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Walking In Memphis
Marc Cohn Lyrics


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

Then I'm walking in Memphis
Was 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

When I was walking in Memphis
I was walking with my feet ten feet off of Beale
Walking in Memphis
But do I really feel the way I feel?

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
She said
"Tell me are you a Christian child?"
And I said "Ma'am, I am tonight"

Walking in Memphis
(Walking in Memphis)
Was walking with my feet ten feet off of Beale
Walking in Memphis
(Walking in Memphis)
But do I really feel the way I feel?

Walking in Memphis
(Walking in Memphis)
I was walking with my feet ten feet off of Beale
Walking in Memphis
(Walking in Memphis)
But do I really feel the way I feel?

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

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC
Written by: Marc Cohn

Lyrics Licensed & Provided by LyricFind
To comment on specific lyrics, highlight them
Most interesting comment from YouTube:

Douglas Roth

Cohn has said that "Walking in Memphis" is "100 percent autobiographical". He has described it as a song about "a Jewish gospel-music-lover", and added that "the song is about more than just a place; it's about a kind of spiritual awakening, one of those trips where you're different when you leave. He was inspired to write "Walking in Memphis" by a 1985 visit to the Memphis, Tennessee area. At the time, he was working as a session singer in New York City while pursuing a recording contract. In 2014, he recalled:

One night while listening to all of my demos, I came to the realization that I shouldn't be signed, because I didn't have any great songs yet... I was 28 years old and not in love with my songs. James Taylor had written 'Fire and Rain' when he was 18, and Jackson Browne wrote 'These Days' when he was only 17. I thought: 'I'm already ten years older than these geniuses. It's never going to happen for me.' So it was a pretty desperate time, and I went to Memphis with that struggle at the forefront of my mind.

Cohn made his first excursion to Memphis after reading an interview with James Taylor in which Taylor stated he overcame writer's block by going to a place he had never been. Emulating Taylor, Cohn chose Memphis as his destination. Cohn states that a friend told him that "there were two things in particular that I had to do [in Memphis], things that would forever change me. They later became the centerpieces of 'Walking in Memphis'." Cohn added:

The first thing was go to the Full Gospel Tabernacle Church on a Sunday morning to hear the Reverend Al Green preach ... I [soon] had chills running up and down my spine. The service was so deeply moving that I found myself with sweat running down my face and tears in my eyes, totally enveloped by everything I was seeing and hearing. There was something incredibly powerful about Al Green's voice in that context. Even after three hours of continuous singing, his voice only got stronger and his band only got better. I sat there crying in the church, aware of the irony of how I used to cry in Synagogue in Cleveland as a kid — but because I wanted to get the heck out of there! Al Green's service was one of the great experiences of my life."

The second piece of advice was that Cohn visit the Hollywood Café in Robinsonville, Mississippi (35 miles south of Memphis) to see Muriel Davis Wilkins, a retired schoolteacher who performed at the cafe on Friday nights. Cohn remembered:

When I arrived, Muriel, who ... was in her 60s, was onstage playing a beat-up old upright piano and singing gospel standards ... I felt an immediate connection to her voice, her spirit, her face, and her smile. I was totally transfixed by her music. While many of the patrons were busy eating and not paying close attention to Muriel, I couldn't take my eyes off her. During her breaks, the two of us would talk. Muriel asked me why I was there, and I told her I was a songwriter trying to find inspiration. I also told her a little bit about my childhood — how when I was two and a half years old, my mom had passed away very unexpectedly, and about ten years later, my dad had passed away and I'd been raised by a stepmother. My mother's death was a central event in my life, and I'd been writing a lot about it over the years, both in songs and in journals. I think a part of me felt stuck in time, like I'd never quite been able to work through that loss... By midnight, the Hollywood was still packed, and Muriel asked me to join her onstage. We soon realized that there wasn't a song in the universe that both of us knew in common. A quick thinker, Muriel started feeding me lyrics to gospel songs so that I could catch up in time to sing somewhat in rhythm with her and make up my own version of the melody. Some songs I was vaguely familiar with, and some I didn't know at all. The very last song we sang together that night was 'Amazing Grace'. After we finished and people were applauding, Muriel leaned over and whispered in my ear: 'Child, you can let go now.' It was an incredibly maternal thing for her to say to me. Just like sitting in Reverend Al Green's church, I was again transformed. It was almost as if my mother was whispering in my ear. From the time I left Memphis and went back home to New York City, I knew I had a song in me about my experience there."



All comments from YouTube:

Craig Williams

This song mentions my paternal grandmother Mrs. Muriel Davis Wilkins who helped him through a rough time. I am so happy that he dedicated this song to her.

*The World Teacher - Jagadguru Svāmī Vegānanda*

@WootWoot Media, I’m afraid that I am unfamiliar with PIDGIN. 🤔

Therefore, Slave, if you would care to repeat your inane comment in a tongue which is comprehensible to me (such as ENGLISH), it would be appreciated. 🤓

WootWoot Media

@*The World Teacher - Jagadguru Svāmī Vegānanda*

Are you offended sir?

*The World Teacher - Jagadguru Svāmī Vegānanda*

@WootWoot Media, kindly repeat that in ENGLISH, Miss.☝️

WootWoot Media

@Marc Myers you don’t have to believe him. Seems like a really weird thing to fabricate dontcha think

67 More Replies...

Landra Liebling

This song is one of my dad’s favorites of all time. We used to listen to it as we drove down to Arkansas as a family in the summers when I was young… he’d put it on when we drove across the border to Tennessee through Memphis and his 3 girls, me and my two sisters, would sing this at the top of our lungs!!! And Daddy used to just laugh and laughed and loved it all! With my mommy sitting in the seat next to him up front singing along as well. My daddy passed away three weeks ago to the day today after battling cancer. This song gives me chills and brings a few tears to my eyes, as it makes me feel like my dad is sitting right beside as I listen to this and sing along. Love you, Daddy, always. 💙💙💙💙💙✝️

Landra Liebling

@Giselle Sinclair thank you so much!!! I love to picture him singing along with me!! I miss him so much 💙💙💙💙💙💙💙💙💙

Giselle Sinclair

That was just beautiful and yes, he’s singing along with you.

Faith Mapstone

Our Dad's were Amazing ⭐❤⭐

Landra Liebling

@Tim Chambers I love all of this so much! Thank you!! Marc is right and so wonderfully talented! Thank you so much for honoring my dad’s life and memory in such a special way. It really means so very much to me and to my family! I know he will be right there hearing it all, while your Nell will be as well. They are always with us… and I’m thankful to have ways of remembering them and feeling their love continue on. I love picturing them smiling down on us, and singing over us, and helping us go on. Thank you so much for this! I hope you have a wonderful, unforgettable time! God bless you. ✝️🙏🏻❤️‍🩹 🎵

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