About the song

Absolutely, let’s delve into the electrifying world of Elvis Presley and his 1956 scorcher, Paralyzed.

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Elvis Presley, a name synonymous with the birth of rock and roll, needs little introduction. His charisma, undeniable talent, and unique blend of musical influences took the world by storm in the mid-1950s. Paralyzed, found on his debut album simply titled Elvis Presley, arrived amidst this cultural whirlwind.

While Presley was undoubtedly the focal point, the song’s origins lie with another crucial figure: songwriter Otis Blackwell. Blackwell, a prolific artist in his own right, penned many of Presley’s early hits, including Tutti Frutti and Don’t Be Cruel. Paralyzed showcases Blackwell’s knack for crafting catchy melodies and lyrics that resonated with a generation yearning for a new sound. It’s also worth noting that Presley received a co-writing credit on the song, a common practice at the time for rising stars.

Now, let’s shift our focus to the song itself. Paralyzed explodes onto the scene with a driving beat courtesy of the legendary rhythm section of Bill Black on bass and D.J. Fontana on drums. Scotty Moore’s electric guitar weaves a soulful counterpoint, laying the foundation for Presley’s soon-to-be-unleashed vocal fireworks.

When Presley steps into the spotlight, his voice takes center stage. Gone are the smooth crooners of the past. Presley injects a raw, youthful energy, his voice brimming with a playful swagger and a hint of vulnerability. The lyrics themselves paint a picture of lovestruck paralysis – a man rendered helpless by the object of his affection. Lines like “Since I met you, baby, I can’t walk a line / You paralyzed me, and that’s no lie” capture the heady rush of new love with a touch of humor.

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Paralyzed is more than just a catchy tune, however. It’s a microcosm of the musical revolution brewing in the American South. Rock and roll, with its emphasis on rhythm and blues influences, was challenging the established musical order. Paralyzed, with its driving beat and Presley’s unconventional vocals, embodied this rebellious spirit.

The song’s impact was undeniable. While it didn’t crack the top 40 on the Billboard pop singles chart, it found a devoted audience among fans hungry for something new. Paralyzed also helped solidify Presley’s reputation as a performer who could electrify a stage. His energetic, hip-shaking performances of the song became a staple of his early live shows.

Paralyzed may not be one of Presley’s biggest hits, but its significance in the annals of rock and roll history cannot be understated. It serves as a potent reminder of the electrifying energy that Elvis Presley brought to the music scene, forever changing the landscape of popular music.

Video

Lyrics

“Paralyzed”

When you looked into my eyes
I stood there like I was hyp-notised
You sent a feeling to my spine
A feeling warm and smooth and fine
But all I could do were stand there paralyzed
When we kissed, ooh what a thrill
You took my hand and, ooh baby, what a chill
I felt like grabbin’ you real tight
Squeeze and squeeze with all my might
But all I could do were stand there paralyzed

Oh yeah lucky me, I’m singing ev’ry day
Ever since that day you came my way
You made my life for me just one big happy game
I’m gay ev’ry morning
At night I’m still the same
Do you remember that wonderful time
You held my hand and swore that you’ll be mine
In front of preacher you said
“I do” I couldn’t say a word for thinking of you
All I could do was stand there paralyzed

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