Alannah Myles - "Black Velvet": What Does It Mean?

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by nbakid2000, Sep 3, 2011.

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  1. nbakid2000

    nbakid2000 On Indie's Cutting Edge Thread Starter

    Springfield, MO
    So I've got family over (aunt, uncle, uncle's gf) and they've been having a fight over what the meaning of this song is.

    I, my father, my aunt, and my uncle's gf all say it's about Elvis.

    My uncle on the other hand, is emphatic it's NOT about Elvis, it's about Black Velvet whiskey based on the line, "Black velvet if you please." He's denying denying denying everything put in front of him, claiming he knows the song inside out, etc.

    He also can't fathom 2 guys singing a song about Elvis that would be sung by a woman.

    I told him in fairness to him though I would pose the question to a group of music gurus who would know.

    So who's right? Is it about Elvis or is it about whiskey? :help:

    ;) :D
  2. MYKE

    MYKE Analog Upstairs, Digital Downstairs


    Wiki :

    The song is a written story about Elvis Presley. The words "black velvet" are a multi-faceted reference that can be applied to Elvis in numerous ways. (1) The "Velvet Elvis" phenomenon of his likeness frequently being painted on black velvet. (2) The soulful and smooth "black" baritone sound of Elvis' voice and the many African American recording artists and singers he emulated to create his special brand of rock n' roll. (3) Black Velvet was the brand name of the hair dye Elvis used to give his normally light brown hair its distinctive black sheen. (4) Black Velvet Is also the name of a Canadian whiskey, referred to in the line "Black Velvet, if you please."

    Black Velvet is described as a "new religion that'll bring you to your knees," a possible reference to the near-religious fervor with which Elvis was regarded by many fans early in his career. The chorus tells of "Black velvet and that little boy's smile/Black velvet with that slow, Southern style", a reference to Elvis' trademark lopsided grin and Southern heritage. The end of the first verse claims that "The boy could sing, knew how to move, everything/Always wanting more, he'd leave you longing for [black velvet]", a reference to Elvis' singing, distinctive movements on stage, and charisma.

    While the first verse discusses the beginning of Elvis' life - "Mama's dancing with baby on her shoulder" - the second talks about the height of his career - "Mama's baby is in the heart of every schoolgirl; Love Me Tender leaves 'em crying in the aisles". The bridge references his death - "In a flash he was gone, it happened so soon, what could you do?"
  3. apple-richard

    apple-richard Overnight Sensation

  4. Rocker

    Rocker Forum Resident

    Ontario, Canada
    It's about Elvis. Period.
  5. DJ Phoenix

    DJ Phoenix New Member

    I hate the song, and Im a huge 80s fan. Never understood the big appeal of it
  6. JA Fant

    JA Fant Well-Known Member

  7. bluesbro

    bluesbro Forum Hall of Shame

    Elvis, great song. I think even Alannah said so
  8. Wade

    Wade Well-Known Member

    Anywhere but here
    Alannah Myles released an Elvis tribute EP with Black Velvet.


    Here's what Alannah Myles herself says:

    "Black Velvet has little to do with the cheesy black velvet Elvis paintings from the 60's, short of being a metaphor comprised of several entendres. Nor ANYTHING to do with alcohol as, contrary to popular myth, I do not drink (nor take drugs or smoke). What it's referring to are the voice of African Americans whom Elvis championed, Elvis' black hair, his voice sounded like black velvet, with soulful, black stylings sung in the American south that were like velvet on the ear drums, etc... I would know, after all. The song was written for me to sing on my first record.

    Thanks for watching,

    Alannah Myles

  9. Christobal

    Christobal Forum Resident

  10. MikeP5877

    MikeP5877 Senior Member

    Hated that song. There was also a country version out around the same time.
  11. noname74

    noname74 nocustomtitle

    I don't recall the OP asking for opinions on whether someone likes the song or not.
  12. Lonson

    Lonson An Old Disestablishmentarianismist

    Around here, you should expect the Spanish Inquisition.
  13. DJ Phoenix

    DJ Phoenix New Member

    I dont recall anyone asking you for YOUR opinion, on whether or not, you dont like MY opinion?
  14. noname74

    noname74 nocustomtitle

    Why do you think anyone cares if you like the song or not? That isn't what the thread is's about the origin of the song. Not whether you like it or me...nobody is looking for that. Feel free to continue to thread crap though.
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