Thursday, August 11, 2011

if i can dream

This is probably Elvis Presley's finest moment, his performance of 'If I Can Dream' - the jaw-dropping anthemic finale of the 1968 NBC TV Special.

After years in the doldrums of army service, crummy movies and half-baked throwaway hack-pop ditties Elvis reclaimed his position with supreme authenticity, total relevance ('68 USA was still reeling from Vietnam, Watts Riots, JFK, MLK) and pure soul.

This is my only comment on the thoroughly depressing scenes from London, Birmingham, Liverpool and other cities around the UK this week, and the equally depressing knee-jerk reactionary commentary from sections of the blog and twitter-spheres whom I would have thought knew better.

*As an interesting footnote, 'If I Can Dream' was actually written overnight, at the request of Elvis himself the night before the recording of the show,  by Walter Earl Brown as a last-minute replacement for a schmaltzy Christmas number that the Colonel had originally wanted.

Whatever your religious persuasion, if Christmas is a time for closing one year, looking forward to the next with hope, faith in the human spirit and some old fashioned optimism, this song says more about that than I'll Be Home For Christmas, for sure.

We could do with bringing a bit of that forward to August this year.

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