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John Bartus: Music

Velvet Elvis

(John Bartus)
May 22, 2002
John Bartus, Marlene Daley
Driving back to the Keys from a Tom Petty concert, we stopped into this little donut shop in Homestead (since wiped out by Hurricane Andrew). Everyone in there was smoking cigarettes, drinking coffee, and looking as if they were waiting to die. Ths became the Black Lung Cafe. There was a blank space on one wall where we theorized was the place the Elvis-on-velvet painting used to hang. The story moves on from there.
Velvet Elvis
Words and Music by John Bartus
Words by Marlene Daley

I had a vision while eating doughnuts
And drinking coffee at the Black Lung Caf?A perfect vision,the power and glory
The King appeared, said he'd show me the way
I saw him clearly up on the wall there
A ray of light shone so sweet on his face
A night of drinking put all behind me
I know I've gotta just get out of this place

Chorus: I'm heading south to get a Velvet Elvis
No one can help me now except for the King
I know I gotta find a Velvet Elvis
The doors will open and the church bells will ring
I just can't live without a Velvet Elvis
Velvet Elvis end my suffering
I know I gotta find my Velvet Elvis
It's like salvation if you just hear him sing

Blue light special out on the highway
Dead black cat on the side of the road
They won't keep me no, they can't stop me
From reaching Memphis where I'll find my reward
Distant lightning on the horizon
"Love Me Tender" on my radio
I'm gettting nearer so much closer
I didn't know I had so far to go

Repeat Chorus

It's 5 a.m. now pull into Graceland
I've come too far and I just won't be denied
I need salvation, a revelation
I climb the gate and then I jump down inside
And then the spotlights, those red and blue lights
They haul me off to jail but I'll be all right
I know that Elvis will come and save me
And then that jailhouse will be rockin' tonight

Repeat Chorus

Copyright 1992 by John Bartus