In 1968, Elvis recorded a song for the final number in his upcoming television show on NBC. The song has become an anthem and a fan-favorite to many Elvis fans.
The message is clear. The meaning is true. Sady, 52 years later, the dream has not come into a reality. Right about now, we could all use a little hope. This song is the perfect way to find it.
I could write about this song forever, I have written a blog post before and probably will be more. But for now, here is a little history behind why this song exists and what this did for Elvis’s musical career.
Before jumping into some history on this particular song, listen to the words, and read along.
If I Can Dream, 1968
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, oh why.
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 and fly.
Deep in my heart, there’s a trembling question. Still I am sure, that the answers gonna come somehow. Out there in the dark, there is a beckoning candle. And while I can think, while I can talk. While I can stand, while I can walk.
While I can dream, please let me dream come true, right now. Let it come true right now
Story Behind The Song:
Elvis was impacted tremendously by the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and U.S. Senator Robert Kennedy. I was not alive during that time, but being alive right now, I can imagine how hopeless this would leave people.
When Elvis originally went into making the television special with NBC, it was slated to be a Christmas special ending with a Christmas song.
After both assassinations, Elvis spent an evening with friends. Steve Binder, the director of the show, was present. Hearing Elvis speak on his feelings lead Steve in a completely different direction for the show.
Steve met with Musical Director Billy Goldenberg and songwriter Earl Brown where he recounted the message Elvis had been saying. When finished, Binder played the song for Elvis. Elvis responded with, “Let me hear it again.” After which he agreed, “Okay, I’ll do it.” Reluctacy only because Elvis knew the fight he would get with his manager, Col. Tom Parker.
After rerecording the song, due to members of the band being so blown away by his performance, Elvis listened to the song and his entire perspective of his career changed. “I’ll never sing another song I don’t believe in. I’m never going to make another movie I don’t believe in.”
Following the ‘68 Comeback Special, then the Elvis’ Singer Special, Elvis shifted his musical career and released some of the most meaningful music.
To read more on Elvis’s “If I Can Dream” experience, visit Graceland’s official blog.
Until we meet again,
TCB ad TCE,