"Wherefore Art Thou, Elvis?" as written by and Brian Fallon....
I cut my teeth on the stone of a teenage romance
I was the salt of the earth, I was hard
The last of the independents

And in the breath from my chest I was blowing kerosene
My lips and fingertips were stone, I wore my heart on my jeans
I sang the blues like the dogs left too long in the street
I still sing the blues with the dogs

And I got half a mind to let it all burn up in this fire
I've had burning through my veins since I first learned to cry
I'd watch this whole night come down and never miss her again
I never felt right and never fit in walkin' in my own skin

Walkin' in my own skin

Now I got scars like the number of stars
My mind's full of vipers
I got the dust of the desert in my bones
Comin' through the amplifiers

And in the minor chord fall and the fourth and the fifth
It's a broken Hallelujah and a pain in my fist
I wash my hands like the man with the blood on his teeth
Over and over without relief

And I got nothin' for you darlin' but a story to tell
About the rain on the pavement and the sound as it fell
I'd watch this whole night come down and never miss her again
I never felt right and never fit in

Walkin' in my old man shoes, with my scientist heart
I got a fever and a beaker and a shot in the dark
I need a Cadillac ride, I need a soft summer night
Say a prayer for my soul, Señorita

Walkin' in my old man shoes, with my scientist heart
I got a fever and a beaker and a shot in the dark
I need a Cadillac ride, I need a soft summer night
Say a prayer for my soul, Señorita

'Cause I've been dying out here in the cold and the snow
Got a picture of you, Mama, to remind me of home
On the hood of a Dodge on a Saturday night
Say a prayer for my soul, Señorita


Lyrics submitted by ohhhhhreally

"Wherefore Art Thou, Elvis?" as written by Brian Fallon

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

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Wherefore Art Thou, Elvis? song meanings
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  • +2
    General CommentI cut my teeth on the stone of a teenage romance.
    (He was hurt emotionally in a young, teenage romance)

    I was the salt of the earth, I was hard, and the last of the independents.
    And in the breath from my chest I was blowing kerosene,
    My lips and fingertips were stone, I wore my heart on my jeans.
    (He tried to act cool and be something he was not. He cared more about his appearance rather than a possibility of a relationship with a girl he really cared about.)

    I sang the blues like the dogs left too long in the street,
    I still sing the blues with the dogs.
    (He longed for young romance, blew his chance and he still longs for that love.)

    And I got half a mind to let it all burn up in this fire,
    I've had been burning through my veins since I first learned to cry.
    (When it was too late he realized he messed up and didn’t give the relationship a chance. His realizations lead to regret that burns like a fire but he also might want to just move on and resort to his old ways of caring about his rock image.)

    I'd watch this whole night come down and never miss her again.
    I never felt right and never fit in,
    Walking in my own skin.
    (He reemphasizes how he would just ignore this girl’s feelings for the true him while he was too busy caring about his image.)

    Now I got scars like the number of stars, my head's full of vipers.
    I got the dust of the desert in my bones, coming through the amplifiers.
    (He has a number of regrets that he wishes he could take back and they are constantly haunting him. The desert represents the dried up romance and he sings about this past heartbreak in his songs.)

    Between the minor chord fall and the fourth and the fifth,
    It's a broken Hallelujah and a pain in my fist.
    (He refers to the song "Hallelujah” by Jeff Buckley which is a song about heartbreak and broken relationships.)
    I wash my hands like the man with the blood on his teeth,
    Over and over without relief.
    (I’m not sure what this is referring too but it probably means he is trying to get rid of the pain he feels from the broken relationship but it won’t go away.)

    And I got nothing for you darling but a story to tell,
    About the rain on the pavement and the sound as it fell.
    I'd watch this whole night come down and never miss her again.
    I never felt right and never fit in.
    (He is referring to the chance he once had with the girl but he messed it up because he cared too much about his image as a rocker. He still has the memory of the chance of romance with her, however, he can’t get it back in the present.)

    Walking in my old man shoes, with my scientist heart.
    I got a fever and a beaker and a shot in the dark.
    (I’m not sure but I think he is saying in the past he didn’t allow the relationship to happen because he was being logical that it wouldn’t work (scientist heart ) but now he wants that love back (fever and old man shoes) and there is a slight chance he might get that love back (shot in the dark). It is saying that love can conquer logic.)
    I need a Cadillac ride, I need a soft summer night,
    Say a prayer for my soul Se�orita.
    (Cadillac ride and soft summer night refers to young, summer love. He wants to relive the chances he once had with the girl at love by saying a prayer. The prayer refers to the hope at the renewed love.)

    Because I've been dying out here in the cold and the snow.
    (He’s been waiting for her answer. The waiting period refers to winter which is used in a lot of songs as a time of heartache. Most times, summer is a time when young love is present.)
    I got a picture of you, Mama, to remind me of home.
    (He’s got a picture of the girl (mama) that reminds him of the old romance. A lot of Gaslight and Bruce Springsteen songs refer to daddy as the boyfriend and momma as the girlfriend.)
    On the hood of a Dodge on a Saturday night,
    Say a prayer for my soul, Se�orita.
    (This is similar to the Cadillac ride and soft summer night line. He once again wants the chance at young love and he knows if he gets that chance that, the girls will be his again.)
    rawkonon May 15, 2010   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI love the reference to the leonard cohen song "Hallelujah" ["the fourth, the fifth, the minor fall, the major lift"]
    ///
    Between the minor chord fall and the fourth and the fifth,
    It's a broken Hallelujah and a pain in my fist.
    ///
    lauriebreakeron October 10, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General CommentGreat tune, truly impressed.
    ArcticAutumnon April 13, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI don't think they've written a song I dislike. I really like the chorus in this, I was singing along on the second listen- now THAT's catchy.
    {x.nick.x}on April 26, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General CommentCrazy good song, might be my favorite gaslight song, which is saying a LOT. Anyone know what the line means?: "Walking in my old man shoes, with my scientist heart.
    I got a fever and a beaker and a shot in the dark."
    akburtonon October 11, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General Commentscars, like the number of the stars. Pearl Jam, Springsteen, lyricists as good as Fallon are a one-in-a-million occurrence. Punk, metal, singer songwriter, there are a million genres, but there are few bands that are pure rock and roll. I hope Gaslight Anthem has a career as long as Pearl Jam's and inherit's the throne they've climbed onto.
    rbach48on June 22, 2012   Link
  • 0
    General Commentwhaat! how does this one only have one comment? this is by far their best. (:
    AllChokedUpon February 01, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThere's also a reference to "Jungleland" by Springsteen.
    noisebriigadeon April 13, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI believe part of the line:
    "It's a broken Hallelujah and a pain in my fist."

    is a reference to the Lawrence Arms song "Quincentuple Your Money":
    "There's a wounded sense of pride and a pain in my fist."
    shieldyoureyeson November 05, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI love this song, it's one of my favorites from them. (It's so hard to just pick *A* favorite though. These guys, they're just too damn good.)

    The thing is though, I have no idea what this song is going on about. It's got absolutely glorious imagery, it's poetry but... I don't really... get it.

    I mean, even the title. Wherefore art thou, Elvis? Why are you, Elvis? Why Elvis? What does this song have to do with Elvis?

    I'm sure there's a ton of references to other songs in here, as they tend to do, but other than Hallelujah by Leonard Cohen, I am at a loss. Somebody wanna go after this song and figure it all out?
    Desaparecidaon January 20, 2010   Link

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