Song Lyric Sunday – (Let Me Be Your)Teddy Bear

The prompt from Jim:

This week the theme is songs that feature Lion, Tiger, Bear, Eagle, Shark suggested by Paula of Light Motifs II.

“(Let Me Be Your) Teddy Bear” was written by Karl Mann and Bernie Lowe and recorded by Elvis Presley in 1957 for his movie “Loving You”. The song reached #1 on Billboard’s Top 100 and also hit number one on the country and R&B charts.

The lyrics for the song contain the words bear, lion, and tiger, so it is a good fit for today’s prompt.

Dewey Phillips, the Memphis DJ who introduced Elvis to the airways in 1954, was invited to California to visit Elvis. According to various articles, Elvis played a copy of “Teddy Bear” (scheduled to be released in June of that year) for Phillips, warning him not to take a copy. Phillips snuck a copy of the song into his luggage and upon his return to Memphis, played the song on air before the studio release which infuriated Elvis. Demands for the record poured in that the studio and distributors could not fulfill. This put a tremendous strain on the friendship between Dewey and Elvis.

In June of 1957, RCA released a single with songs from the movie’s soundtrack track. “Loving You” and “Teddy Bear” were both included, but there was no designation as to which was the A side vs. the B side. Requests for “Teddy Bear” far outweighed the other and less than a month later, it had reached #1.

A false rumor spread that Elvis had a collection of Teddy Bears. Fans started flooding Graceland with gifts of teddy bears. There were so many, the bears were taking over the mansion. The day after Christmas in 1957, Elvis donated the bears to the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis. (There are some who believe this rumor about Elvis’ love for teddy bears was the inspiration for the songwriters to write the song.)

Even though this was one of Elvis’s most successful songs, it has been ignored by the industry for rewards and inclusion in ‘top hit’ lists throughout the years because of the silliness of the lyrics.

The video below includes the lyrics.)

Song Lyric Sunday is hosted every Sunday by Jim Adams. If you would like to join in the fun, check out his blog for the rules and to take in all the other music posted by other bloggers.

20 thoughts on “Song Lyric Sunday – (Let Me Be Your)Teddy Bear”

  1. I have to go with (Play on words by Disney) Bare/Bear Necessities, from Barloo The Bear in Disney’s Jungle Book. It was sung by Phil Harris.

    Look for the bare necessities
    The simple bare necessities
    Forget about your worries and your strife
    I mean the bare necessities
    Old Mother Nature’s recipes
    That brings the bare necessities of life
    Wherever I wander, wherever I roam
    I couldn’t be fonder of my big home
    The bees are buzzin’ in the tree
    To make some honey just for me
    When you look under the rocks and plants
    And take a glance at the fancy ants
    Then maybe try a few
    The bare necessities of life will come to you
    They’ll come to you!
    Look for the bare necessities
    The simple bare necessities
    Forget about your worries and your strife
    I mean the bare necessities
    That’s why a bear can rest at ease
    With just the bare necessities of life
    Now when you pick a pawpaw
    Or a prickly pear
    And you prick a raw paw
    Well, next time beware
    Don’t pick the prickly pear by the paw
    When you pick a pear
    Try to use the claw
    But you don’t need to use the claw
    When you pick a pear of the big pawpaw;
    Have I given you a clue?
    The bare necessities of life will come to you
    They’ll come to you!
    “So just try and relax, yeah cool it
    Fall apart in my backyard
    ‘Cause let me tell you something, little britches
    If you act like that bee acts – uh-uh
    You’re working too hard
    And don’t spend your time lookin’ around
    For something you want that can’t be found”
    When you find out you can live without it
    And go along not thinkin’ about it
    I’ll tell you something true
    The bare necessities of life will come to you
    Source: Musixmatch
    Songwriters: Terry Gilkyson
    The Bare Necessities lyrics © Wonderland Music Co. Inc., Wonderland Music Company Inc.

    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This is a fantastic, fun song, and that the industry doesn’t like it because it’s “silly” tells you everything you need to know about the industry. I think in 20-30 years the industry will have died off as more artists are finding their way around it.

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      1. Look at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. There are some deserving acts that aren’t in and some questionable acts that are. The industry is making the decisions rather than the acts or the people, and while that’s true of most Halls of Fame, the people in charge of the R&RHOF seem tonedeaf…


        1. I never followed what the industry told me I should like. It is sad for the performers who get snubbed, especially when their music gets penalized.

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