbert--Part 1

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