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Love Him Tender

Love Him Tender
Dear Luvdoc,
My husband thinks he’s Elvis. He is always walking around the house in his underwear singing “Hound Dog” or “Don’t Be Cruel” or “Viva Las Vegas,” or his favorite, “Love Me Tender.” I used to think it was cute but now it just drives me crazy. The worst part is that he is even starting to look like Elvis – and not the Jailhouse Rock version, more like the sequined eagle jumpsuit version. I am afraid he is going to die on the toilet or worse yet on top of me. How do I break it gently to him that if he wants to be the king of my heart, he needs to back off on being “The King?”
- Hard Headed Woman

OK, I’m not seeing a problem here. You want your husband to be less like Elvis? I am not even going to try to understand that. Have you seen a therapist? Have you been rolling around in your cat’s litter box? "Love Me Tender" is an American classic. It’s a song about a man who is growing fat and pudgy but who still wants his woman to love him. If she does, he promises to love her until the end of time … which admittedly for obese people isn’t too much of a commitment (Elvis died when he was 42), but that doesn’t make the song any less romantic.

Here’s another adorable thing about the song: Although Elvis didn’t write the melody or the lyrics (the melody was lifted from a Civil War era song called “Aura Lee”), he did receive a co-write credit and 50% of the songwriting royalties – his standard deal to record a song. The other half went to Vera Matson, who was the wife of arranger/composer/lyricist Ken Darby who, along with being one of the back-up singers on Bing Crosby’s recording of “White Christmas,” was also Marilyn Monroe’s vocal coach. When Darby was asked why he gave the songwriting credit for “Love Me Tender” to his wife, he replied, “Because she didn’t write it either.” Are you choked up yet? You should be.

It seems to me that, other than your mental health issue of not loving Elvis Presley, you are concerned about your husband’s weight problem. That’s legit, yo. Nobody wants to end up an accidental necrophiliac just because somebody couldn’t back off on the fried banana sammiches. Therefore, tell your husband that you love him tender, but you’re concerned about his health. Let him know that you’re willing to help him become the Jailhouse Rock Elvis you know he can be.

Need some advice from the Luv Doc? Send your questions to luvdoc@austinchronicle.com, or check out the Luv Doc Archive.

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