How Great Thou Art Number Of The Week, Week, Week

By Almost In Elvis/ Dennis van TielFeb 28, 2010
How Great Thou Art Number Of The Week, Week, Week

Oh Lord my God when I in awesome wonder
Consider all the worlds thy hands have made
I see the stars, I hear the rolling thunder
Thy power throughout the universe displayed
When Christ shall come
We shout a proclamation
To take me home what joy shall fill my heart
Then I shall bow in humble adoration
And there proclaim my God how great thou art
Then sings my soul my saviour God to thee
How great thou art (how great thou art)
How great thou art (how great thou art)
Then sings my soul my saviour God to thee
How great thou art, how great thou art
(Stuart Hine)

 

During the early days of summer in 1977 Elvis gave his last concerts on earth. Thankfully two concerts of his last tour in June were put on film for posterity. Otherwise we never would be able to witness the most famous pleading for euthanasia. An early ending of live by injecting an overdose heavenly morphine by the only doctor who is authorized to do so. Namely God himselvis.

Elvis had to accept hellish pains during the last years of his short live. His heart, liver and guts were too big, to narrow or just upset. It was a secret to us infantry that the great troubadour lost control over his little and big messages he posted in the lavatory. Also the pills had done their final job and caused a total goodbye for Elvis’ awareness of the real world he was living in. His mental state was broken by the prospect of the publication of the book Elvis, what happened?, written by some ex-bodyguards (with more than modest support of a ghost-writer). This book would reveal some doubtful hobbies of their former employer. Elvis simply had had enough of his immortality.

Elvis sang the gospel How Great Thou Art, or to put it stronger: he vomits the words on the audience in the big arena. The talent he still had was squeezed out of all of his pores that were still healthy enough to do so. He couldn’t salute at the finale of the song. Breath or no breath, it was very important to him that the Lord could hear his prayer. It took the echoes of his plead two months to reach the house of God. Finally the Maker of all was able to heal one of his most famous portraits. The Supreme Being granted Elvis the medicine ‘Eternal peace’. At last, free at last.

The king of the popular grades didn’t get much appreciation for his artistic and cultural achievements (from a non fan view).
But luckily enough his faith in a world outsides his own gave him some recognition. For the spirits on vinyl, called How Great Thou Art (1967) he got himself a Grammy for best sacred music. The same title of the album gave Elvis a second Grammy seven years later. This time he earned the award because of a tremendous version he performed live for his own neighbours in Memphis.
It’s a shame that the United States are as conservative as the famous Presley himself; otherwise the euthanasia-version of How Great Thou Art from 1977 would also be a big winner, Grammy-wise.

On the 25th of May 1966 Elvis entered the studio of RCA in Nashville, conscious of the fact his career was going down, to put it mildly. He was being laughed at by a new rebellious audience, the musicpress and the new stream of actors and musicians. The latter were busy with progressive art, social protests and eating candies outside their own homes. Presley didn’t have the power to give a straight answer to the new age. He simply didn’t understand it. Elvis was busy enough handling is own troubles. Priscilla and Colonel Parker were putting pressure on him to get married. And besides that they thought that his quest for God, truth and his own place on earth was complete gibberish. They almost wanted to call him a screwball, but their worries about their own incomes held them back. Elvis tried to find confirmation in the arms of a hair cutting guru, who would help him with his quest for the authenticity of everything and beyond.

But now big E. was confronted with a new session of music that would make him happy for a short while. He was going to record a brand new gospel album, so that his talent and friendship with Jesus Christ would melt together. And boy, my boy, that was noticeable for all our ears.
Elvis’ voice had never sounded so sincere, crystal clear, and strong as it did during his stay in the Nashville studio in the springtime of 1966. For a moment he was the homemade heaven on earth.
The second song that Elvis recorded was How Great Thou Art. Charlie Hodge, the chief lackey of the housekeeping, let his boss hear a version of The Sons of the Pioneers. The incarnated gospel-library, called Elvis Presley, was familiar with a version of a gospel-gang calling themselves The Statesmen. Mister Presley took the freedom to cannibalise and blender both versions and injected them with his holy fire. He knew exactly what he wanted and produced the song completely on his own. The rocking preacher even had the courage to sing every part of the vocals. Heroic and justly. From the sweet bas intro to the opera-like high climax, he did it all.
How Great Thou Art is maybe the magnum opus of Elvis’ career on earth. Honestly, well deserved and he didn’t need a heart failure to be heard.
Out of self protection, the editor doesn’t listen much to this masterpiece, because otherwise all the atheistic beliefs will disappear in the loo. You know, the kind of loo were Elvis encounters his mortality.

How Great Thou Art is from origin a Swedish sacred song and translated into English by a missionary called Stuart K. Hine.
‘Jag alskar dig, Stuart,’ said the fool.

 

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Reactions

Sandi (profilecontact) wrote on Apr 16, 2010report abuse
Who is this person, surely not a TRUE Elvis fan. His "commentary" on Elvis should not have been allowed on this great web site. He has insulted Elvis' memory & legacy. I played "How Great Thou Art" at my Mom's memorial this past November, it is one of our favorite Elvis songs, we always got chills & tears in our eyes whenever we listened to it. My daughter & I felt it was wonderful tribute to my Mom. I've requested my daughter to play it for me when I pass!
ger (profilecontact) wrote on Mar 23, 2010report abuse
What A load of S--T
Ton Bruins (profilecontact) wrote on Mar 10, 2010report abuse
"Elvis had to accept hellish pains during the last years of his short live. His heart, liver and guts were too big, to narrow or just upset. It was a secret to us infantry that the great troubadour lost control over his little and big messages he posted in the lavatory. Also the pills had done their final job and caused a total goodbye for Elvis’ awareness of the real world he was living in. His mental state was broken by the prospect of the publication of the book Elvis, what happened?, written by some ex-bodyguards (with more than modest support of a ghost-writer). This book would reveal some doubtful hobbies of their former employer. Elvis simply had had enough of his immortality"....Yes, very good written down...it's true...
Lefty (profilecontact) wrote on Mar 7, 2010report abuse
Sounds like Dennis is on drugs too. I guess noteworthy Elvis news has hit bottom. Maybe someone can write about the Elvis rubber ducky next? That might fill some of the void until news worthy of mention reaches us again.
Deano1 (profilecontact) wrote on Mar 3, 2010report abuse
On one hand I agree with Natha, it isn't humorous, but it does have elements of truth. I am a Christian and I do feel that listening to "How Great Thou Art" as sung by Elvis is as one critic once said "is worth more than 10,000 screaming evangelists". Only one time (in College Park) did I hear him struggle to sing this song. Yes, Elvis had his problems and those should not be made light of, and the comment about pleading for euthanasia is obsurd. I think vocally Elvis sounded very good in that June tour (90% of it, at least), but there is a sadness about him (especially his eyes) and I do think he poured out his heart and soul in that version of "How Great Thou Art". I think it and "My Way" both had a plea in them, to God, to his fans, to his "friends". In the end, Elvis died not from prescription drugs, not from health problems (though both effected him), but from a broken heart. He had been used by his friends, his wife, his manager and his record label and even to some degree his fans and the man who gave us so much of his heart and soul had nothing more to give. Thank you God for Elvis Presley. We miss him here, but we know that he searched for you and found you. It is always a great comfort to me that the last book Elvis was reading was "The Face Of Jesus".
Natha (profilecontact) wrote on Mar 2, 2010report abuse
Is it? From my point of view neither.
Lex (profilecontact) wrote on Mar 2, 2010report abuse
Because it is well written en humorous?
Natha (profilecontact) wrote on Mar 2, 2010report abuse
OtisBlue22, I have no idea, but it is hard to understand why this is found on this respectable web site.
OtisBlue22 (profilecontact) wrote on Mar 1, 2010report abuse
In the words of Greil Marcus: what is this sh*t?

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