Wednesday, June 28, 2006:

To Daddy

Dolly Parton -- To Daddy
Emmylou Harris -- To Daddy
I love Emmylou Harris and Dolly Parton both, and I rarely post anything by them. Not sure why; maybe it's just feeling I have little to say about them that hasn't been said before and beter.

A conversation, about "To Daddy."

Me: This song is awesome.
C: It's sad.
Me: But it's real.
C: Of course it's real.
Me: [amused, tired] You know what I mean.
C: Yeah.
Me: Yeah.
C: ...
Me: ...

It's the kind of thing that leaves me in a mute appreciation that's hard to break. I think Harris handles the song better, though Dolly Parton wrote it: Dollly's version is ostensibly sweet, probably because of the instrumentation, and it nearly fails for it--it's easy to mistake as something slight and inconsequential. Harris' version feels different, probably because of the backbeat and the guitar; it's bittersweet, melancholy, weighted with a grief hinted at but left unexplored. Musically, it's a marvel of economy and precision and--for me, at least--it engages the imagination more, inviting empathy in a way that Parton's doesn't. It's a neat trick, given that they have the same lyrics.
[The Essential Dolly Parton One: I Will Always Love You]
[Quarter Moon in a Ten Cent Town]


They're both beautiful. You're right: Emmylou's more streamlined, Dolly's sweeter.

But after seeing the new Neil Young movie this weekend, it may be my destiny to, at the very least, date Emmylou.

If only my old lady would go for that.

I've had a crush on Emmylou for as long as I can remember.

She looks terrific with silver fact, I think she looks hotter now than she did in her 20s!

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