Elvis Presley: Hound Dog (1956)

August 17, 2007

Here is a marvlously raw and gritty video of Elvis singing “Hound Dog.” His moves titillated a generation of hormone popping teens, and younger. I remember this song so well as a little boy. I remember slicking my hair back and doing an Elvis impersonation for one of my baby sitters. As far as I was concerned, I sounded exactly like Elvis.

But what odd lyrics, calling a girl a dog, just because she cries. The song is simple blues form, so there’s nothing unusual harmonically. But the melodic hammering of that naughty “blue third” urged a generation to be naughty. Mmmm mm.

Hound Dog

You ain’t nothin’ but a hound dog
cryin’ all the time.
You ain’t nothin’ but a hound dog
cryin’ all the time.
Well, you ain’t never caught a rabbit
and you ain’t no friend of mine.

When they said you was high classed,
well, that was just a lie.
When they said you was high classed,
well, that was just a lie.
You ain’t never caught a rabbit
and you ain’t no friend of mine.

—————————————-

Original lyrics

You ain’t nothin but a hound dog, been snooping round my door
You ain’t nothin but a hound dog, been snooping round my door
You can wag your tail but Lord I ain’t gonna feed you no more

You told me you were high class, but I can see through that
You told me you were high class, but I can see through that
And daddy I know you ain’t no real cool cat

You ain’t nothin but a hound dog, been snooping round my door
You ain’t nothin but a hound dog, been snooping round my door
You can wag your tail but Lord I ain’t gonna feed you no more

You made me feel so blue, you made me weep and moan
You made me feel so blue, you made me weep and moan
You ain’t looking for a woman,
Lord knows what you’re looking for

You ain’t nothin but a hound dog, been snooping round my door
You ain’t nothin but a hound dog, been snooping round my door
You can wag your tail but Lord I ain’t gonna feed you no more

[Lyrics by Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller.
Recorded by Big Mama Thornton; Elvis Presley (1956).]

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