An American Trilogy

Album: Elvis: As Recorded at Madison Square Garden (1972)
Charted: 8 66
Play Video

Songfacts®:

  • This is a live recording from an Elvis concert, which unites three 19th century American folk songs: "Dixie," "Battle Hymn of the Republic" and "All My Trials" in a symbolic effort to bring America together.
  • This medley was arranged by American singer-songwriter Mickey Newbury, who also wrote Kenny Rogers And The First Edition's "Just Dropped In (To See What Condition My Condition Is In)."
  • This recording of "An American Trilogy" was taken from the evening concert by Elvis on June 10, 1972 at the Madison Square Garden arena in New York City. He also did an afternoon show and they were promoted as being Presley's first live concerts in the Big Apple since the 1950s.
  • As part of a series of re-releases of Elvis songs in the UK in 2007, this song re-entered the UK chart at #12.
  • Priscilla Presley cites this, along with "If I Can Dream," as her favorite Elvis songs.

Comments: 16

  • Becky from Rochester NyThe phrase Look away Dixie land is interpreted by myself as Elvis' shame for the Southern turmoil.. racially in the home he loved.
  • Roger D Price from Potosi MissouriElvis was the best performer ever.
  • Shyba from R.i.Mary from Motown Ms. Those "few" black people (as you would say) care. You not caring shows a lot about yourself.
  • Mustang Sally from North CarolinaPriscilla is also on tape saying another of her favorite songs by Elvis is “ Don’t “
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn June 9th 1972, Elvis appeared in concert at Madison Square Garden in New York City, over a two day period he performed four shows...
    At the time his covered version of "An American Trilogy" was at position #71 on Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart; it was its sixth and last week on the chart; just under three weeks earlier on May 21st it had peaked at #66 {for 1 week}...
    Mickey Newbury's original version of "An American Trilogy" peaked at #26 on December 26th, 1971...
    The MSG evening concert on June 10th was recorded and released as the "Elvis: As Recorded at Madison Square Garden" album on June 18th, 1972 and "An American Trilogy" was track six of side two...
    R.I.P. to Mr. Newbury, born Milton Sim Newbury, Jr. {1940 - 2002} and to the King {1935 - 1977}.
  • Don from Sevierville, TnI have recently read that when Mickey Newbury compiled this medley, he had his lamentation of the Vietnam War in mind. When Elvis Presley covered the medley, he interpreted it as patriotic instead, adding drums and singing the last 2 lines of "The Battle Hymn of the Republic" again at the end. Many Elvis Tribute Artists even display the American flag at the end of the medley.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn June 18th 1972, Elvis was performing in concert at the Tarrant County Convention Center in Fort Worth, TX ; and about 33 miles east of Fort Worth at the Memorial Auditorium in Dallas, TX the Eagles were performing their sixth show of their 'Eagles LP Tour'...
    Elvis' covered version of "An American Trilogy" had just dropped off Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart the day before, it was the 26th song he performed that night in Fort Worth...
    And the Eagles' debut record on the Top 100, "Take It Easy", was at position #35, eventually it would peak at #12...
    R.I.P. to The King (1935 - 1977).
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn January 26th 1972, Elvis performed "An American Trilogy" in concert for the first time (at the Showroom of the Las Vegas Hilton)...
    And on April 30th, 1972 it entered Billboard's Hot Top 100; eventually it peaked at #66...
    R.I.P. to The King (1935 - 1977).
  • Matias from Miami, Fl@Arun...nobody cares about those few black people. They're dumb. Clearly, Elvis loved black people and they love him. The Sweet Inspirations, among many others, are testament to that.
  • Ron from Pittsburgh, PaThis song was used quite effectively in the final fight scene in the 2010 movie "Kick Ass".
  • Sal from Brentwood, NyThis was Elvis at his peak. This version is from his Hawaiian tour. Not Madison Square as mentioned. Look at the thing on his neck.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyComposer Mickey Newbury's version peaked at #26 in 1972. Sadly Mickey passed away on 9-29-2002 at the age of 62... {RIP}
  • Mary from Motown, Msoh give it a rest. who cares if a few black are offended. there's always a few black people who are offended about some thing. it's a great song period. the video of elvis' performance from the aloha state is moving.
  • Ted from Phoenix, AzWhile the Elvis Presley version is nice, I actually prefer the Mickey Newbury version with its soulful tenor. It should also be noted that the Mickey Newbury version of this medley was issued as a single and made the lower end of Billboard's top 40 list in the fall of 1971.

    Five years later, when I was in the 8th grade, the school chorus which I was in learned and performed this medley at, if memory serves, a spring concert.
  • Arun from London, United KingdomA great vocal performance by Elvis.However,unfortunately I have come across some black people who dislike it and are offended by Elvis singing 'Dixie' believing he was 'reviving Dixie' a song, that to them has a lot of negative history attached to it, symbolizing the institution of slavery and the anthem of the confederates.
  • Anthony from Galway, Irelandgreat vocal performance by Elvis
see more comments

Editor's Picks

Van Dyke Parks

Van Dyke ParksSongwriter Interviews

U2, Carly Simon, Joanna Newsom, Brian Wilson and Fiona Apple have all gone to Van Dyke Parks to make their songs exceptional.

U2 Lyrics

U2 LyricsMusic Quiz

How well do you know the lyrics of U2?

Name the Character in the Song

Name the Character in the SongMusic Quiz

With a few clues (Works at a diner, dreams of running away), can you name the character in the song?

Producer Ron Nevison

Producer Ron NevisonSong Writing

Ron Nevison explains in very clear terms the Quadrophenia concept and how Heart staged their resurgence after being dropped by their record company.

Corey Hart

Corey HartSongwriter Interviews

The Canadian superstar talks about his sudden rise to fame, and tells the stories behind his hits "Sunglasses At Night," "Boy In The Box" and "Never Surrender."

Allen Toussaint - "Southern Nights"

Allen Toussaint - "Southern Nights"They're Playing My Song

A song he wrote and recorded from "sheer spiritual inspiration," Allen's didn't think "Southern Nights" had hit potential until Glen Campbell took it to #1 two years later.