About the song

Ah, yes, Elvis Presley’s “Polk Salad Annie (Live 1970)”. Now that’s a song that takes you right back to the heart of the King’s electrifying Las Vegas residency. It’s more than just a song; it’s a live performance snapshot, a glimpse into the energy and showmanship that captivated audiences throughout Elvis’ career.

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But before we delve into the 1970 rendition, let’s rewind a bit. “Polk Salad Annie” itself has a fascinating history. Released in 1970 on the album “Concerto,” it wasn’t originally an Elvis song. Written by Tony Joe White, the original leaned towards a swampy blues rock sound. However, something about the song resonated with Elvis. Perhaps it was the Southern roots, the playful storytelling, or the chance to showcase his incredible vocal range. Whatever the reason, Elvis took “Polk Salad Annie” and made it his own.

The studio version crackles with energy, Elvis injecting his own brand of soulful swagger into the tale of a poor Southern girl living off the land. But it’s the live performances, particularly those from his 1970 Las Vegas shows, where the song truly takes flight.

This is where the magic of “Polk Salad Annie (Live 1970)” comes in. Imagine the atmosphere: a packed Vegas showroom, buzzing with anticipation. The stage lights blaze, and Elvis, in all his charismatic glory, steps forward. The band kicks in with a driving rhythm section, and then…Elvis.

Here’s where the 1970 live version truly shines. Elvis doesn’t just sing the song; he inhabits it. He becomes the narrator, drawling out the tale of Polk Salad Annie with a playful wink. You can practically hear the Southern drawl as he describes the “poke salad” (a wild green) and the “mean, vicious straight razor totin’ woman” who picks it.

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But it’s not just the words. Elvis uses his voice as an instrument, stretching notes, adding growls, and infusing the entire performance with an undeniable sense of fun. He interacts with the audience, playfully riffing on the lyrics and keeping the energy at a fever pitch.

This 1970 live rendition of “Polk Salad Annie” is more than just a song; it’s a testament to Elvis’ artistry as a performer. It’s a snapshot of a time and a place, a moment where raw talent and pure showmanship collided to create an unforgettable musical experience. So, put on your headphones, crank up the volume, and prepare to be transported back to the heart of the King’s reign.

Video

Lyrics

“Polk Salad Annie”

Some of you all never been down South too much…
I’ gonna tell you a little story, so you’ll understand where I’m talking about
Down there we have a plant that grows out in the woods and the fields,
and it looks something like a turnip green.
Everybody calls it Polk salad. Now that’s Polk salad.
Used to know a girl that lived down there and
she’d go out in the evenings to pick a mess of it…
Carry it home and cook it for supper, ’cause that’s about all they had to eat,
But they did all right.

Down in Louisiana
Where the alligators grow so mean
Lived a girl that I swear to the world
Made the alligators look tame

Polk salad Annie
‘Gators got your granny
Everybody said it was a shame
For the mama was working on the chain-gang
What a mean, vicious woman

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Everyday before suppertime
She’d go down by the truck patch
And pick her a mess of Polk salad
And carry it home in a tote sack

Polk salad Annie
‘Gators got you granny
Everybody said it was a shame
‘Cause the mama was working on the chain-gang
Whoo, how wretched, dispiteful, straight-razor totin’ woman,
Lord have mercy.

Sock a little Polk salad to him
Yeah, you know what, yeah, yeah

But daddy was a lazy and a no-count
Claimed he had a bad back
All her brothers were fit for
Was stealing watermelons out of my truck

For once Polk salad Annie
‘Gators got your granny
Everybody said it was a shame
For the mama was working on the chain-gang

Sock a little Polk salad to him
You know what meets a meal mention
You sock a little
Hey, hey, hey, yeah, yeah
Chic a bon, chic a bon, chic a bon bon bon bon
Chic a bon, chic a bon, chic a bon bon bon bon
Sock a little Polk salad to him
You know what meets a meal mention
Sock a little Polk salad to him
You know what meets a meal mention
Chinc, chinc, chinc, chin, ling, ling ling