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Elvis SongPedia: Wooden Heart

Wooden Heart

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Basic Stats

(Just the facts, ma'am!)

Written by: Bert Kaempfert, Kay Twomey, Fred Wise, and Ben Weisman
(Adapted from the German folk song "Muss I Denn Zum Stadtele Hinaus")

Recorded: April 28, 1960, RCA Studios, Hollywood
Released master is take 4.

Single: w/ "Blue Christmas", 447-0720, Gold Standard Series original release, November 3, 1964
Also released w/ "Puppet On A String", 447-0650, Gold Standard Series original release, October 26, 1965

Highest U.S. Charts Positions:
  • Didn't make Billboard's Hot 100 but was listed as "Bubbling Under" at #107 for the first single and at #110 for the second.
  • Although not successful as a single in the U.S., "Wooden Heart" made it to #1 in the UK, Austria, Australia, Belgium, Holland and South Africa. In Germany, it only made it to #2.

1st LP release: G.I. Blues - October 1960
Click to download or buy
"Wooden Heart"
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For other versions, see
Lyrics and Downloads section below.

My Spin

(Just my opinion. Give us yours!)
Americans may be surprised to learn that "Wooden Heart" is so popular in the rest of the world. It wasn't released as a single in the U.S. until a few years after G.I. Blues was long gone from theaters. Only after Joe Dowell had a minor hit with "Wooden Heart" was Elvis' original recording then thrown onto the back side of two singles (one for Christmas 1964, and one in October of the following year) but the song didn't get much attention in the States. Elsewhere, however, it was Elvis' version that was a hit, and much bigger than Dowell's or anyone else's.
Musically, this isn't earth-shattering stuff, though. Elvis, still eager to give even his soundtrack recordings a decent amount of care, does a fine job vocally with this pleasant but simple melody. "Wooden Heart" is a rewrite of the traditional German folk song "Muss I Denn Zum Stadtele Hinaus" and won't be the last time Elvis' soundtrack material visits older European folk tunes and gives them an update. In the end, this recording is innocuous, works just fine as a children's song, and is catchy enough to creep into your head once in a while. Beware!
Some fans (and most non-fans) bemoan the fact that the "king of rock-n-roll" stooped to doing lullabies and singing to puppets in the movies, and yeah, I'll be the first to say there was way too much of that! But hey, scroll down this page to the Downloads section, and when you see that in this world there does exist an album called "Kick Ass Polkas", the appropriate response is for you to laugh out loud and not get all uptight about Elvis "abandoning rock-n-roll"! ... Lighten up, Francis!

Other Spins

(What did the critics and fans say?)

From G.I. Blues (1960), accordion, puppets, kids and Elvis singing engagingly in German. Based on an old German folks song "Muss I Denn Zum Stadtele Hinaus"... Single released in the U.K. and West Germany was enormously successful.

The Complete Elvis, edited by Martin Torgoff, 1982

Check out other Elvis fans' opinions on the Elvis News page for Wooden Heart

Check out other opinions at Rate Your Music

"Wooden Heart" Links

"Wooden Heart" Lyrics and Downloads

Can't you see, I love you
Please don't break my heart in two
That's not hard to do
'Cause I don't have a wooden heart
And if you say goodbye
Then I know that I would cry
Maybe I would die
'Cause I don't have a wooden heart
There's no strings upon this love of mine
It was always you from the start
Treat me nice, treat me good
Treat me like you really should
'Cause I'm not made of wood
And I don't have a wooden heart

Muss i denn, muss i denn
Zum Stadtele hinaus
Stadtele hinaus
Und du, mein schatz, bleibst hier

There's no strings upon this love of mine
It was always you from the start
Sei mir gut, sei mir gut
Sei mir wie du wirklich sollst
Wie du wirklich sollst
'Cause I don't have a wooden heart

See Muss I Denn Zum Stadtele Hinaus for original lyrics to the folk song
Download the Karaoke Version!

Wooden Heart karaoke - Elvis PresleyWooden Heart
Elvis Presley

Download or just listen to different versions by Elvis!

... or different versions by other artists!

What's YOUR Spin on "Wooden Heart"?
Yea or Nay?

Yea! Nice Movie Tune!

Nay! Wooden With No Heart!

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Elvis song reference books on Amazon!

Ernst Jorgensen's complete chronicle of Elvis' recording sessions, with loads of detailed information about each session and each song.
This is the definitive encyclopedia on Elvis' life details, as well as all the background and trivia you need for all the songs, movies, and TV appearances. Authors are Fred L. Worth and Steve D. Tamerius.
The subtitle of Ace Collins' book says it all: "The stories behind Elvis' #1 hits"!
"Elvis The #1 Hits: The Secret History of the Classics". Another self-explanatory book title. :)