The truth is like the sun. You can shut it out for a time, but it ain’t goin’ away. – Elvis Presley

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Life can become difficult for ourselves and people around us if not lived by certain principles with truth being one of the most important. One must live by these principals and fundamentals in order to make this world a better place. It’s the absence of truth that causes most of the problems we experience in life. This quote by Elvis Presley tries to highlight the fact that you might be able to get away with lying for a while, but the truth will eventually prevail and you have to face it sooner or later.

Elvis Presley

A Little Bit About Elvis Presley

Elvis Aaron Presley was an American singer and actor born on 8th January 1935 [1]. He is known to be one of the most important personalities in the music industry. He left a lasting impact on the pop culture of the 20th century and is considered to be the “King of Rock and Roll”. He engaged the audience at concerts in his own unique ways and created music that was even considered controversial in an era of racial discrimination [1].  

During his career, he sold over 500 million records worldwide and was recognized as the Best-Selling Solo Music Artist of all time by the Guinness World Records [1]. He was good in many genres including pop, rhythm, adult contemporary, and gospel. Elvis Presley has several records under his name including the RIAA Certified Gold and Platinum Albums as well as Billboard 200 featuring his tracks in the first few positions. Presley was also awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2018 [1]

Origin of the Quote

The origin of this quote is believed to be from a version of the Bible held by Elvis Presley [2]. According to Daily Mail UK, Elvis Presley had a Bible that contained his handwritten notes. The book first came from his Uncle Vester and Aunt Letters as a Christmas gift in 1957 [2]. The entire book is approximately 1600 pages and contains numerous annotations and pieces of writing by Presley. 

The book was sold back in 2012 to mark the 35th Anniversary of the star’s death [2]. In this book, one of the most important pieces of writing was “The truth is like the sun. You can shut it out for a time, but it ain’t goin’ away”. There were several other quotes too that were written by him in the same book. 

Elvis Presley magazine collection

Context of the Quote

This quote by Elvis Presley is directed towards the habit of speaking the truth at all times. The quote is also important with regards to how Presley spent his life with controversies surrounding him throughout his life. In his mind, he wasn’t doing anything wrong, which is also reflected in his quote “I don’t think I’m bad for people. If I did think I was bad for people, I would go back to driving a truck, and I really mean this.”

Career

He began his singing career in 1954 and it only took him two years to become an international sensation because of his unique style, charisma and musical influences that challenged social norms and racial barriers. With over one billion records sold globally, 33 successful films, live concerts, TV appearances and 14 Grammy nominations, he was one of the most successful artists of all times.

Controversies Surrounding Presley

Elvis Presley had massive fame and success in his career. Controversies that surrounded him because of his music also played a part in his fame. There were many riots at the concerts in which he performed, usually started by teenage boys [3]. However, Presley always believed that he was speaking out the truth and was not saying anything wrong. He used to say that no matter what criticism he faces from the critics or authorities, he is determined to say the truth in his songs.   At one point, about a hundred National Guardsmen were on duty at a concert by Elvis Presley to prevent any kind of trouble [3]

There have been several other incidents for which Presley faced massive criticism. However, he always claimed it to be false propaganda against him. He believed that many were jealous of his success and the fact that he was always speaking the truth in his songs. The quote gives the ideology by which Elvis Presley lived his entire life without taking into consideration what anybody else thinks [3]. Bob Neal suggested that many teenage boys hated him and had some sort of jealousy against him. Once, in the state of Texas, a gang fire-bombed Presley’s car which was perceived by some as an attempt to murder Elvis Presley [3].

Illustration of liberation

Personal Life

Presley and Teenager Rights

Another important context of this quote is with regards to Presley’s opinions on personal liberty and teenager rights. His music was considered to be too much liberal and perceived by many as a danger to the moral well-being of teenagers, especially young women [2]. However, Presley only believed that he was speaking the truth. He was also alleged of bringing an anti-parent outlook and personification of evil among his fans. Many adults suggested that Presley was turning the teens into rebellions [3].  

Conclusion

Throughout his life, Elvis Presley faced a lot of criticism and hatred. He was either loved or frowned upon. While he believed that he was only spreading the truth, others believed that he was igniting a fire by breaking cultural norms and practices. Some believe that it is due to these controversies that he ended up becoming so famous; otherwise he might not have become so popular. Regardless of the controversies surrounding him, the fact remains that he was one of the most talented and finest artists of the 20th century.

References

  1. Encyclopædia Britannica. (2020). Elvis Presley. Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved September 5, 2022, from https://www.britannica.com/biography/Elvis-Presley
  2. Bond, A. (2012, August 15). Elvis’ Bible containing handwritten notes by the star is expected to fetch thousands at auction. Daily Mail Online. Retrieved September 5, 2022, from https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2188891/Elvis-bible-containing-handwritten-notes-star-expected-fetch-thousands-auction.html
  3. AS News. (2022) How did Elvis Presley really die and why is there so much controversy?. (2022). Retrieved 9 September 2022, from https://en.as.com/latest_news/how-did-elvis-presley-really-die-and-why-is-there-so-much-controversy-n/

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