The thing that broke me this morning was what broke Stephen Colbert: Dolly Parton’s singing. It’s the first clip I watched when I got up. Here it is if you haven’t yet seen it:
“Like a lot of Americans, I’m under a lot of stress right now, Dolly. You got under my tripwire right there, I’ll tell you right there, that was pretty beautiful.”
It’s probably not just Americans. People around the world have been through it this year – and sometimes, as Stephen said, you just need a release and it comes when you least expect it. Dolly knows maybe better than anyone that a great song paired with a great performer can bring that out, even in someone who didn’t grow up with the music. Like BTS’s Jungkook who was moved to tears watching Dolly last year at the Grammys. It happens at the 22:00 mark of the video below:
In that moment, Stephen and JK were the same – as Stephen put it, “Isn’t it funny that sometimes there’s nothing happier than crying?”
This is the power of a legend like Dolly Parton and the power of a story. She calls herself a songteller for that reason and she was on The Late Show to promote her upcoming book Dolly Parton, Songteller: My Life in Lyrics releasing November 17. Since the book is about her songs and her stories, Stephen asked her to name her top 3 Dolly Parton songs. Her favourite is “Coat of Many Colours” and… yeah. The lyrics to this song, when she gets to the part when she goes to school wearing the coat – on some days, I can’t hold it together.
But this is a song about self-acceptance, embracing all the colours that make you uniquely you, about treasuring the things that are too precious to put on a value on, and treasuring yourself most of all, even when the world tries to tell you that you’re not worth it. This is a coat that will never go out of style, just like Dolly Parton. And don’t we need her now more than ever?
Yours in gossip,