Brings cultures and people together in freedom
“American Trilogy,” is a uniting combination of “Dixie,” “Battle Hymn of the Republic,” and “All My Trials”
Elvis Presley was born “early Lord one frosty morning” in Dixie. Elvis lived and died in Dixie. One of his movie song hits was “Dixieland Rock,” from the pre-Army film King Creole. Early on, growing up in Tupelo, Mississippi and Memphis, Tennessee, he differentiated himself by his absence of racial or religious bigotry.
His first serious girlfriend was a Dixie—Dixie Locke. When he called to ask for a date, Elvis had to dial her uncle’s house next door, because the Locke family didn’t own a telephone. The young teenage couple sensed in themselves an affinity with other southern poor and underprivileged.
Elvis never severed ties with the working class south, which included all races, but he did distinguish himself by joining all forms of music and cultures together to unify. He moved people toward shared emotions and common actions. Songs such as “If I Can Dream,” “In the Ghetto” and “America the Beautiful” were powerful at providing images and models of hope for the times.
Like Bob Dylan’s “Blowin’ in the Wind,” John Lennon’s “Imagine,” and Lynard Skynard’s “Sweet Home Alabama,” many of Elvis’s songs became anthem-like for generations who shared values, experiences and emotions of the 1950s, 1960s, 1970s, and beyond. Many Elvis Presley songs influenced and defined much of America’s identity and solidarity.
Arguably, one of the most notable songs Elvis performed in his 1970s concerts was his “American Trilogy,” a uniting combination of “Dixie,” “Battle Hymn of the Republic,” and “All My Trials.” In Dixie, he sang “Old times there are not forgotten.” But in 2017, forty years after the singer’s death, some of those times have been forgotten. Every day, we learn of another statue coming down, a street being renamed or a school changing its name for the sake of political correctness. In many cases, the decision makers have no clue to the history that has been distorted by socialists attempting to change America.
Like much of his life and career, Elvis took songs from three distinct cultures and brought them together for a beautiful and meaningful patriotic outcome. “All My Trials” an African American spiritual set to a Bahama lullaby; and “The Battle Hymn of the Republic” was a marching song of the Union Army during the Civil War. “Dixie,” much like Confederate statues that “offend” some liberals and socialists, has been mentioned as a focus for the politically correct police.
In the 1975 book Mystery Train writer Greil Marcus described “An American Trilogy” to be Elvis’s endeavor to combine all aspects of America and bring everyone together in freedom.
Abraham Lincoln loved the song. After the Civil War ended, in April 1865, President Lincoln told a celebrating crowd of 3000 that he wanted the band to play Dixie.
“I have always thought Dixie one of the best tunes I have ever heard. Our adversaries over the way attempted to appropriate it, but I insisted yesterday that we fairly captured it. I presented the question to the attorney-general, and he gave it as his legal opinion that it is our lawful prize. I now request the band to favor me with its performance!” –Abraham Lincoln
“Ripley’s Believe It or Not” founder Robert Ripley reported the term “Dixie” was not unique to the south. “Dixieland” was originally located on the John Dixie farm in Long Island, New York. Dixie befriended so many slaves before the Civil War that his farm– “Dixie’s Land”–became a place of refuge and kindness to them.
In a 1908 New York Tribune article, the song “Dixie” remained in the hearts of the Northern people (who) never grew cold to it. President Lincoln loved it, and today it is the most popular song in the country, irrespective of section.” In 1934, the music journal The Etude asserted that “the sectional sentiment attached to Dixie has been long forgotten; and today it is heard everywhere—North, East, South, West.”
Barack Obama said “the best education he ever had” was taking a comprehensive course in Saul Alinsky. Later, Obama was schooled by Mike Kruglik, a disciple of Alinsky, who called the future president an “undisputed master of agitation.” Obama then went on to teach these concepts and methods in Chicago.
The word political “agitation” can be just as perilous as political “correctness” in encouraging the increasingly-violent and rabidly anti-capitalist movements we are seeing with ANTIFAC, KKK, and BLM type organizations today.
One of Alinsky’s most favored methods of agitation is Rule #13: “Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.” His mode of operation was clear: Divide and conquer–demean people, cultures, symbols and education–to extract power for others.
Mainstream media, Hollywood and liberal pundits will attempt to define songs as direct “reflections” of the society and culture in which they were initiated. These songs are then used to explain what liberals already think they know about that society and culture to fit into their agenda. Some meanings that appear unusual or unique today turn out to be typical when the song is viewed in its historical context.
One of the first attempts, since his death in 1977, to mischaracterize Elvis by liberal media came in January 2005, just days after Barack Obama became a senator. A Denver Post columnist called an image of Elvis superimposed on a Confederate flag hanging in the media center of Louisville’s Monarch High School as “screen-printed bigotry.”
Outrage was followed by truth. What really happened was school librarian Lanene Dente merely bought a bagged of flags at a Salvation Army the previous summer. She used the 18 flags “only as a colorful display” to make the media center more inviting.
Principal Chris Rugg and Dente said they had researched the image and were confident it “did not represent the Confederacy.” They discovered that the Confederate symbol is part of the Mississippi state flag and that Elvis was born in Tupelo. They concluded that the flag was symbolic of nothing more than Mississippi’s pride in being Presley’s birthplace. Dente added, “I felt I had made an informed decision” about retaining the flag.
The exhibit also included several Asian and European countries and even a checkered NASCAR racing flag. “As a librarian, my responsibility is to provide displays that are representations of different ideas.”
Just as statues, street names, and buildings, before Americans allow their leaders to perform cultural and political genocide, it would be wise to fight them with facts. It’s obvious that songs can reflect their times, but songs are almost always open to multiple interpretations. Some examples of song interpretations famous from being different from the meaning of the lyricists include “Puff the Magic Dragon,” “Revolution,” “Bye Bye Miss American Pie,” “You’re So Vain,” “Total Eclipse of the Heart,” and “Summer of 69.”
ELVIS’ CIVIL WAR ROOTS
Barbara Lee Rowe, a fourth cousin of Elvis, who lives in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania says “Confederate Americans are Americans too” and that Elvis “knew he had Confederate ancestors and he was proud of it. But he was also proud to be an American. He would have put it in the proper perspective.”
Obadiah Smith, the great, great grandfather of Elvis, was from South Carolina and fought in the Civil War as a Confederate soldier.
Rowe has contacted Elvis’ other cousins and participated in DNA tests to prove the link between them. His genealogy shows Elvis has a family connection to Confederate Gen. John Bell Hood, who lost use of left arm when he was wounded at Gettysburg. Hood was the cousin to Elvis’ grandmother. Rowe’s research revealed that Darlin Presley of the 26th North Carolina, fought in Pickett’s Charge. He was taken prisoner and later died at Point Lookout Prison in Maryland.
According to John Williamson’s “Elvis Presley-A Southern Life,” Elvis’s great-great-grandfather was Duanne Presley, Jr. He twice joined and deserted two Confederate Regiments in Mississippi. Both times a $300 bounty was placed for his capture.