May 13, 2007

Dolly Parton and My Mama

Have I told you of the love I have for Dolly? Not only is she an incredibly talented songwriter with a mountain voice as high and clear as a bell, she is also an amazing person. I really admire her in so many ways. She is who she is and makes no apologies, and possesses what I believe to be the personality trait most vital to a happy life--the ability to laugh at yourself. Those same attributes are some of the many things I love about my Mama. I hope someday, when my little Sugar Pea grows up, she will recognize these things in me, too. The song "Coat of Many Colors" is one of my all time favorites. I'm not too ashamed to tell you that I tear up a little every time I hear it. It is such a sweet, heartfelt song about a mother's love, and, in the writing of it, a daughter's love for her mama. And, well, as silly as it seems to blubber over anything involving patchwork from the 70s, the song just speaks to me.
The story, itself, is familiar to me, as well. Now, my Mama never had to piece together a coat for me from donated rags, but I grew up on the wrong side of a town where money mattered, where you were no one if your daddy didn't work for the big oil company. A boy in my seventh grade geography class had a little crush on me until he asked where I lived. "You live over there?! But you're smart and you have nice clothes!" Of course I had nice clothes. My Mama knew how to stretch a dollar at garage sales and the Goodwill, buying my rich classmates cast offs. I know how it feels to be laughed at by girls who knew that the sweatshirt I was wearing bearing the name of their richy rich church youth group had to have been found second hand. I had picked it out at the thrift store to try to fit in with them. They could barely control their snickers when, busted, I admitted it was from Goodwill. I shook it off and very soon learned I had no desire to fit in with such shallow people, and found my own vintage style. Of course, I never could have become the confident style setter voted "Most Unique" from my senior class of 500 had it not been for the love and support of my mom. I hope there is someone in each of your lives, whether your mother or not, who you can count as your biggest fan.
So enjoy the song, ignoring the annoying announcer voice and onscreen trivia. This particular performance is so genuine and raw, I just had to share it, and you've got to give Dolly credit for being able to play guitar with those three inch nails!
Happy Mother's Day, Dollfaces.

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