Elvis Presley – Promised Land

I had a hard time deciding which version to use…Chuck Berry’s who wrote the song or the Elvis version. This is the version I know the best. The many reasons I really like this version is the clavinet and Ron Tutt’s drumming…and of course, that guy named Elvis does a good job. He also did a really good job on the charts. Altogether he had 109 songs in the Billboard 100, 25 top ten hits and 7 number 1 hits.

I heard this song a lot growing up along with his other hits.

Promised Land peaked at #14 in the Billboard 100 and #9 in the UK Charts. Chuck Berry wrote this when he was serving time in jail for violating the Mann Act. He had to borrow an atlas of the US from the prison library to plot his hero’s journey from Virginia to California.


Promised Land

I left my home in Norfolk Virginia
California on my mind
I Straddled that Greyhound,
and rolled in into Raleigh and all across Carolina

Stopped in Charlotte and bypassed Rock Hill
And we never was a minute late
We was ninety miles out of Atlanta by sundown
Rollin’ out of Georgia state

We had motor trouble it turned into a struggle,
Half way ‘cross Alabam
And that ‘hound broke down and left us all stranded
In downtown Birmingham

Right away, I bought me a through train ticket
Ridin’ cross Mississippi clean
And I was on that midnight flier out of Birmingham
Smoking into New Orleans

Somebody help me get out of Louisiana
Just help me get to Houston town
There are people there who care a little ’bout me
And they won’t let the poor boy down

Sure as you’re born, they bought me a silk suit
Put luggage in my hands,
And I woke up high over Albuquerque
On a jet to the promised land

Workin’ on a T-bone steak a la carte
Flying over to the Golden State
Oh when The pilot told me in thirteen minutes
We’d be headin’ in the terminal gate

Swing low chariot, come down easy
Taxi to the terminal zone
Cut your engines, cool your wings
And let me make it to the telephone

Los Angeles give me Norfolk Virginia
Tidewater four ten O nine
Tell the folks back home this is the promised land callin’
And the poor boy’s on the line

Author: Badfinger (Max)

Power Pop fan, Baseball fan, old movie and tv show fan... and a songwriter, bass and guitar player.

16 thoughts on “Elvis Presley – Promised Land”

  1. I like Elvis’s version a lot. He was in a good period at this time musically. Too bad he couldn’t stay away from the jump suits and capes- and Col. Parker and the bad food.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. phenomenal musical charting history. (Chuck Berry ain’t no slouch either!) i remember when elvis saturated the radio and hollywood. watched every movie that came on the 3 channels. honestly, this is the first time i listening to an elvis song in a really really long time…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. This song was a really good cover. This is one I like as well as the original.
      I remember the movie where he was on the motorcycle going around and around the cylinder at the carnival.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. i cannot remember a single plot, well one was at a beach, but i remember loving elvis, he was a cutie but not a player like some of these other beach boys from the 60s movies

        Liked by 1 person

  3. As much as I like Chuck Berry’s version – the Elvis version is the best! It’s one of the examples of how Elvis could take someone else’s songs and make it his own. Another great example of this is his version of Jerry Reed’s Guitar Man. Elvis at his peak!

    Liked by 1 person

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