About the song

Absolutely, let’s delve into the world of Elvis Presley and his poignant rendition of Peace in the Valley (1957).

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Elvis Presley, a name synonymous with rock and roll’s meteoric rise, wasn’t solely defined by his electrifying stage presence and hip-swiveling dance moves. Peace in the Valley offers a glimpse into another facet of the King – his deep connection to gospel music.

Presley’s roots in gospel are undeniable. Growing up in Tupelo, Mississippi, he was steeped in the rich tradition of Southern gospel quartets and the soulful sounds emanating from the Black churches in his community. This influence permeated his early recordings, even amidst the burgeoning rockabilly sound that propelled him to international fame.

Peace in the Valley wasn’t just another song on an album. Released in 1957 as an Extended Play (EP), it marked a significant moment in Presley’s career. The song itself, originally composed by Thomas A. Dorsey in 1937 for gospel singer Mahalia Jackson, held a powerful message of solace and hope. The lyrics, imbued with a sense of spiritual yearning, resonated deeply with Presley.

There’s an important backstory that adds context to this particular recording. Presley’s performance of Peace in the Valley on “The Ed Sullivan Show” in January 1957 was a watershed moment. This was his third and final appearance on the then-dominant variety show, and it garnered a record-breaking audience estimated at over 50 million viewers.

However, the world was a troubled place in 1956. The Hungarian Revolution, a valiant but ultimately unsuccessful uprising against Soviet rule, had displaced hundreds of thousands of people. Moved by the plight of the refugees, Presley dedicated his rendition of Peace in the Valley to them, imbuing the performance with an extra layer of poignancy.

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The Peace in the Valley EP, containing the title track alongside other gospel standards, was a commercial success, reaching number three on the Billboard album chart. But more importantly, it demonstrated Presley’s commitment to his gospel roots and his ability to connect with audiences on a deeper emotional level, proving that his talents transcended the boundaries of rock and roll.

So, as we listen to Peace in the Valley (1957), let us appreciate it not just as a beautiful gospel song, but as a testament to Elvis Presley’s artistic depth and his enduring connection to the music that shaped him.

Video

Lyrics

“(There’ll Be) Peace In The Valley (For Me)”

Oh well, I’m tired and so weary
But I must go alone
Till the lord comes and calls, calls me away, oh yes
Well the morning’s so bright
And the Lamb is the light
And the night, night is as black as the sea, oh yes

There will be peace in the valley for me, some day
There will be peace in the valley for me, oh Lord I pray
There’ll be no sadness, no sorrow
No trouble, trouble I see
There will be peace in the valley for me, for me

Well the bear will be gentle
And the wolves will be tame
And the lion shall lay down by the lamb, oh yes
And the beasts from the wild
Shall be led by a child
And I’ll be changed, changed from this creature that I am, oh yes

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There will be peace in the valley for me, some day
There will be peace in the valley for me, oh Lord I pray
There’ll be no sadness, no sorrow
No trouble, trouble I see
There will be peace in the valley for me, for me