Elvis Presley: Priscilla and Lisa Marie discuss singer in 2012
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Graceland has become an international place of pilgrimage for millions of Elvis fans. But his daughter still regards the Memphis mansion as ‘home.’ For the first nine years of her life, it was a happy place of childhood games for Lisa Marie and her father. Today she is one of the few people with full access to the upstairs bedrooms, which are permanently closed off to the public. She cooks meals in the kitchen at Thanksgiving and Christmas and entertains her friends and family in the downstairs rooms. But the gardens where she used to race golf carts with her father are now a troubling place for the heiress, made even more difficult by the events of this time last year.
Lisa Marie has rarely given interviews in the past decade. But the songwriter has often expressed her most personal feelings and thoughts in her lyrics.
Asked about her 2003 track, Lights Out, when it was released, she opened up about the painful personal inspiration behind the song.
One of the verses says: “Someone turned the lights out there in Memphis, That’s where my family’s buried and gone. Last time I was there I noticed a space left, Next to them there in Memphis, In the damn back lawn.”
SCROLL DOWN TO WATCH LISA MARIE PRESLEY’S LIGHTS OUT VIDEO
Asked about the lyric, Lisa Marie was painfully honest first about why she used the phrase “Damn back lawn.”
She said: “Because I couldn’t say ‘mother****ing back lawn.’ It didn’t work melodically.”
She went on the explain why she feels that way about Graceland’s back garden, and why it haunts her years later: “The back lawn of Graceland is a graveyard, basically. How many people have a family grave in the backyard? How many people are reminded of their fate, their mortality, every ****ing day?”
She went on to talk about whether she would also be buried there – something which became even more poignant after the tragic events of last year.
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Until last year, The Meditation Garden at Graceland had housed the graves of Elvis, his parents Vernon and Gladys, and his grandmother Minnie Mae.
It has been the focal point of pilgrimages by fans ever since the house was opened to the public.
Last year, a fifth grave was added to the Meditation Garden after Lisa Marie’s son, Benjamin Keough, died in a horrific gun-related incident on July 12.
On October 20, Graceland officially released the following statement: “Benjamin Storm Presley Keough was laid to rest in the Meditation Garden at Graceland with his family including his grandfather, Elvis Presley, great-grandmother, Gladys Presley, great-grandfather, Vernon Presley and great-great-grandmother, Minnie Mae Presley.”
Lisa Marie had previously said: “All the graves are lined up and there’s a spot there, waiting for me, right next to my grandmother.
Asked about her own plans, she added: “I don’t plan on anything. I’m sure I’ll end up there. Or I’ll shrink my head and put it in a glass box in the living room. I’ll get more tourists to Graceland that way.”
The Meditation Garden is placed just below the main Graceland terrace and swimming pool. The four previous tombstones lie next to each other, flat to the ground, with Benjamin’s new raised grave opposite them, across the small Meditation Garden pool.
Last October, Bejamin’s sister Riley paid tribute on what would have been his 28th birthday. As did Lisa Marie herself, who wrote on Instagram: “My beautiful beautiful angel, I worshipped the ground you walked on, on this earth and now in Heaven.
“My heart and soul went with you. The depth of the pain is suffocating and bottomless without you every moment of every day. I will never be the same. Please wait for me my love, and hold my hand while I stay to continue to protect and raise your little sisters and to be here for Riley.”
For confidential support call the Samaritans in the UK on 116 123 or visit a local Samaritans branch.
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