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No One Can Sing “Love Me” Like Elvis Presley 

Elvis Presley + Love Me
by

After Elvis Presley’s breakthrough hit cover of Mama Thornton’s “Hound Dog” written by Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller, Leiber said in their 2009 book “Hound Dog: The Leiber and Stoller Autobiography” that music publisher Jean Aberbach wanted another Leiber-Stoller smash for the Kind of Rock & Roll. And so, they came up with an idea: R&B duo Willy and Ruth’s 1954 track “Love Me,” which had also been covered by a string of artists from Georgia Gibbs to Billy Eckstine. 

But what some fans probably didn’t know about the song was that it was actually “a parody of a corny hillbilly ballad.” And the writers gave it as a joke and were pleasantly surprised that Aberbach liked it and Elvis Presley actually cut it in 1956. 

It wasn’t released as a single so as not to confuse it with his other song, “Love Me Tender,” and was only included in his second album Elvis and his EP titled Elvis Vol. 1. 

Meaning Behind the Song

At face value, it’s an anthem for masochism. As the lyrics of the opening verse go, “Treat me like a fool / Treat me mean and cruel / But love me.” It then continues, saying that their lover could wring their faithful heart and even go as far as to tear it all apart, and they would be fine with it – just as long as they love them back. 

In the second verse, which has been repeated over and over again, the protagonist says that they would beg and steal just to feel their lover’s heart beating close to theirs. 

But Presley’s sincere delivery made all the difference, and it turned the tone from a masochist’s song to a personal and movingly vulnerable track. His bluesy voice worked so well with the song, and the relaxed tempo made it even better. He was able to really connect with his audience and get them to experience the song from a different perspective. 

For the live version of the song, he switched it up a bit with an upbeat, faster tempo to match the setting. It sounded more entertaining and made it more fitting for an interactive approach with fans. 

While it’s a hit, it’s still one of those Elvis Presley songs that are sadly underrated in his discography. So, let’s give it a chance. Listen to Elvis Presley’s “Love Me” below.  

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