Thursday, August 18, 2016

SHG: Elvis Presley: "Wear My Ring Around Your Neck"

Elvis Presley: “Wear My Ring Around Your Neck”
Entered the chart on: 4/21/58
Peaked on: 4/28/58
Weeks at #2: 1 week
Song at #1: “Twilight Time” by the Platters

Step One in the taming of the Elvis: have him sing a song featuring the lyric, “I’m yours by heck.”

This song confused me as a kid. How small would a woman’s neck have to be to have a man’s ring fit around it. I didn’t know they meant for her to wear it from a chain around her neck. I imagine younger listeners would be even more confused, for if the tradition of wearing someone’s ring around your neck was passé even by my time...

Actually, this is Step 1½ in the taming of the Elvis. Step One was having him sing a song called “Let Me Be Your Teddy Bear*,” which this song is a veritable carbon-copy of. Right, this song isn’t anything tremendous, there’s even the “They tell us we’re too young, blah blah blah” bit in the bridge.

But here’s the thing. The bridge is what makes this song! Elvis is the main good thing about this song, and it’s during that bridge where he really cuts loose. If you had a lesser performer, say a Tommy Sands, doing this song, it would be totally worthless. Elvis elevates the material with his energy and charisma.

Speaking of Tommy Sands, might I add that the Jordanaires are featured to much better effect here than on “Teen-Age Crush”? Their excited “doo-doot-doo” backing vocals propel the song to new heights, so it’s not only Elvis himself making the most of mediocre material. For whatever reason, this song remains quite enjoyable.

Rating: 4

*me being me, I’d prefer Teddy Roosevelt, or better yet “Pecos Bill” Shafter, to be my Teddy Bear.

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