Margo Price Performs New ‘Long Live the King’ at 2019 Billy Reid Shindig
During her headlining Saturday night (Aug. 24) set at the 2019 Billy Reid Shindig in Florence, Ala., Margo Price played an unreleased new song called "Long Live the King." It wasn't the first time she had performed the track, though: The singer has been mixing it into her sets for over a year. Press play above to watch Price's rendition of "Long Live the King" at the 2018 Newport Folk Festival.
Onstage at the Shindig, Price tapped special guests the Watson Twins to contribute ethereal backing vocals to her new ballad, a meditation on the loss of larger-than-life icons. Each of the song's three verses honors a different legendary figure: Elvis Presley, Martin Luther King Jr. and John Lennon are all elegized as important, pioneering figures who may no longer be alive, but whose legacies continue to thrive.
"But they murdered him like Christ 'cause he had a dream / The King is dead / He's long gone / Long live the King ..." Price sings of King Jr. In one of the song's most memorable lyrics, Price sings about Lennon's complex, imperfect contributions to the world, honoring his legacy but remembering him as the human that he was: "They gunned down John Lennon on a cold winter night / Outside of the Dakota in the middle of his prime," she sings. "Put him down for speaking the truth / He was a feminist and an a--hole, too ..."
During her Saturday evening set, Price treated fans to a selection of her best-loved hits and her frequent encore, a rendition of "9 to 5." Price also delivered a regionally appropriate cover of "Son of a Preacher Man," which was written in nearby Muscle Shoals, Ala. by songwriters John Hurley and Ronnie Wilkins in 1967. The evening's bill also included a performance from Drivin N Cryin.
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