Dolly Parton

     Country music legend Dolly Parton has written over 3,000 songs in her long and successful career. She has said that “Coat of Many Colors” is her favorite. It was originally released on her 1971 album of the same name, and is widely available on many compilation CDs or mp3 downloads from Amazon or iTunes. It tells a true autobiographical story of something that happened when Parton was a child, and references the Biblical story of Joseph and the “coat of many colors” given to him by his father Jacob, told in Genesis chapter 37.
     Dolly kept the coat her whole life, and the actual original coat, and the dry cleaning receipt that Dolly used the back of to first jot down the words, are on display in the museum in the Dollywood Theme Park in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee.
     Many years later Dolly wrote a children’s illustrated picture book based on the song; it was listed among the best “100 Songs of the South” by the
Atlanta Journal-Constitution; and it is now on the Library of Congress’s National Recording Registry list.

Coat of Many Colors

Back through the years I go wonderin’ once again
Back to the seasons of my youth
I recall a box of rags that someone gave us
And how my momma put the rags to use

There were rags of many colors, but every piece was small
And I didn’t have a coat and it was way down in the fall
Momma sewed the rags together, sewing every piece with love
She made my coat of many colors that I was so proud of

As she sewed she told a story from the Bible she had read
About a coat of many colors Joseph wore and then she said
“Perhaps this coat will bring you good luck and happiness”
And I just couldn’t wait to wear it and momma blessed it with a kiss

My coat of many colors that my momma made for me
Made only from rags, but I wore it so proudly
Although we had no money, I was rich as I could be
In my coat of many colors my momma made for me

So with patches on my britches and holes in both my shoes
In my coat of many colors I hurried off to school
Just to find the others laughin’ and a-makin’ fun of me
In my coat of many colors my momma made for me

And oh, I couldn’t understand it, for I felt I was rich
And I told ‘em all the love my momma sewed in every stitch
And I told ‘em all the story momma told me while she sewed
And how my coat of many colors was worth more than all their clothes

But they didn’t understand it and I tried to make them see
That one is only poor only if they choose to be
Now I know we had no money, but I was rich as I could be
In my coat of many colors my momma made for me
Made just for me