View Full Version : baby talk
08-30-2005, 10:28 PM
I'm wondering what you think about the things people say about Elvis' baby talk. I think it's sweet and perfectly harmless. :)
However, after reading several books, most recently the Revelations book with Marty, Lamar, and Billy talking, and watching Elvis by the Presleys, it seems like everyone wants to make people think that Elvis was some kind of deviant freak. Baby talk is often mentioned within the first few pages.
I'm sure that this was a private thing for Elvis--and I'm also sure the people talking about it now have habits of their own that are far worse. I don't think Elvis would have liked this to be discussed in public.
My theory is that the people around Elvis encouraged the baby talk. After all, they must have used a common vocabulary to understand each other. It's not like Elvis would say, "Honey, let's talk baby--here's a vocabulary list and some suggested phrases" ! :P
While I'm on the subject, I don't know where, but I can swear I read once that baby-talking is part of southern culture--especially for men??
On a side note, I really liked, on TTWII, when Elvis greeted the little girl during the concert. Did she end up crying afterwards?? That was so sweet!
Just some random thoughts!
I see nothing wrong with baby talk at home or with people you know very well.
My husband and I have our own baby talk which we have used for 8 years. I think it is very normal. People have the tall poppy syndrome and are always trying to bring Elvis down... It ain't gonna happen!!
08-31-2005, 04:04 AM
Yes, Elvis' mother got him into that! In Priscilla's book "Elvis & Me" (as much as I hate to say that name!) she explains it to you a bit. Elvis used to call his feet "sooties", his teeth "toophies", and little "yiddle. I'm sure there's many others, but I think its cute! :)
08-31-2005, 05:23 AM
I'm a huge, HUGE fan of Elvis, but always found it weird to hear that Elvis talked 'baby talk' to his girlfriends. Linda Thompson, Sheila, Priscilla and others also talked about the fact that Elvis loved being nursed or mothered by his girlfriends. A thing that they found a bit disturbing.
It's hard to combine those revelations with the cool Elvis that we see in the movies, during concerts and hear on record. I guess that's what he meant when he sad "The human is one thing, the image another.... It's very hard to live up to an image".
And I don't believe it when people say "I don't care, only the music counts for me". I think almost every Elvisfan care for The Man And His Music. And there's nothing wrong with that, since you don't need to judge him or others because of the interest/fascination.
08-31-2005, 06:38 AM
It's true - the image is one thing, the human being quite another. It's hard to live up to an image! Of course, Elvis was a human being and wanted to be taken care of by his girlfriend/woman. Our society demands of men to be macho, but they've got their sensitivities just as well. I don't find it disturbing at all that Elvis did this with his women.
08-31-2005, 11:27 AM
I'm so glad that everyone thinks baby talk is normal! I do that to my cat, Mookie, all the time--he loves it!
I just can't figure out why Priscilla and even Billy Smith (in the Revelations book) would talk about it so much, like that was all Elvis did. I'm not sure what to make of Billy. He's not such a central figure in other books I've read, yet in Revelations, he makes it sound like he was Elvis' best friend and constant companion. And that they baby talked together.
I want to be optimistic and say that, at best, Priscilla, Billy, et. al. want people to know more intimate details about Elvis as a person. However, a more realistic view is that they simply want to denigrate him. That is what makes me mad! :angry:
Elvis had so many responsibilities, taking care of everyone around him, and having so many people depend on him as their sole financial support. I can understand that in private moments, Elvis would have liked to feel like someone was taking care of him for a change!
08-31-2005, 02:08 PM
Cutiepie, I think you're terribly right with that statement!
08-31-2005, 09:05 PM
About Billy, I think the reason that you didn't hear much about him before the Revelations book is because he stayed clammed up about his time with Elvis much longer than most Elvis associates. He is pretty low-key and not a self-promoter, and I think it took a lot for him to contribute to that book and the All The King's Men videos.
Granted, some of the things he said I could have gone without hearing, but he must have figured that if he was going to open up and tell the truth, he was going to tell the whole truth. He also surely felt like he had to set the record straight on some untruths which have been told over the years.
And yet, in spite of the very candid talk from him, you still sense that he was at the same time being protective of his cousin to some degree. At least I did, and that seems like an unintentional revelation of his loyalty.
I think Billy loved Elvis as much as anybody and Elvis loved him about as much as anybody else, at least as any other male figure in his life besides his father. I don't believe it is an exaggeration on his part when you hear him say that in Elvis' last year, he spent nearly every waking moment with him.
I believe The Pledge Billy talked about in that book is testament to their very special relationship, particularly that he kept a couple of key elements to it sacred.
Regarding the baby talk, I really haven't picked up on anyone making a huge deal out of it. I've heard a lot of Elvis insiders talk about it, but not in such a way that they seem to be poking fun or implying that it is truly abnormal behavior.
I think it's found to be worth pointing out because of what Albert said: that it is so hard to reconcile this ultimately cool, rebellious macho icon with someone who would baby-talk with his women and want to be mothered by them...that whole image versus the man thing.
But maybe I'm missing something and some people really have been derogatory in the way they talk about that.
09-01-2005, 02:46 AM
Lonnie, that was a great post - you really summed up what I was thinking. It's indeed the 'ultimately cool, rebellious macho icon' that some folks seem to have got in their mind. Of course, it isn't that simple! I guess that everybody has the right to enjoy private things.
09-06-2005, 06:43 PM
Thanks, Fabian. What I said echoed things already stated, but thanks nonetheless. What's notable about that isn't that Elvis wasn't those things, that he was more the opposite; it's that he was those things and had some opposing traits.
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