20 Memorable Elvis Presley Quotes

Hulton Archive/Getty Images
Hulton Archive/Getty Images / Hulton Archive/Getty Images

More than 40 years after his death, Elvis Presley remains a rock ‘n' roll icon and has yet to be ousted from his position as “The King.” Yet the Tupelo, Mississippi-born, Memphis, Tennessee-raised superstar never took his fame for granted, nor did he forget his roots. Here are 20 memorable quotes about the life and legacy of Elvis Presley, who was born on January 8, 1935.

On ambition

  • “Ambition is a dream with a V8 engine.”

On maintaining your values

  • “It's not how much you have that makes people look up to you, it's who you are.”
  • “Values are like fingerprints. Nobody's are the same, but you leave 'em all over everything you do.”

On the music industry

  • “I happened to come along in the music business when there was no trend.”
  • “I've never written a song in my life. It's all a big hoax.”
  • “I don't know anything about music. In my line you don't have to.”

On the Army

  • “After a hard day of basic training, you could eat a rattlesnake.”
  • “The army teaches boys to think like men.”

On truth

  • “Truth is like the sun. You can shut it out for a time, but it ain't goin' away.”

On his legendary dance moves

  • “Rock and roll music, if you like it, if you feel it, you can't help but move to it. That's what happens to me. I can't help it.”
  • “Some people tap their feet, some people snap their fingers, and some people sway back and forth. I just sorta do 'em all together, I guess.”

On keeping positive

  • “When things go wrong, don't go with them.”

On stardom

  • “If you let your head get too big, it'll break your neck.”
  • “I have no use for bodyguards, but I have very specific use for two highly trained certified public accountants.”
  • “The image is one thing and the human being is another. It's very hard to live up to an image, put it that way.”
  • “The Lord can give, and the Lord can take away. I might be herding sheep next year.”

On love

  • “Sad thing is, you can still love someone and be wrong for them.”

On the pitfalls of Hollywood

  • “I sure lost my musical direction in Hollywood. My songs were the same conveyer belt mass production, just like most of my movies were.”

On aging

  • “Every time I think that I'm getting old, and gradually going to the grave, something else happens.”

On leaving a legacy

  • “Do something worth remembering.”