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Elvis Presley - In the Ghetto - Lyrics Meaning

Written by Mac Davis and originally titled, "The Vicious Circle," Elvis Presley turned this song into his first Top Ten hit in four years with its 1969 release.

The song tells the story of a young boy who grows up in the ghetto, to a mother who really didn't need another baby to care for, and in a world where nobody else seems to care either. As the boy gets older, he starts wandering the streets, learning how to steal and fight. And he's hungry... he's so hungry.

As often happens, petty crimes turn into more serious offenses. Before long, the young man has bought a gun, stolen a car, and been caught in the process - sadly, with fatal consequences.

And the cycle begins again... It may be another ghetto, in another neighborhood, but as it's told in the story, somewhere out there - at this very moment - is another young mother giving birth to her child - a child that she won't be able to care for, and that the world still isn't going to want.

As her young man dies,

On a cold and grey Chicago mornin', another little baby child is born

In the ghetto

And his mama cries

Meanings of other songs by Elvis Presley:
All Shook Up
Suspicious Minds