Sunday, July 17, 2011


"Coat of Many Colors" is a song written and recorded by American singer Dolly Parton, which has been described on a number of occasions as the favorite song she has written. It was released in October 1971 as the second single and title track from the album Coat of Many Colors. She composed the song in 1969, while traveling with Porter Wagoner on a tour bus. (She explained in her 1994 memoir, My Life and Other Unfinished Business, because she could find no paper, as the song came to her, she wrote it on the back of a dry cleaning receipt from one of Wagoner's suits; when the song became a hit, Wagoner had the receipt framed.) She recorded the song in April 1971, making it the title song for her Coat of Many Colors album. The song reached #4 on the U.S. country singles charts.
From Wikipedia 
Back through the years I go wondering once again
back to the seasons of my youth
And I recall a box of rags that someone gave us
and how my mamma put the rags to use.

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

While mamma sewed she told a story from the Bible she had read
About a coat of many colors, Joseph wore and then she said
"I hope this coat will bring you, good luck and happiness."
And I just couldn't wait to wear it and mamma blessed it with a kiss.

My coat of many colors that my mamma 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 mamma made for me.

So with patches on my britches, holes in both my shoes
in my coat of many colors, well I hurried off to school
Just to find the others laughin', and makin' fun of me
And my coat of many colors, mamma made for me.

And oh I couldn't understand that, cus' I felt I was rich
And then I told them of the love my mamma sewed in every stitch
 I even told them all that story, mamma told me while she sewed
And why my coat of many colors, was worth more than all their clothes.

They didn't understand it and I tried to make them see
One is only poor, only if they choose to be
Oh yeah that's true, we had no money, but I was rich as I could be
In my coat of many colors, mamma made for me
Made just for me
A 1996 children's picture book of the song, with illustrations by Judith Sutton, was published by Harpercollins Childrens' Books.
In 2012 Parton's recording was added to the
 Library of Congress's National Recording
 Registry list of sound recordings that 
"are culturally, historically, or aesthetically important,
 and/or inform or reflect life in the United States."
Here's a version by Shania Twain.


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