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Songs sung blue (10/23/2005)
By Janet Lewis Burns
With her trilling, syrupy voice and down home song lyrics, Dolly Parton has told her life's story through her music.

I cry me a river every time I hear her sing "my coat of many colors that my mother made for me."

Shades of living are expressed through the sound of music. Children shake their booties to kiddy ditties and Clair de loony tunes. "This little piggy sang rock-a-bye baby as little boy blue blew his horn scaring Miss Muffet away." You know the routine.

In her sweet little Alice blue gown, a bright-eyed child can charm her way into hearts made of stone. Children evolve from somewhere over the rainbow, down yellow brick roads to adolescence's topsy-turvy emotions.

As sure as roses are red and violets are blue, puppy love has a way of getting even the likes of bad bad Leroy Brown all shook up.

Teens suffer through their share of moody blues. The leader of the pack falls for a teen angel and bravely implores, "won't you wear my ring around your neck?" That first romance cuts like a knife, as steadies learn that breaking up is hard to do.

An achy-breaky heart drifts off to sea like red sails in the sunset. Eventually the real girl of his dreams comes along. She's blown away by his John Deere green proposal of marriage for the whole town to see. She admits, "There's something women like about a pickup man."

On their white wedding day, with something borrowed, something blue, vows were exchanged in that little brown church in the vale. The couple had a ticket to ride a yellow submarine, until Eleanor Rigby had to go and rip it up.

With that first bundle of joy there's plenty of walkin' the floor. Mama tried. Her mantra became, "Help me make it through the night." But watching Scottie grow, it was soon strawberry fields forever.

Hail, hail the gang's all here! The family grew to eight, down home in Muskogee where Dad was born an Okie. Those were the glory days of old dogs and whiskey and watermelon wine. He was restless to get back in the saddle again - he and Bobby McGee (who looks too sexy for his hat).

Bidding old Shep a hound dog farewell, they boogie woogied over Blueberry Hill in stormy weather. Like a ring of fire, his last cigarette went blowin' in the wind. He felt that pang of guilt, like what if tomorrow never comes? His name is Earl. There's your sign.

At "y'all come back saloon," it was a vision in ebony and ivory as this long, cool woman in a black dress flashed her Bette Davis eyes at him. Likely a secondhand Rose.

This was a cheatin' situation. Like a sparrow in a hurricane Earl hightailed it through those swinging doors, just as Bubba shot the jukebox. (Somebody played B-17.)

No back street affair for him. He couldn't turn his Lucille into a good-hearted woman who was in love with a two-timing man. Black dress cries, "Hey, you don't know me but you don't like me!"

"Just call LONESOME 77203," Earl shouted. "May the bird of paradise fly up your nose."

Tears fell like purple rain on a Sunday morning sidewalk as he rushed back to his Lucille's crazy arms. Those days of wine and roses came flooding back. She remembered when they had waltzed across Texas in a summer hotter than a pepper sprout. He wore a white sport coat and a pink carnation.

She asked her friend Lorrie Morgan what to do to ignite a spark in Earl's faded love. Lorrie suggested that she look for something in red. In the end, she wore blue velvet. Earl exclaimed that he liked his bebop baby in her old blue jeans any day.

Daddy's gettin' back to Mama's way of thinking. On the green green grass of home, Earl and Lucille's blue moon turned to gold again. Strike up the band!

That's not my story but I'm stickin' to it. 


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