I Was Thinking That Night About Elvis

This brings me to tears. Thank you, Mum, for reminding me of this heartbreaker by the great Gillian Welch.

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21 Responses to I Was Thinking That Night About Elvis

  1. Rob says:

    Gillian Welch and David Rawlings are truly a force of nature. I have almost everything they’ve done. This is from St Luke’s. If you ever get a chance to see that whole show, do it. They’re amazing.

  2. sheila says:

    Yes, I have not seen the whole show. I am a huge fan of hers, will definitely check it out. Amazing live performers. There’s something quiet and eerie and haunting about what they are doing here.

  3. Rob says:

    Most of her lyrics are dark or sad. Her signature song, Caleb Meyer, is extremely dark. They do a spectacular rendition of it at St Luke’s. Just love them. They also join up with Old Crow Medicine Show for a couple of truly remarkable performances.

  4. sheila says:

    I’ve been listening to her for years. An old boyfriend got me into her way back in the day.

  5. Rob says:

    They were on Mark Knopfler’s Sailing to Philadelphia album. I started looking for their original stuff afterward. I was better late than never on that score. Hope to see them live someday if they ever make it to New Orleans again for anything but JazzFest.

    • David says:


      Calling Elvis…. is anybody home?
      Calling Elvis… I’m here all alone.
      Did he leave the building
      Or can he come to the phone?
      Calling Elvis… I’m here all alone.

      • sheila says:

        David –

        “Interesting” isn’t at all the word I would use for this song.

        • David says:

          I didn’t mean to refer to their song as just interesting. I thought it was interesting that they have this song, and that Rob says they appeared on a Mark Knopfler album – and that he had written a song about Elvis too —- making that connection, that various people in different musical genres have written about the loss (for lack of a better term) of Elvis in those different musical genres. That’s all.

          • sheila says:

            Oh! Duh! Now I can see that. I only read the comments via email, couldn’t tell it was part of the thread.

      • Rob says:

        Getting away from topic a little bit but here goes: When I saw Knopfler on that Sailing to Philadelphia tour, David, he opened with Calling Elvis. The track Welch and Rawlings sing on is Speedway at Nazareth, now a staple in all of his shows. They joined him for a performance of it at the Ryman in Nashville a few weeks after I saw him. They undoubtedly brought the house down.

  6. Jeff says:

    They were on Austin City Limits just last night! Very nice show (they also joined The Decemberists for a song).

  7. sheila says:

    Jeff – wow, what a coincidence!

  8. patricia says:

    What a beautiful song! I never came across it so far, totally new to me. Thanks for posting this, Sheila.

  9. sheila says:

    Patricia – isn’t it just killer? “He shook it like a chorus girl.” Makes me cry.

    • patricia says:

      You’re right, Sheila. I love it when people get inspired by Elvis. And how can anyone say the man was not an artist? Inspiring others to be creative is the epitome of being an artist for me.

      • Arly says:

        Anyone who says Elvis wasn’t an artist never saw or heard him. That he continues to inspire is no surprise at all – and this heartbreakingly gorgeous love song is only one example!

  10. Jaime says:

    I too love Gillian Welch. Elvis clearly casts a giant shadow on American roots music. Emmylou Harris, another of my favorite musicians, has a song on her record RED DIRT GIRL called “The Boy from Tupelo”. The record’s sound is far from traditional – sort of ‘techno’ is the best way I can describe it – but it and that song are really worth a listen.

    This site is great BTW – came to it via James Wolcott.

  11. Den says:

    Time(The Revelator). What a strange name for an album and how brave of her to use the word Revelator as such a key lyric. Not one you hear everyday. I was you tubing her a while ago and came across a great impromptu cover of Neil Young’s Pocohontus. Wow if you go back and listen to those lyrics you realize how high ol’ Neil must have been when he wrote that one down. Yea….Elvis Presley blues. He shook it like a midnight rambler. I believe that is a reference to Levon Helm from The Last Waltz if you remember that. Great video Sheila .

  12. Jaime says:

    Oh, and the late great Warren Zevon has a typically acerbic and grimly humorous take on EP entitled “Porcelain Monkey” on his record LIFE’LL KILL YA.
    “Hip-shakin’, shoutin’
    In gold lame
    That’s how he earned
    His regal sobriquet”

    Again, Elvis, giant shadow, etc.

  13. sheila says:

    Long long shadow. Even if you dis him, you are still forced to deal with him. Like current Irish writers with James Joyce. He is undeniable in the landscape, must be dealt with. Revered, scorned, whatever: you MUST respond.

  14. sheila says:

    Jaime – Wolcott has sent me some really great people. Welcome.

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