Priscilla Presley Gave Elvis Presley a Gift That Played 1 of His Songs

Plenty of people own Elvis Presley merchandise — including the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll himself. During their courtship, Priscilla Presley gifted him a piece of Elvis merchandise that played one of his most famous songs. Here’s what she gave him — and how he reacted to the gift.

Priscilla and Elvis Presley near a plane
Priscilla and Elvis Presley | Bettmann / Contributor

Priscilla Presley gave Elvis Presley a gift that played this song to distract him from the death of his mother

Compared to many other artists, Elvis is particularly associated with Christmas because of his popular Christmas songs. Fittingly, in her book Elvis and Me, Priscilla discusses multiple Christmases they spent together. During one Christmas, the “Can’t Help Falling in Love” singer was upset because his mother Gladys had passed away.

“Although there were lots of jokes, I sensed a sadness in Elvis’s look as our eyes met, and I couldn’t help recalling what he’d once said to me in Germany: ‘Christmas just won’t be the same at Graceland without Mama,” Priscilla wrote. She recalled Elvis saying he didn’t know if he could take the loneliness. He hoped God would give him strength for this difficult time.

Vernon, Elvis, and Gladys Presley | Bettmann / Contributor

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Priscilla tried to alleviate his sadness. “‘Oh, look, Elvis,’ I said, trying to distract him with a large, colorfully wrapped present,” she wrote. “‘Here’s one more you forgot to open.’ It was my own gift to him, a musical cigarette case, which I’d purposely saved for last. I held my breath as he unwrapped it.”

He opened his cigarette case, which played “Love Me Tender.” Elvis said “I love it! I really do, Cilla. Thank you,” Priscilla recalled. “There was a twinkle in his eyes, and I wished I could always make him this happy.”

“Love Me Tender”

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Priscilla Presley’s other connections to Elvis Presley’s ‘Love Me Tender’

This wasn’t the end of Priscilla’s connection to the song “Love Me Tender.” During an interview with Today, she discussed watching Elvis perform the track in the movie Love Me Tender. Priscilla couldn’t keep her eyes off of the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll when he performed it. 

Priscilla Presley discussing the book Love Me Tender

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According to Billboard, she wrote the endnote for a children’s book of the same name based on the song. While the song is about romantic love, the book is about the love between parents and their children. Priscilla revealed her grandchildren enjoyed the book. “Love Me Tender” leaves quite a legacy — whether it’s being played by a cigarette case or whether its lyrics are used in a children’s book.

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