Sunday, February 25, 2007

222. Dolly Parton - Coat Of Many Colors (1971)

Track Listing

1. Coat of Many Colors
2. Traveling Man
3. My Blue Tears
4. If I Lose My Mind
5. Mystery of the Mystery
6. She Never Met a Man (She Didn't Like)
7. Early Morning Breeze
8. Way I See You
9. Here I Am
10. Better Place to Live


Well people who know me know I have an appreciation for Dolly Parton, and no it's not the boobs. Frankly, however, this album disappointed me. It is not a bad album, it just disappointed me because I had big expectations for it. My knowledge of Parton has been restricted to compilation albums, and frankly I've been better for it.

Dolly is a really good song writer, but there is something in the writing which is also present in the cover of the album... kitsch to the extreme. The title track is the final example of this, a song about mommy's love and being poor of means but rich of heart, it comes across as sacharine and yet strangely compelling. In this album Dolly really shows her development as a songwriter, but she would go on to make much better tracks than any here.

I think my biggest gripe with the album is the fact that it is not different enough from Loretta Lynn to be original. Loretta's album, Don't Come Home A Drinkin' (With Lovin' On Your Mind), is not only the album with the best title in the world ever, but it is also a tour de force of country feminism. Loretta matches the sins of her lovers in every track, while Dolly is mostly a victim and that's sad. As it happens with a lot of country music, the tracks are sometimes hard to tell apart, several having identical beat and so on, but after repeated listenings you will get it, however. I would really stick with compilations for Dolly Parton, a great maker of tracks but not necessarily in the album format. Still, you can get it at Amazon UK or US.

Track Highlights

1. Coat Of Many colors
2. Travelling Man
3. She Never Met A Man (She Didn't Like)
4. Here I Am

Final Grade



From Wikipedia:

"Coat of Many Colors" is a 1971 song by Dolly Parton which was the title song of a 1971 album. Parton has stated numerous times that it is her favorite of the songs she has written.

The song tells of how Parton's mother stitched together a coat for her daughter out of rags given to the family. As she sewed, she told the child the Bible story of Joseph and his Coat of Many Colors. The excited child, "with patches on my britches and holes in both my shoes," rushed to school, "just to find the others laughing and making fun of me" for wearing a coat made of rags.

I couldn't understand it, for I felt I was rich
And I told them of the love my mama sewed in every stitch
And I told them all the story mama told me while she sewed
And how my Coat of Many Colors was worth more than all their clothes

The song concludes with Parton singing the moral of her story:

One is only poor, only if you choose to be
Although we had no money, I was rich as I could be
In my Coat of Many Colors my mama made for me

Parton kept the original coat, now on display in her Chasing Rainbows Museum at Dollywood.

Shania Twain recorded a cover version of the song on the album Just Because I'm a Woman, a compilation of cover versions of some of Parton's songs.

Coat of Many Colors, (I particularly like the audience at the end):

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