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Jim Hoehn: Music

Kings of Black Velvet

(Jim Hoehn)
Jim Hoehn

On a country corner gravel parking lot,
sits an old Ford Econoline van that's all but shot
From the guts of the rusted-out van, springs a spiritual roadside stand
Where the saviors of soul and rock and roll exchange daily thoughts

They spend all day nonchalantly leaning on the fender
The pictures of cool as the bait of a roadside vendor
But to pass the time away, they talk with each other all day
And wonder 'bout the irony that brought them together forever

    We're talkin' 'bout the kings of black velvet, Jesus Christ and Elvis
    The religion of contradiction side by side
    Some would whisper it's kind of scandalous, shout it's downright blasphemous
    But you can take 'em both home for $39.95

Jesus says, every morning when I see your pompadour hair
It reminds me of something that drives me to total despair
I'm talkin' 'bout these TV preachers by the dozen
We drove the money changers from the temple and put 'em on the air

Elvis says, man I know exactly how you feel
There's no part of my act those impersonators didn't steal
While you can't pray in a public school, there's no law against singing Don't Be Cruel
So when it comes to the message, I got the better end of the deal.


They'd bet on every car and who was going to buy what
They'd go double or nothing on the total from a tourist bus
But they could never figure out how someone stone-cold sober,
Would spend their money on those dogs playin' poker
Instead of a couple of good-looking velvet hunks like us

They talked of Col. Parker and Judas and friends who'd failed them
Elvis joked about the farmer's daughter and the traveling salesman
They talked of Memphis Mafia and movie chicks, how Jesus saves but Elvis lives
And if the pearly gates are bigger than the ones at Graceland


They talked about the tabloid press and the thirst for shame and scandal
Jesus says I put on some tunes when it's too much to handle
Now, Elvis my friend, don't take this wrong, but I always preferred those surfing Beach Boy songs
What do you expect from a guy always wearing sandals

But there's a part of your act that I found particularly thrillin'
Like the closing line from your show at the Vegas Hilton
When they rolled the stone away, it would have been cool to have the big voice say
Ladies and gentlemen, Jesus has left the building.

    Spend eternity on the walls of the double-wide