Rabbit’s last songs: Love Me Tender

These songs are for John Updike fans. It’s one of the last songs Harry “Rabbit” Angstrom hears on the radio driving from his old home in Brewer, Pennsylvania, to the condo in Florida, where he and Janice have retired — only Janice is not with him, not on this drive almost at the very end of Rabbit at Rest, the fourth Rabbit book, set in the twilight of his life. Elvis Presley sings Love Me Tender.

Updike writes:

“knock him all you want, before he got fat and druggy and spooky in the end he had a real voice, a beautiful voice, not like foghorn Sinatra…”

Well, Sinatra was good — memorably so in Something Stupid and Strangers in the Night — but Elvis was and is the King, right up there with the Beatles and Bob Dylan.

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