#908: 1971, Dolly Parton, Coat of Many Colors

by George_East on June 30, 2014

So Glastonbury is over.   It’s not really my bag, though I don’t have same level of animus for it that Charlie East-West has.   My only regret about not being there was not being able to see Dolly Parton in what, from the critics’ reports, seems to have been a festival stealing performance (not that it would have been hard to win out against Sunday headliners yawn-rockers, Kasabian).

Reading all of her great reviews reminded me that although we have had the White Stripes’ remarkable cover of Jolene here on Songs To Learn and Sing we have never had Dolly herself.

The kitchsy nature of a lot of her material, along with the whole Dollywood theme park thing  in Pigeon Forge Tennessee (Jackie South and I drove through there on our way to Gatlinburg back in 2007) and the shed loads of plastic surgery makes her an easy target for mockery.   But that is to miss that she is a truly great songwriter.

This is one of my favourite songs of hers – covered wonderfully by EmmyLou Harris on her debut album, Pieces of the Sky.   It is an autobiographical song of her dirt poor upbringing and how her mother made her clothes from rags while telling her the biblical story of Joseph and his many coloured coat.  It is a simple and beautiful country song.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Fionauk512 July 1, 2014 at 6:59 pm

She said it herself, “corny but fun” and so it was. Goldfrapp and Blondie were also excellent. Am experiencing the post Glastonbury blues at the minute though.


Geoff Elliott July 1, 2014 at 8:14 pm

With you all the way Fiona. I’m knackered.

Dolly was great though. I’ve never seen the Pyramid stage/arena so packed.


Fionauk512 July 1, 2014 at 10:59 pm

The debate in our house now is who is going to fill that legend afternoon slot in 2015. Having correctly predicted Dolly’s attendance in the middle of watching Kenny Rogers last year (and singing along loudly truth be told) the pressure is now on me to come with a name.

And yes, I am also knackered. Pupils have been very understanding today. All work done with little fuss. I think they were just fascinated that I had been to the festival (as an old person) and cut me some slack. Bless them.


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