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A Thing Called Love

4.1 / 5

Words & Music: Jerry Reed

Six foot six stood on the ground, weighted 235 pounds
But I saw that giant of a man brought down to his knees by love
He was the kind of man who would gamble on love
Look you in the eye and never back up
But I saw him crying like a little whipped pup because of love

Can't see it with your eyes, hold it in your hands
Like the rules that govern our land
Strong enough to rule the heart of every man, this thing called love

It can lift you up, it can put you down
Take your world and turn it all around
Ever since time nothing's ever been found stronger than love
Men like me they worry and doubt
Trouble their minds day in and day out
Too busy a livin' to worry about a thing called love

And then I see a mother's tenderness
As she holds her young close to her breast
Then I say thank God this world will win with the thing called love

Recordingdate: 1971/05/19, first released on: He Touched Me (album)


Musicians who contributed to the first recording of A Thing Called Love:



Find available albums with A Thing Called Love.

Jerome wrote on June 16, 2008
beautiful gospel about things in life that should be appreciated more. Heal the world!..
JLpResLey wrote on October 18, 2008
I have enjoyed this song since the first time I heard it. Hearing this and many other songs on He Tocuhed Me, I can´t understand why that album is so overlooked, compared with his other gospel albums.
ger wrote on October 18, 2008
Johnny Cash done this song better than Elvis
Steve V wrote on October 18, 2008
I love this song but you can hardly hear Elvis. He wanted to just be part of the group instead of leader this time.
GEORGE (GK) wrote on October 18, 2008
Hands down.. Elvis does this song, much better than Johnny Cash and Jerry Reed.. And I am a Fan of all three, of these great artists.
Ton Bruins wrote on October 18, 2008
No sorry, not my kind of song...don't like it...
My boy, my boy wrote on October 19, 2008
Real nice song...enjoyable arrangement !...The piano part is amazing !
ElvisSacramento wrote on September 28, 2012
I've always liked this song and I've always enjoyed Elvis' rendition and arrangement of it.
lsp2231 wrote on September 28, 2012
Not my favourite gospel song, but Elvis does it really well. I never liked Johnny Cash's version as much, but then I think Johnny Cash is overrated anyway.
Pedro Nuno wrote on September 28, 2012
Recording this song the way Elvis did was probably fulfilling a wish he had since child, in the sense he always wanted to be just a member of a Gospel Quartet. He did it and I like the result. Very much.
NONE000000 wrote on September 28, 2012
Elvis would have hated me if I were producer on this! The first thing I would have done is send the Stamps, JD and any other background vocalist out of the room! I totally understand what Elvis was doing, going for, but big Gospel quartet singing (group singing) has never been what I turn to Elvis for. Still, I can appreciate the song and fun being had in it.
Deano1 wrote on September 29, 2012
Elvis blends in beautifully with the Imperials for an enjoyable, but lesser track from the LP "He Touched Me". The overall LP is a little uneven, but "He Touched Me", "Lead Me, Guide Me" and "Reach Out To Jesus" are among my favorite Elvis songs, sacred or secular.
Gorse wrote on November 08, 2012
Fantastic track which suited Elvis perfectly, and is one of my all time favourites. I really like the Johnny Cash version but Elvis still edges him out here. 5 stars all the way
alanfalk wrote on December 20, 2012
I just listend to the Cash version and it is ok, but I really like Elvis voice better and in this case also the arrengement and Elvis´phrasing.
lsp2231 wrote on December 20, 2012
I like the flow of this song and Elvis' voice. Johnny Cash doesn't do it for me - not on this song or any other that both of them recorded. I also think that Cash is way overrated.
john804 wrote on December 20, 2012
1 zillion stars!
Lou A wrote on December 21, 2012
Interesting stereo effect on the vocals on the original record release of this song .
sugartummy wrote on February 22, 2013
In my opinion, Elvis tries to mimmick Johnny Cash here with his low bass voice. He could do this, but Cash could not give an Elvis impression, even if he wanted to. Cash is a good country performer, but Elvis was allround.
Pieter wrote on March 17, 2013
English isn't my first language but Elvis isn't singing some lines stated above. I don't think he's singing about 'love' in the line “He was the kind of man who would gamble on love'. I don't hear him saying “Like the rules that govern our land”. And also the last line doesn't come close to what I hear.
2kisses&3scarfs wrote on August 02, 2013
Whenever I play this track from the CD, I always wind up singing it the rest of the day. I really like the different voices that can be heard on it.
trudygillenwater wrote on January 12, 2015
Great message song! Elvis was one of a kind.
rai wrote on January 13, 2015
A song that is made to fill up the tracks on the record I guess. A song I will not repeat or hear again but will not also skip as Elvis sounds good and commanding. He could've selected better songs but that's how it was then. 3 stars for the song!
Cruiser621 wrote on April 28, 2016
Not one of my favorites, period. 6 foot 6, etc.
bajo wrote on April 29, 2016
A fine Jerry Reed song this. I like Elvis' arrangement of the song. It's as if he's more part of the group than upfront. I think that's the way he wanted it to sound. I really like Elvis' rendition of this song.
atomic powered poste wrote on May 10, 2018
A 1:1 copy of the Imperials version. The only difference is, that elvis is trying to singing a second bass-part. That doesn't work out because the Imperials already had a bass-singer and elvis was a tenor, so in fact, his input is in fact nothing but dirturbing. Overall: from the four versions i remember straight out of my head (reeds original, the imperials and cashs hit-version), this is by far the weakest and most unoriginal. 2 stars.
Stevekimb1 wrote on October 24, 2020
A great song and performed in a style that reflects Elvis’ desire to perform in a gospel group.
Gorse wrote on November 19, 2020
Listened to it just now to see if my opinion has changed over the years; nope it is still a great rendition of a fine song. I always find it interesting when many criticise Elvis for not being creative enough in the cover of a song but for me the main innovation is the timbre of his voice - 5 stars.
marty wrote on November 19, 2020
Elvis uses a gospel quartet arrangement for this one which obviously makes sense for a gospel album. I never liked this song much when I first heard it on the "He Touched Me" album and prefer most of the other songs on it. I didn't really like Johnny Cash's hit version when I heard it either (and I am a big fan of his). But Jerry Reed's original is great and made me change my mind on the song when I bought his version! It's one of the rare occasions when Elvis doesn't improve the original! 3 stars (and 5 stars to Jerry's version).
Milky White Way wrote on November 19, 2020
I love this song and the different style in which Elvis sings it. Much better than Jonny Cash. I love the way it builds towards the end. Notice how Elvis chose to record a gospel album in key areas of his career. It’s something he had control over and I believe he would have recorded another by late 77 or early 78. 5 stars for this bouncy, well sung and produced song.
PADawgs wrote on August 22, 2022
Elvis did not base his version on Johhny Cash - Cash's wasn't released until 1972 - but upon the Imperials's recording of the song from 1968. The correct lyrics are 'He was the kind of man that would gamble on luck' and 'Like the wind it covers our land'. This seems to be Elvis paying homage to the Imperials while also having fun - it's enjoyable but while the undubbed version (without brass and strings) is preferable to the released master, it's not among Elvis's greatest gospel songs, indeed, being inferior to the other gospel recorded the same day: 'Seeing Is Believing'. But would have been an interesting single combining them (with SIB the 'A' side) prior to Cash releasing his, frankly awful, version.
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