Song of the Day #1,651: ‘Walking in Memphis (Live)’ – Marc Cohn

marc_cohnI have this image of Paul O’Shea, relaxing in port, Googling himself and finding a week’s worth of posts on my blog about his Royal Caribbean cruise ship piano bar routine.

Mine wouldn’t be the only one, I’m sure. I found several mentions of O’Shea on YouTube and cruise message boards, and he has a Facebook page filled with pictures from his ocean adventures.

I wanted to take a picture of my wife with O’Shea, a little memento of our trip, but she was hesitant to ask. The time never really presented itself. Looking at his Facebook page, it’s clear she would not have been the first. In fact, I feel a little guilty that our Liberty of the Seas crowd was so tame in comparison to those in the photos.

O’Shea’s personal favorite song to play (a question he was asked four or five times while we were present) is Marc Cohn’s ‘Walking in Memphis.’ It was the first song he learned on the piano.

One night, while I toiled away in the casino (emerging up about $40 thanks to some inspired blackjack play), my wife was treated to a rendition of this song that she swears was among the most beautiful things she’s ever heard. It might have been the wine talking.

Put on my blue suede shoes
And I boarded the plane
Touched down in the land of the Delta Blues
In the middle of the pouring rain
W.C. Handy, won’t you look down over me
Yeah I got a first class ticket
But I’m as blue as a boy can be

[Chorus]
Then I’m walking in Memphis
Walking with my feet ten feet off of Beale
Walking in Memphis
But do I really feel the way I feel

Saw the ghost of Elvis
On Union Avenue
Followed him up to the gates of Graceland
Then I watched him walk right through
Now security they did not see him
They just hovered ’round his tomb
But there’s a pretty little thing
Waiting for the King
Down in the Jungle Room

[Chorus]

They’ve got catfish on the table
They’ve got gospel in the air
And Reverend Green be glad to see you
When you haven’t got a prayer
But boy you’ve got a prayer in Memphis

Now Muriel plays piano
Every Friday at the Hollywood
And they brought me down to see her
And they asked me if I would
Do a little number
And I sang with all my might
And she said
“Tell me are you a Christian child?”
And I said “Ma’am I am tonight”

[Chorus]

Put on my blue suede shoes
And I boarded the plane
Touched down in the land of the Delta Blues
In the middle of the pouring rain
Touched down in the land of the Delta Blues
In the middle of the pouring rain

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4 thoughts on “Song of the Day #1,651: ‘Walking in Memphis (Live)’ – Marc Cohn

  1. Amy says:

    Playing this song as we drove down Beale street (until we parked, so we could walk at least a few feet off of Beale) is one of my first and favorite memories of being in Memphis.

    Seeing Marc Cohn – for free – playing this song – and others on the album – on a floating stage in Tampa Bay, while we were there for Dana to take his bar exam so many years ago, is one of my favorite memories – period. I’ve been a huge fan ever since.

  2. The Cool Guy (Daniel) says:

    Over the summer we created a PCH mix in which our whole family put in songs about California and other songs. When we were driving in L.A, this song came on our Ipod. At first we criticized dad for putting this song on, but then we joined in and sang and listened. I love this song. I love the music and the lyrics. It’s always a good song… especially when you’re in Memphis. :P

  3. Dana says:

    Must agree with the comments from Amy and my “cool guy” son. Great song with great memories associated with it. It is nice to know that Alex now has a great memory to go with the song as well.

    Meanwhile, since you are showing O’Shea’s Facebook page, I think you should also provide your followers with a link to the massuese’s Facebook page. Fair is fair!😄

  4. Andrea Katz says:

    I love the wistful, nostalgic quality of this song…beautiful.

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