Yesterday as I was flying back home from another whirlwind trip out west (FYI -Las Vegas airport is hectic beyond belief, and US Airways needs to do a much better job of handling the crowds), I was listening to my i-Pod and as usual the right song at the right time pulsed into my head.
The song? “If I Can Dream” by Elvis Presley. Why the right song? Lots of reasons, but first, some background.
I was exposed to Elvis at a young age – the local movie theater used to show Elvis movies at its Saturday matinees, and my parents would take us there quite often. I saw Blue Hawaii, Spinout, Clambake, and just about every other corny Elvis movie. So instead of Disney or other cartoon characters, my childhood entertainment was the man who was just way, way cool, and could sing up a storm (even if he was sleepwalking through some of these movies).
I also remember a television show that he did in 1968 – it’s now known as Elvis’ Comeback Special. Here was a performer at the peak of his powers, and even at 8 years old I could appreciate his command of the audience and the passion of his song delivery.
One song in particular that stood out was “If I Can Dream“. Take a look at the lyrics:
If I Can Dream (by W. Earl Brown)
There must be lights burning brighter somewhere.
Got to be birds flying higher in a sky more blue.
If I can dream of a better land,
where all my brothers walk hand in hand.
Tell me why, oh why, oh why can’t my dream come true?
There must be peace and understanding sometime.
Strong winds of promise that will blow away all the doubt and fear.
If I can dream of a warmer sun,
where hope keeps shining on everyone.
Tell me why, oh why, oh why won’t that sun appear?
We’re lost in a cloud with too much rain.
We’re trapped in a world that’s troubled with pain.
But as long as a man
has the strength to dream
he can redeem his soul
Deep in my heart there’s a trembling question.
Still I am sure, that the answer’s gonna come somehow.
Out there in the dark, there’s a beckoning candle, yeah.
And while I can think,
while I can talk.
While I can stand,
while I can walk.
While I can dream.
Please let my dream come true…Right now.
As I listened to this song last night (and yes, I didn’t lose the irony of the fact that I was flying home from Las Vegas, one of Elvis’ best hangouts), I once again marveled at its power – I didn’t even need to see him sing it. I could FEEL it. Elvis was pouring everything into it, and it pushed the message home…….. “But as long as a man has the strength to dream, he can redeem his soul and fly”………….
Elvis put me right back where I needed to be – in a place where I could dream. Too much work, travel and other distractions can take me away from that place, but I’m very happy that something magical always happens to put me back.,
Check this one out – I’ll bet you put it on your i-Pod too. Maybe it will even get you to rent Clambake or Spinout……. 🙂