The opening song on this 2007 album ‘Backwoods Barbie’ is a perfect distillation of the appeal of Dolly Parton as a cultural icon. ‘Better Get to Livin’ offers up some insight into how she keeps her positive attitude and offers some advice for others, all within one of the catchiest and most infectious melodies in her catalogue.
Dolly’s mantra is that we all better start ‘livin, givin, forgivin and ‘lovin’ on the way’. But there’s also a steely core to her lyrics – she doesn’t want to hear your ‘whining’ or ‘pining’, instead she believes that healing comes from a positive mental attitude. We must all ‘shine, design, refine’ to bring our dreams to life. Self-improvement becomes more than some platitude, it is exactly how Dolly has risen to the top and stayed there.
‘Don’t waste one minute of your life,’ she reminds us as the song draws to a close where she has recast herself as the best minister, motivational speaker, life coach, therapist you’ll ever have in your life.
The concept of this album was an attempt to reclaim the Barbie image which was often used to mock or deride her, but Backwoods Barbie works because these songs sum up everything which has been part of her appeal across her whole career.Continue reading “Dolly Parton’s Discography – Backwoods Barbie (2007)”