My song today is ‘Surrender’. This song was recorded by Elvis Presley in 1961 and reached number 1. It is an adaptation by Doc Pomus and Mort Shuman of the music of a 1902 Neapolitan ballad by Giambattista and Ernesto de Curtis entitled ‘Torna a Surriento’ (‘Come Back to Sorrento). It hit Number one in the US and UK in 1961 and eventually became one of the best-selling singles of all time. This was one of 25 songs Doc Pomus and Mort Shuman wrote for Presley. It has been recorded by many other artists, including Michael Buble.
I was 19 years old when this song was first recorded and released. I had ‘surrendered’ much of my then life to the responsibilities of being the youngest textile shop steward in Great Britain, along with performing the role as the youngest Youth Club leader in England and Wales, along with devoting most of any remaining spare time to sports, rock and rolling and dating as many of the fairer sex as I could get my hands on.
During my late teenage years, I was nicknamed ‘The Wanderer’ by all my mates because of my unwillingness to ever show signs that I might one day settle down into a loving relationship with one woman. There simply appeared no way that I was prepared to surrender my freedom and bachelor status to any fair maiden, and the only aisle I was ready for walking down was the aisle of a passenger ship that would take me across the Atlantic for a couple of years, where I might continue to sow my oats in the fields of Canada and parts of America in wild abandonment.
Like all ‘bad boys’ who would one day become a ‘good guy’ when I settled down into marriage and family commitment, I just needed to squeeze every bit of badness out of me before I could know my better self and become acquainted with the more reliable and wholesome chap I would one day become.
After my return from Canada, I surrendered myself to what I believed would be a life of steadiness and partner stability, and greater conformity with much that I’d rebelled against during my earlier life.
But if I thought I’d cracked it as an enlightened and mature citizen during my early twenties, I couldn’t have been farther from the truth. Over the next thirty years, until I was obliged to seek early retirement from my work as a Probation Officer on the grounds of ill-health, I remained a constant thorn in the side of my employers with my outright refusal to ever settle for second best when better was attainable with extra effort, more resources, better transparency and greater accountability.
I jointly dedicate my song today to my Facebook Friend, Lizzy Walsh from Carrick-on-Suir, County Tipperary, Ireland. Lizzy is the daughter of my best friend, Tony Walsh who lives in Carrick-on-Suir with his wife Lily. Lizzy has always been close to her parents and has always exhibited concern for the underdog and society's problems within the world around her. Have a great day, Lizzy. I sing you an Elvis Presley song today, as I know he was a favourite singer of your dad. Have a good day and thank you for being my Facebook friend. Billy x
I also jointly dedicate my song today to Pauline Upton, whose birthday it is. Pauline places roses in her dear mother's memorial garden, just as I have always done. Have a lovely birthday, Pauline and thank you for being my Facebook friend. Bill x
Love and peace Bill xxx