Saturday, May 17, 2014

Music Review: Dolly Parton: Coat of Many Colors, 1971

The CD I brought home is the 2007 reissue.  It has a few extra songs not included in the original.  This is Dolly Parton at her best.  Dolly's voice has her own unique quality which is very pleasing to listen to.  I don't know how I would describe it, but I like it.  Coat of many Colors is a biographical song in which Dolly tells a story of her childhood years.  She tells about her poverty as a child, but she felt loved.  "One is only poor if they choose to be."  This is a special song:
"Coat Of Many Colors"

Back through the years
I go wonderin' once again
Back to the seasons of my youth
I recall a box of rags that someone gave us
And how my momma put the rags to use
There were rags of many colors
Every piece was small
And I didn't have a coat
And it was way down in the fog
Momma sewed the rags together
Sewin' every piece with love
She made my coat of many colors
That I was so proud of
As she sewed, she told a story
From the bible, she had read
About a coat of many colors
Joseph wore and then she said
Perhaps this coat will bring you
Good luck and happiness
And I just couldn't wait to wear it
And momma blessed it with a kiss

My coat of many colors
That my momma made for me
Made only from rags
But I wore it so proudly
Although we had no money
I was rich as I could be
In my coat of many colors
My momma made for me

So with patches on my britches
Holes in both my shoes
In my coat of many colors
I hurried off to school
Just to find the others laughing
And making fun of me
In my coat of many colors
My momma made for me

And oh I couldn't understand it
For I felt I was rich
And I told them of the love
My momma sewed in every stitch
And I told 'em all the story
Momma told me while she sewed
And how my coat of many colors
Was worth more than all their clothes

But they didn't understand it
And I tried to make them see
That one is only poor
Only if they choose to be
Now I know we had no money
But I was rich as I could be
In my coat of many colors
My momma made for me
Made just for me

Traveling Man is also an interesting song.  It tells of a girl who becomes enamored by the traveling salesman, and is going to run off with him, but her mother beats her to it.  It ends with the line, "Oh "there goes my mama with my traveling man
And I'm really gonna miss that traveling man"  Sort of funny.
In "Hear I Am" she just present herself, "I have so much love to give; I need someone to share it with."
In "A Better Place to Live" Parton gives her idea of a utopian society where people are willing to love and work together.
And if we'd love one another instead of finding faults
We could afford the price of peace, love is all it costs
Oh wouldn't it be great to live and sing in harmony
Everybody take your brother's hand and sing my song with me."

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