What Were Elvis Presley’s Favorite Songs?

Elvis Presley reportedly recorded about 600 songs before his death at the age of 42 on August 16, 1977. He’s best known for such songs as “Hound Dog,” “Blue Suede Shoes,” and “All Shook Up.” But just because a song was wildly popular among the King’s fans, doesn’t mean it was a favorite of his. Here are some of Presley’s favorite songs.

A portrait of Elvis Presley in black and white. He's leaning against a wall, holding his guitar.
Elvis Presley | Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Don’t Be Cruel

Don’t Be Cruel” was a big hit for Presley. And it was also a favorite of his to perform, mostly because of the reaction it elicited from fans, according to Rock and Roll Garage. The song was written by Otis Blackwell in 1956.

Throughout its lifetime, “Don’t Be Cruel” has seen quite a bit of success. In 2002, it was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame. And in 2004, it was #197 on Rolling Stone’s list of 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.

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Please let’s forget the past the future looks bright ahead
Don’t be cruel I got a heart so true
I don’t want no other love honey it’s just you I’m thinkin’ of
Let’s walk up to the preacher and let us say I do

“Don’t Be Cruel”

Presley didn’t just love “Don’t Be Cruel” because his fans loved it. It was his mother’s favorite song, so it held a special place in his heart.

“Green, Green Grass of Home”

According to Rolling Stone, “Green, Green Grass of Home” was another favorite of Presley’s. Though Porter Wagoner made the song famous, Presley especially loved Tom Jones’ version. When Presley did his own rendition of “Green, Green Grass of Home,” his version was undoubtedly more reminiscent of Jones’ version rather than Wagoner’s.

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The old house is still standing
Though the paint is cracked and dry
And there’s that old oak tree that I used to play on
Down the lane, I walk with my sweet Mary
Hair of gold and lips like cherries
It’s good to touch the green, green grass of home

“Green, Green Grass of Home”

‘I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry’

“I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry” was another favorite of Presley’s, according to Groovy History. The song was written and recorded by country music artist Hank Williams in 1949. Presley covered the song during his “Aloha from Hawaii” TV special. He introduced the song by saying, “I’d like to sing a song that’s… probably the saddest song I’ve ever heard.”

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“The reason I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry was one of Elvis’s favorite songs is possibly very telling,” reports Groovy History. “The song lyrics tell the story of a sad tale of a lonely man. Elvis was a celebrity icon with the world at his fingertips and was living in perceived personal isolation.”

The silence of a falling star
Lights up a purple sky
And as I wonder where you are
I’m so lonesome I could cry
I’m so lonesome I could cry

“I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry”