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An American Trilogy

4.6 / 5

Words & Music: Mickey Newbury

Oh I wish I was in the land of cotton
Old things they are not forgotten
Look away, look away, look away Dixieland
Oh I wish I was in Dixie, away, away
In Dixieland I take my stand to live and die in Dixie
Cause Dixieland, that's where I was born
Early Lord one frosty morning
Look away, look away, look away Dixieland

Glory, glory hallelujah
Glory, glory hallelujah
Glory, glory hallelujah
His truth is marching on

So hush little baby
Don't you cry
You know your daddy's bound to die
But all my trials, Lord will soon be over

Recordingdate: 1972/02/16, first released on: single (album)


Musicians who contributed to the first recording of An American Trilogy:



(alto saxophone)
(baritone saxophone)
(french horn)

*Orchestra, overdubs


Find available albums with An American Trilogy.

Lex wrote on June 05, 2008
I would turn off a song like this by anybody else than Elvis. Somehow he makes something special out of it.
Natha wrote on July 22, 2008
After watching Aloha From Hawaii via Satelite I was hooked completely. This song is ever since an integral part of my standard song list. Elvis' majestic way of handling this makes me appreciate and like this one. He - as usual - makes me forget the gospel-like part of it.
JLpResLey wrote on July 22, 2008
Classic Elvis. The song is a masterpiece, but I agree with Lex, it´s elvis that makes it a masterpiece. No Elvis fan can´t do anything else but love Trilogy. The most famous version is from Aloha, and many thinks that´s the best version. But the one that appears in This is Elvis (From Hampton Roads -72) is to me the very best version. Finally I just have to say what a great job JD and the Stamps did on this one
benny scott wrote on July 22, 2008
The version on "Second To None"-CD is the perfection. It's all there : the King's beautiful and powerful voice, the incredible TCB-band and the Joe Guercio Orchestra, the fantastic orchestration (who wrote this arrangement ? Hats off !!!) and last but not least : what a sound, due to the remastering (DSD). If you want to savour this performance for a 100% you have to turn up the volume of your soundsystem, this song must be listened to at full blast. I could play it 20 times in a row, I never get tired of it. Masterpiece !!! I would rate it 10 if it were possible !
Ton Bruins wrote on July 22, 2008
It's a great song and mostly great performances by Elvis, but I must also say that this song is ofcourse a bit "over the top"..patriotic..above the world..bigger than life..If you know what I mean. Elvis loved that feeling ofcourse...
Rob Wanders wrote on July 22, 2008
great performed by Elvis. I love it, but a bit too patriotic for me. But still I can forget that part and enjoy Elvis' voice and the orchestra and the back-ground singers. The best versions are from 1972-73; after that the song took a faster tempo; I think Elvis was a bit tired of the song.
old shep wrote on July 22, 2008
The song and the whole production which consists of an ear shattering brass arrangement are too OTT for me. Give me Elvis, Scotty and Bill anytime.
Steve V wrote on July 22, 2008
I like seeing the Aloha version and when I saw Elvis perform it at MSG it was great. But hearing it on record is not the same. No wonder it wasnt a hit record.
Pedro Nuno wrote on July 22, 2008
Like it. But Elvis was misguided about his career in the 70's. He should follow the path of Burning Love, and not of Trilogy, Always on My Mind, My Boy and others big production number (either live or studio). Not that those numbers are bad. No. But e prefer Elvis The King Of Rock and Roll, instead of the King of Entertainment.
Sirbalkan wrote on July 22, 2008
The Hampton concert version... No need to argue anymore...Listen to it from the "the essential elvis"compilation released at UK or buy the single "If I can Dream" released in Australia. Both include that song from this particular concert. IT IS A.M.A.Z.I.N.G.
ta2k wrote on July 22, 2008
Elvis' pwer and emotion in this song could make a Russian feel proud to be an American. Tremendous.
Jesse Garon Presley wrote on July 22, 2008
Truly a masterpiece.. nobody can sing like this. anyone who is saying it's ear shattering, and that Elvis was misguided by peforming these songs are o so wrong about that, don't agree with them at all.. just listen to this song... the King Of Rock and Roll.. no matter what
Volker Stockel wrote on July 22, 2008
that was Elvis in his peak at Aloha From Hawaii wow nobody can beat this
JerryNodak wrote on July 22, 2008
I love the song. It gives me goose bumps. But I have to go along with Steve V. It works better as a song with the visuals. With "Trilogy" it's not just about the song (which is sung great), but also the performance. It works for me as a song if I'm listening to "Aloha From Hawaii" and I'm hearing it in it's concert context, but on the radio, no. The "Aloha" version is the ultimate. The single version was too restrained. If Elvis had simply remained the King of r 'n' r throughout his entire career and hadn't done all those other types of songs that many dislike I would have ceased to be an Elvis fan long ago. Long live the "King of Entertainment."
FLASHBOY wrote on July 23, 2008
Majestic! I was amazed and speachless when i heard the song for the first time and even today when i hear it i am speachless. Please tell me who can sing that song as perfect as Elvis? Jerry Lee Lewis? nahhh Ringo star nope Paul McCartney?.... not even Tom jones And God knows how Tom Jones can handle a song.
Ruthie wrote on July 23, 2008
A wonderful song with an awesome performance. As far as being misguided in his career, he needed & wanted to grow as a singer & entertainer. Most great artists do. He remained the King of R & R but also grew into the King of Entertainment. It was an amazing accomplishment - better than just turning into an aging rock star.
Elvisonmymind wrote on July 23, 2008
I saw and listen a lot of performers doing this song but only Elvis knew how to perform this wonderful song as it should be. The way he put his emotions in this song and also the timing ... it makes my flesh creep! I like the version of On Tour very much because of his magnificent voice.
Jim Hoff wrote on August 03, 2008
I was 16 when I bought the Aloha From Hawaii album - and I must admit that American Trilogy at that time was a song I skipped on my record player (Much more preferred Long Tall Sally/Whole Lot a shakin goin' on and Big Hunk O' love which 'surrounded' AT on the album). That said... the song is a great performance by Elvis, both technically and emotionally, and as you get older you develop/change your taste in music. And as a fan you also have to accept that Elvis wanted to grow as an artist and not just stick to "Hound Dog and Jailhouse Rock-songs" all his life. Another thing: Wonder how Lisa Marie P. feels about this song and especially the last four lines????
My boy, my boy wrote on August 03, 2008
Another one that sounds like it's made especially just for Elvis's voice...what a performance from the whole band !
burninglove92 wrote on December 08, 2008
Absoulutely Outstanding !!!! Never heard a bad version Ever !!!! This is Elvis Proving He;s King. The 1975 versions are a thrill to listen too with the brass solo instead of the flute, An outstanding performance. TCB
derekd wrote on October 17, 2011
chen asked who had a hit with American Trilogy most folk know the answer, just like Hound Dog, Jailhouse Rock, Now or Never, Are you lonesome Tonight, Return to Sender, In the Ghetto, plus dozens' of others. Elvis, unlike other artists, made lots of songs HIS. Others may be known for a few at most, except the likes of the Beatles, Cliff, Stones to name a few. But no one comes near to Elvis, mostly because of his wide range of differant trents.
Lpool kid wrote on October 17, 2011
along with many others this song was made for elvis,everything he learned as an artist comes to fruition in this song. your brought into song and then carried along with the emotion of it all as it reaches it's conclusion,to see him at the end of the aloha version fabulous,maybe the pinnacle of his career.5 stars plus
Great Dane wrote on October 17, 2011
Awesome! One of my all time favorite. I am glad he did those songs and grew as an artist instead of stick at those 3 chord songs.(which i also don't dislike) 5 stars for the song/voice/arrangement.
TCB1974 wrote on October 17, 2011
This is a signature song of Elvis, an outstanding climax during his concerts from '72 to '75. Thanks to performances like An American Trilogy during the Aloha From Hawaii TV special, Elvis is still around as an American icon today, selling out concert halls with a video show across the globe. Note the magnificent moment when Elvis is shouting to his band as they build up towards the final Glory, glory hallelujah. Proving to be one of a kind. Five stars.
Elvis Rimes wrote on October 17, 2011
Only Elvis could deliver this absolute work of art. Absolutely exhilarating! 5 stars all day long.
tornado wrote on October 17, 2011
The adding of orchestral instruments made it better also.
freedom101 wrote on October 17, 2011
Only Elvis could do this song justice.
ElvisSacramento wrote on October 26, 2012
This is such a spectacular and unique song and Elvis easily has the best renditions of it. This is one of so many Elvis signature songs.
Gorse wrote on December 25, 2012
Awesome, absolutely awesome. I have no idea how many times I have watched the Aloha version but it gets to me every time. I agree this song gained from being filmed whether it was Aloha, or Elvis On Tour as seeing him perform and feel the song added to the overall drama build up resulting in a mini masterpiece.
sugartummy wrote on February 23, 2013
Elvis wrote the flute solo together with the flutist (don't know his name). This song is like Elvis' Stairway to heaven; I mean the build-up off the song. Really wonderful.
TheMemphisFan wrote on November 12, 2013
The second line to the song is actually... "Old times there are not forgotten"
benny scott wrote on July 07, 2014
My all-time favorite Elvis-song of the post-R 'n' R era. Goosebumps all over my (already too old) body. Shall be played on my funeral !
Deano1 wrote on July 07, 2014
This song has become identified with Elvis as much as his classic oldies and "Suspicious Minds". Elvis' performances of this song were always superb, but I think the "Aloha" version is the best. I agree the original single version was probably the least desirable of the known versions and I can't help think how big of a hit this would have been if RCA had not released the 1972 single and released the "Aloha" version as a single in 1973. His last performance of this song from June of 1977 is impromptu and even though Elvis forgets where to come in after the instrumental it is very good.
Rob Wanders wrote on September 25, 2016
as I wrote earlier: A great song from Elvis. I also adore the original from Mickey Newbury. When I heared his version for the first time, 4 years ago (in fact it was the first time I heard Mickey at all) I had the same sensational feeling as I had when I heared Elvis for the first time (for me in 1975) and Tim Buckley for the first time (for me 2001). So for me both Mickey and Tim are sitting just below Elvis on a throne somewhere.
Gorse wrote on June 26, 2020
My comments of several years ago have not changed, but what I find interesting is all the young reactors on YouTube who have not previously taken much notice of him eulogising over this performance, and understanding why he was known as the King.
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