Battlepanda: Hello Dolly


Always trying to figure things out with the minimum of bullshit and the maximum of belligerence.

Monday, August 22, 2005

Hello Dolly

I've always been a fan, so I'm glad to see that she's providing an unimpeachably authentic southern voice against the war.

About an hour into the show, [Dolly] Parton picked up a guitar that looked like it had lost a fierce battle with a Bedazzler and began to talk in earnest about that old-time activism. "I didn't necessarily agree with all the politics of that time," she said, "but I think a lot of the things they were talking about -- like peace and freedom -- are about as American as apple pie." She then performed the Byrds' "Turn, Turn, Turn."

And she wasn't done. Barely pausing for breath, she moved to Dylan, talking about how important it was that he had sung songs that had mattered to the country. She'd recently been listening to his antiwar classic "Blowin' in the Wind," she said, and had thought, "Well this song is about what's going on right now! I've got to record this."

Parton's live cover of "Blowin' in the Wind" should probably have been cringe-inducing, but it wasn't. Stripped down to Parton's powerful pipes and a guitar, it worked. And she definitely enunciated particular verses, especially the questions "How many ears must one man have before he can hear people cry? And how many deaths will it take till he knows that too many people have died?" Parton, who had perfect silence for the first half of the song, finished it to a massive standing ovation from the New York crowd. And however unlikely the messenger, it was almost impossible to imagine the lyrics being about anything other than a direct message to George W. Bush.