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